• on July 10, 2023

10 Essential Decisions Required When Organising A Funeral

Whenever a funeral has to be arranged, having funeral directors to deal with much of it can be a huge help to family members who are grieving. However, funeral directors cannot make every decision. The days immediately after a loved one’s passing is a sad period, but some clear thinking is required to make many of the decisions that have to be made regarding the organisation of the deceased’s funeral. Here are the ten most important decisions of the type we refer to.

Which Funeral Directors?

The best place to start is choosing the funeral directors who will be responsible for most of the funeral arrangements. Identify local funeral directors who have proven to be professional and respectful by reading their reviews. Also, check what services they can offer and their respective prices, and then request a written quotation before choosing.

Date Of The Funeral

Most funerals normally take place within two to three weeks of the deceased’s passing. However, the specific date for their funeral is a matter that requires careful consideration. Availability of a church, a crematorium, and the funeral directors are but three of the matters you need to check on and coordinate to decide on the funeral date.

Notifying Loved Ones

Informing your family of a loved one’s passing can be a trying and highly emotional task, but unfortunately, it has to be done. Thereafter, it is a matter of informing friends of the deceased and possibly past and present work colleagues. Looking further ahead, once the date for the funeral is finalised, you will also need to inform those who wish to attend about the funeral arrangements.

Burial Or Cremation?

In many cases, the choice of whether someone is to be buried or cremated when they pass will already have been made by them and so you simply ensure their wishes are met with the funeral directors. However,  it is also the case that people pass suddenly or without having made prior arrangements for their funeral and therefore the family has to make that decision, often with the advice of their funeral directors to guide them.

Choosing The Coffin/Urn

This again applies when prior arrangements for a funeral have not been made. Depending on whether a burial or cremation is to take place will determine if an urn for the deceased’s ashes will be required. What will almost certainly need to be chosen is the deceased’s coffin and often this will be based on the family’s preferences and the available budget, given the variable amounts that different coffin types cost.

Religious Or Non-Religious Funeral?

The preferences, and in particular, the deceased’s beliefs will influence this decision greatly. If it is to be religious, funeral arrangements will need to be made with the appropriate church and the religious leader who will be conducting the funeral service therein. For non-religious funerals, aka secular funerals, the options for where they can take place include a funeral chapel, crematorium, or local hall. However, they can take place anywhere deemed appropriate.

Funeral Service Specifics

This will be done with the funeral directors and religious leaders if the funeral is religious. Specifics include the order of service, service length, music/songs, religious readings, flowers, seating arrangements, and possibly even the option to stream the funeral service for those unable to attend.


The most obvious decisions relating to transport include the hearse type, how many cars are required, who will be travelling in each car, and where the family will be assembling for the cars to pick them up. Almost always this is a matter that is arranged with the funeral directors.

The Eulogy

Although we say ‘the’ eulogy it is perfectly okay for more than one eulogy to be read at a funeral service such as when a parent’s two children both wish to give a eulogy. Otherwise, the decisions required are who will be reading the eulogy and also if there is anything that the family would like to be included in it.

The Wake

Finally, there are the decisions to be made about the wake that follows the funeral. Here the venue will need to be chosen and checks made to ensure it is available for the required time and date. Other decisions will relate to food, drinks to be offered to those attending, and transport if this is being laid on to take attendees to the wake.