Plan Your Own Funeral: A Step-By-Step Guide

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By planning your own funeral, you can ensure that your service is exactly how you’d want it, while also taking the burden off of your loved ones.  Though the task may sound daunting, this simple guide will help you through it. 

First thing’s first… determine your budget.  Funeral expenses can definitely add up so it helps to have a number in mind when beginning the planning process. According to, the average funeral costs between $8,000-$10,000.  Depending on how traditional you want to go with your service, you may be able to widdle that number down, which brings us to our next step….

Decide on what kind of service you want to have.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you plan to be buried or cremated?
  • Where would you like your funeral to take place?
  • If you plan to be buried, do you want a graveside service in addition to a funeral service?  
  • If you plan to be cremated, do you plan on having your ashes sent somewhere special that may require transportation or airfare?  (By the way, the sky is not the limit… You can actually pay to have your ashes sent to space.) 
  • Would you rather have a memorial service post-cremation or burial instead of a viewing?   
  • Do you have specific flowers or decor you’d like present?

From here, you should begin calling the vendors that you’d like to be a part of your service to nail down pricing.  Many places that offer funeral-specific services actually allow you to pre-plan with them so everything is ready to go when the time comes.

Here are some additional services that may add to your funeral cost:

  • Embalming
  • Casket
  • Urn
  • Burial Vaults or Grave Liners

Once you’ve gotten through the budgeting aspect of the funeral plan, you can move onto outlining your service.  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who would you like to officiate your service?  Provide at least 2 choices if possible.
  • Who should serve as pallbearers (if applicable)? 
  • Who should deliver eulogies?  
  • Would you like to incorporate any specific readings, poems, or prayers into your service?  If so, who should recite them? 
  • Are there any specific songs you’d like played at your service? 
  • Is there a charity organization you’d like people to donate to in honor of your memory? 
  • Who should be invited to your funeral?  Don’t forget to include contact information. 

We hope this guide alleviates some of the strain that comes with planning your funeral.  

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