Planning a Funeral

Planning a Funeral

by Chaplain Larry Hendren

When a loved one passes away, whether unexpectedly or not, our minds tend to go into a whirl. This is normal, and there are things that you and I can do now to help lessen the whirl when that time comes. I am suggesting that you make it more bearable on your own family and loved ones by writing out some of your own information on these pages. Keep it in a safe place and let your loved ones know where it is. If you choose to keep it in a safe deposit box, make sure that you are not the only one who can access it. It is personal and private, so keep it in a personal and private place.

Name _____________________________________________________________

Birthdate ______________  Birthplace __________________________________

Social Security Number ________________________  

Location of important documents ________________

Current address _____________________________________________________

Resident since _______________________________

Citizen of ____________________________________

Phone ______________________________________

Marital Status _______________________________

Occupation __________________________________

Date of Marriage ______________________________

Name of Spouse _______________________________

 

Education

School ______________________________________________________________

Dates attended _______________________________________________________

Diploma/Degree ______________________________________________________

School ______________________________________________________________

Diploma/Degree ______________________________________________________

 

Military Service

Branch __________________ Rank ________________

Date of Enlistment _______________  Date of Discharge ___________

Serial Number _______________

Location of documents _________________________________________________

 

Fraternal, Service & Union Memberships

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Special Recognition/Honors

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Community Service

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Parents

Father’s Name _________________________ Birthdate _______________________

Father’s Birthplace _____________________ Date of Death ____________________

Mother’s Name _________________________Birthdate _______________________

Mother’s Birthplace _____________________ Date of Death ___________________

Step Parent ____________________________Birthdate _______________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Date of Death ___________________

Step Parent ____________________________Birthdate _______________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Date of Death ___________________

 

Your Children

(1) Name _________________________________ Birthdate ____________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Spouse _________________________

Current Address ________________________________________________________

Their Children___________________________________________________________

 

(2) Name _________________________________ Birthdate ____________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Spouse _________________________

Current Address ________________________________________________________

Their Children___________________________________________________________

 

(3) Name _________________________________ Birthdate ____________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Spouse _________________________

Current Address ________________________________________________________

Their Children___________________________________________________________

 

(4) Name _________________________________ Birthdate ____________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Spouse _________________________

Current Address ________________________________________________________

Their Children___________________________________________________________

 

(5) Name _________________________________ Birthdate ____________________

Birthplace _____________________________ Spouse _________________________

Current Address ________________________________________________________

Their Children___________________________________________________________

 

My Preferences  

(circle one) Burial     Direct Cremation     Funeral/Cremation     Graveside Only

Preferred Funeral Home or Funeral Director__________________________________

I have (pre-paid) (pre-planned) my funeral with________________________________

Address _____________________________________ Phone ____________________

Cemetery/Mausoleum ___________________________________________________

Address _____________________________________ Phone ___________________

Location of Plot _________________________________________________________

Casket ______________________________________ Urn ______________________

Vault __________________________________________________________________

Location of Services ______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

 

Persons You Would Like Involved in the Service

Clergy/Celebrant ________________________________________________________

Family _________________________________________________________________

Friends ________________________________________________________________

Pall Bearers ____________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

Military _________________________________________________________________

Lodge __________________________________________________________________

Work ___________________________________________________________________

Other ___________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

Favorite Flowers

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Viewing/Visitation

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Music Preference

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Readings or Scripture Preference (favorite verses)

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Pictures/Video

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Location of pictures/video

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Mementos (favorite hat, fishing pole, etc.)

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests (live taps, no taps, no viewing, etc.)

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Reception/Gathering

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Donations/Charities

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Stories

_______________________________________________________________________

 

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Attorney _________________________________ Phone _______________________

Email ___________________________________ Address ______________________

Financial Planner _________________________ Phone ________________________

Email ___________________________________ Address _______________________

 

Location and Contacts

Will/Trust Documents ____________________________________________________

Birth Certificate ________________________________________________________

Marriage Certificate _____________________________________________________

Divorce Decree _________________________________________________________

Veteran’s Discharge Certificates ___________________________________________

Social Security Card _____________________________________________________

Insurance Policies _______________________________________________________

Retirement Benefits Documents ____________________________________________

Automobile Titles ________________________________________________________

Mortgages/Deeds _______________________________________________________

Utilities and Services & Account Numbers ____________________________________

Electric ________________________________________________________________

Gas ____________________________________________________________________

Water __________________________________________________________________

Television _______________________________________________________________

Phones _________________________________________________________________

Internet ________________________________________________________________

Other __________________________________________________________________

Credit Cards & Account Numbers

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

Financial Institutions, Type of Account & #

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Stock Certificates/Bonds_________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

Income Tax Returns (person & location)______________________________________

Safe Deposit Box Key & Location____________________________________________

Computer Passwords______________________________________________________

Other Important Documents and Contacts_____________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

Whew! Do I really need all that? No, no one needs all this. I have tried to include a place for everything that might be needed to jog your memory. I’ve heard widows and widowers bemoan the fact that they didn’t have some of this information that their loved one knew from memory. If you are able to fill out the parts of this that pertain to you and leave it in a place where your family can find it easily, they will need little else. One gentleman added, “If nobody laughs at my funeral, I’m not coming.” One sweet lady wrote on the outside of the envelope, “These are my preferences, feel free to change them if you need to.” We did change a few things, I think we made more of a fuss over her at the funeral than she would have been comfortable with in her living presence, but it was healing to the rest of us.

There is one last thing I always recommend when writing lists such as this. There will be things that you might prefer, but are willing to allow family to do whatever they need do…put a note in your own handwriting in the appropriate places indicating that.