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How Do I Plan a Funeral?

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When it comes to planning a funeral, many people feel unsure of where to begin. At Logan Funerals, we meet with many families who are overwhelmed by the thought of funeral planning.

We have created this step-by-step guide to assist you with funeral planning.

 Step 1: The Doctor Visits

When a death occurs, and your doctor has provided you with an Extinction of Life Certificate, it is time to contact a funeral director.

Funeral directors can arrange for the deceased to be transferred into their care. We make all the necessary arrangements to make sure you are looked after during this difficult first step.

Step 2: Make Plans with a Funeral Director

At the funeral arrangement meeting you will be able to talk about the type of funeral service you would like to create.

You will be asked to provide personal information about the deceased for the formal Death Certificate.

At this meeting, you can choose a time and date for the funeral. After you have confirmed a funeral time with your Funeral Director, you can then contact your chosen Minister or celebrant.

Step 3: Choose Your Minister or Celebrant

When you meet with your chosen Minister or celebrant you can begin to focus on the details of the funeral service.

Your Minister or celebrant can help you decide on the structure of the service, they can suggest hymns and prayers and they can assist you to create an order of service booklet.

Step 4: Think About Leaving a Donation or Legacy

Many people leave instructions in their Will and ask family members to direct a portion of the deceased estate to charity. Of course your loved one may not have been in a strong financial position, but if you feel this would honour the memory of your loved one, donating to a charity or local community organisation is a lovely way to leave a legacy. As a family member, you can choose where this contribution will go, or you can take instructions from the Will.

Think about the causes that were important to your loved one. Your memories of their interests can help you choose where to make a legacy donation to honour them.

At Logan Funerals we value creating a legacy for your loved one, we allow you to donate a portion of our service fees to a specific legacy area at the time of planning a funeral.

Step 5: Make Decisions about the Funeral Details

Depending on the wishes of your loved one, you will need to decide whether the service will include an opportunity for a viewing of the deceased and whether there will be a burial or cremation.

There are coffins and caskets available in numerous styles, to suit every budget. Your Funeral Director can help you arrange a hearse and other vehicles, as well as booking musicians, managing refreshments and ordering floral tributes.

Funeral staff can prepare an online memorial site for your loved one and help you to prepare notices for the press.  A memorial book for your guests to sign can be arranged and often becomes a treasured keepsake after the funeral.

For further information regarding the different tasks involved in arranging a funeral, please refer to our Funeral Planning Guide.

Step 6: Prepare the eulogy

Sharing a eulogy gives you the chance to tell the life story of your loved one.

A great way to begin is with the facts including date and place of birth, names of parents and siblings and any special pets or friends. You could then mention education, occupations, and church or community service. Including descriptions of significant relationships, family members, children, hobbies and holidays is a good idea. You might like to close with a reflection on the life values your loved one held dear, and describe the impact they have left on others.

Our article, How to Write a Eulogy, includes more detailed advice on what to include in a eulogy.

Step 7: Make a visual tribute

Everyone enjoys looking at old photographs of family and friends. A visual tribute can be a wonderful way of helping others to recall fond memories, retell old stories and celebrate a shared delight in life.

The visual tribute you create can be set to the favourite music of your loved one, and played on screens in the funeral room, or Chapel.

Our video, How to Create a Funeral Tribute Video includes more detailed information about preparing a visual tribute.

Step 8: Stop Utilities and Notify Service Suppliers

After a death occurs there are a range of service providers and organisations that need to be notified.

Consider whether the supply of general utilities including gas and electricity will need to be stopped. Also, home care services, banks, and insurance companies require notification, as do clubs, doctors, dentists and real estate agents.

Although many of these services can be contacted online, a great idea is to divide the job between family members, as the task of notifying providers can be time consuming.

For a detailed checklist of who to notify after a death, please refer to our Funeral Planning Guide.

Funeral arrangements may not always be a popular topic of conversation, however the reality is that most of us will be involved in planning a funeral at least once in our lifetime.

We know that many people worry about the expense involved in arranging a funeral. Our guide How to Avoid an Expensive Funeral provides further information about planning a funeral without creating unnecessary financial stress.