Making Your Last Wishes Known

Everplans Blogger

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Imagine and pre-plan your "dream funeral," even if it's 50 years away, and tell your family what you want. Or plan it yourself if you’re so inclined.


The first, and most important decision, you need to make

Let your family and loved ones know if you want to be buried, cremated, or donated. If you do nothing else, please do this to help them avoid any unnecessary stress during an already emotional time.


If you choose burial, you need to purchase a burial plot or a spot in a mausoleum at a cemetery. If you choose cremation, you can decide what you want to be done with the cremated remains, including burial, scattering, or giving them to friends and family members to be stored in an urn. (Learn more: Decide What You Want Done With Your Ashes ; How to Donate Your Body to Science)


Traditional funeral followed by burial or cremation

If you opt for a traditional funeral followed by burial or cremation, you’ll need to work with a funeral director to make all the arrangements. The funeral director will also help you purchase any goods and services you’ll need for the burial, cremation, funeral, or memorial service.


A funeral director can also help you make cemetery arrangements, but you will most likely need to work with the cemetery to purchase a plot.


Note: If you’re planning a direct cremation followed by a memorial service or ash scattering, you can work with the crematory directly without having to work with a funeral home or funeral director.


Products you need to buy

Burial requires a casket and a burial vault/grave liner. Cremation requires a cremation casket and an urn.



Since funerals can be very expensive, usually costing around $7,000 to $10,000, it’s common to pre-pay or set money aside for some or all of the products and services you’re organizing. It’s very important to share any payment information, including contracts or receipts, with your family so they don’t get double charged.


The service

Funerals, graveside services, and memorial services are the most common types, though you can also have a funeral service in your own home. There are also other events you may want, like wakes, viewings, and visitations. For this reason, you should pick a location for the service (funeral home, place of worship, etc.), people you want to be involved in the service (officiant, eulogizers, pallbearers, attendees), and elements or personal touches to be included in your service (readings, prayers, songs, flowers).


Final reminder

We can’t stress this enough: If you’ve made any arrangement, made any purchases (such as a burial plot), or have any specific wishes for your perfect funeral, don’t forget to share them with your family!


Are you interested in pre-planning your funeral, or do you find it too morbid?


This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit