Funeral Planning Checklist

Michele Meleen
woman writing on clipboard

Organizing and orchestrating a funeral requires a variety of time-sensitive tasks and extensive knowledge of the deceased. If you're in charge of planning by yourself or with a small group of people, a funeral checklist of duties helps keep matters in order and on track.

Organizational Funeral Checklist

Funeral plans include everything from burial permits to what the departed wears. Keep all the important information in one place with this funeral planning checklist. From documentation to burial details and funeral details, this organizational list covers every aspect of planning a funeral from death to final resting place. Click on the image of the checklist, then download and print a copy for personal use. If you encounter any problems, use an Adobe guide which has helpful tips and tricks.

Using the Funeral Planning Checklist

When you plan a funeral, you have a lot of information to remember and share with friends and family. Keep all this information in one place to make sure it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Even if you hire a professional planner or use services provided by a funeral director, the checklist serves as your guide to which question you need to ask during consultations. The funeral planning checklist has several key features to help you stay organized:

  • There are three sections which group duties into each aspect of the funeral.
  • There's an open box next to every task so you can check items off when complete.
  • Use the blank space on every line to write the completion date and initials of the person who completed the task.
  • Write names, addresses, and contact information of important people in the additional blank lines.
  • Keep the checklist in a folder where you can store all important documents and copies. If you are planning with a group of people, keep one folder in a common area and have individuals initial next to tasks they complete. If you run into any trouble or questions, you will know which person is most likely to have the information you need.

Steps to Plan a Funeral

While the checklist helps you see what needs to be done when you are planning a funeral, it doesn't tell you how to complete those tasks. Work in the following order to ensure you have everything you need to host a funeral and you use your time wisely. Funerals are typically held anywhere from one to five days after a person dies, but unique circumstances can delay a funeral for weeks or even months. Make sure you understand funeral etiquette from the deceased's belief system and as you complete each step, check it off on your checklist.

  1. Notify friends and family members of the death.
  2. Choose the burial method for your loved one.
  3. Talk to the funeral home and cemetery you'll be using about what's included in their services.
  4. Set a date and time for the funeral.
  5. Make a funeral budget that includes how much money you have to spend and a list of funeral costs.
  6. Elist the help of friends and family members in choosing the funeral details and planning the funeral reception.
  7. Get a death certificate and create an obituary using a free obituary template.
  8. Create funeral programs or memorial cards for guests.
  9. Choose what you'll wear to the funeral.
  10. Host and attend the funeral.
  11. Host and attend the funeral reception.
  12. Send thank you notes for funeral flowers and planning volunteers.

Funeral Reception Planning Checklist

If you'll be hosting a reception after a funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life, a separate reception planning checklist for that event is helpful. No matter what type of funeral reception you're planning, this editable checklist can help you keep everything from volunteers to menu items organized after the funeral. With three sections for location, menu, and decoration planning all the bases are covered for you to create a supportive atmosphere for friends and family.

Funeral Planning Made Easy

After the death of a loved one or close friend, you will experience a range of emotions which can inhibit rational or linear thinking. Take care of your feelings and stay organized when you use funeral planning tools like a task checklist.

Funeral Planning Checklist