Factors to consider when planning a Funeral
The decision-making for funeral arrangements usually happens within the first few days after death. Ideally, you and your family would have discussed funeral wishes ahead of time, but not uncommon for this difficult conversation to be put to the side until it’s too late. If you didn’t make plans ahead of time, or the death was unexpected, you are now burdened with making important decisions while your grief is still very fresh.
There are many things to consider when it comes to planning a funeral. Should you bury or cremate (often the deceased has made their preference known in their will, if they have one, so check there first)? What casket should you choose if you decide to bury, and where do you find a headstone engraver? If you cremate, will you bury the ashes or keep them in an urn? Will you still create a plaque? Where would it be located?
The timing of when you choose to hold the funeral will depend on several factors. If you prefer an open casket, you should plan to have the funeral within a few days after the death. Should you plan to cremate, the body can be cremated and not affect the date you choose for the funeral, allowing time to grieve and plan with less pressure.
Logistical factors that can affect when you schedule the funeral:
- If people want to attend who will need to travel from out of, they’ll need a day or two to plan.
- Availability of a funeral home or other facility. Weekends book quickly, so holding the funeral on a weekday will offer more flexibility.
- A legally required autopsy could delay the body’s release by the hospital or coroner.
- Budget can affect funeral plans. You can apply for a funeral advance loan if finances are an issue.
- The funeral could be delayed if the body needs transferring from another country, province, or city or if there are delays in the paperwork required to release the body from the hospital or morgue.
Making Funeral Arrangements
Planning the details of a funeral or celebration of life will usually come down to the wishes of the person who has passed. If they were religious, you’ll most likely plan the funeral in a church, mosque, or synagogue.
Ultimately, a funeral can be held anywhere from a funeral home to a family member’s backyard. The goal is to allow friends and family to say their final goodbyes and celebrate their life and memory.
If you’re working with a funeral home, the funeral director will help guide you in the process. They are well equipped to help you decide how to proceed and have knowledge of major religious requirements regarding scheduling the funeral.
If the funeral was not pre-planned and you’re concerned about decision fatigue, planning through a funeral home might be your best option. The funeral home typically has one fee to cover everything you’ll need.
This basic fee usually covers:
- Filling out forms
- Getting all the necessary permits
- Requesting death certificates
- Coordinating arrangements with religious institutions, cemeteries, or crematoriums and taking care of the remains of the deceased after death.
The funeral director can also help guide you with the small details that are difficult to remember when you’re grieving.
The funeral home may also help organize additional details like ordering flowers, booking a musician, and someone to lead the funeral service. Be sure to ask about these other details, though, as they are often extras.
Funerals can get costly. The average cost for a funeral in Canada is $10,000. Financial support is available if you’re struggling to cover all the expenses because you haven’t received the money yet from the estate.
With nearly 60% of Canadians opting for cremation over burial, celebrations of life have also increased in popularity. As this type of ceremony is not dependent on the body being present, there is more flexibility with dates.
While funerals are more common with more traditional or spiritually-minded individuals, a celebration of life focuses on how the deceased lived and their unique personality.
Paying out of pocket for many services and court fees isn’t ideal for most people. If there is money in the estate, it will cover costs, but it can’t release funds until the estate is fully settled.
If you’re struggling and need assistance while you sort through the paperwork, plan the funeral, and grieve your loved one, First Inheritance can offer financial assistance to help you during a difficult time.
Funeral Advance Loans
Final arrangements for a loved one often requires planning several elements and making choices. We can help ease the financial stress by financing funeral costs.