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any suggestions/thoughts on preplanning?
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 2:43 PM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 138

A friend who lost her loved one last year recommended that I plan ahead, so I have contacted a few local funeral homes, made a list of which institutions will require a certified death certificate so i know how many to order to start with, and will work on an obituary. I know it sounds morbid, but while my head is clear, this seems a better time to handle what will be immediate needs now instead of the day of.


Has anyone else done this?

Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 3:06 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027

Yes, it's called pre-planning.


Your funeral home usually gives you a stack of death certificates. Take them. it's amazing how man different things require it. 


You can also write up the obit ahead of time. 

Plsan the services. What were her favorite hymns? What type of service would she like?

much easier now than when the event actually happens.

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 4:51 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 149


No, it is not fact it is the best thing that you can do for yourself. Now, while your head is clear. 



 Before my Father passed from CHF he and I went over where all the info , Insurance, Funeral Home, Social Security, VA information was.  I went to Mom and Dads house and put it all together in a folder...just 2 weeks before he passed..I left his obit until the last minute, which I after the fact realized was a mistake..I got everything in..but it could have been better.. 



When it came to Mum, I had everything ready weeks before she passed..including a basic outline of her obituary..Was it easy, no..BUT it was the best and right thing to do.  I went on auto pilot when she passed....but it was ok, because everyhting was organized...down to what she would wear when buried... 



It is not something anyone likes to think about....I still need to get things sorted out for myself in case something happens to me....because I know what its like..and of the many things I don't wish for those i love to have to deal with..this is one of the most important... 



You are doing the right thing...and in your heart of hearts I think you know that... 


May the universe guide your steps..... 



Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 5:40 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 403

My parents purchased their mausoleum years before they passed away. My brother made the funeral arrangements for both months before dad passed away. The day of, all we had to do was choose the flowers and give the information for the death certificate. They charged us for the DC with and without cause of death. Besides taking it to the bank we didnt have to do much with them. They are now charging for obituaries in South Florida so we didnt bother, those that need to know will be informed. For mom we had to go buy her clothes for the funeral because she didnt have anything long sleeve. If you cant find the right size, anything will due because they cut the back of the clothing. I found that out now. It would be impossible for them to dress the body so they just put the clothing over and tuck it under. So many things we have to find out that you wish you never had to, but such is life.



Johanna C.
Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 1:46 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11653

Yes, we did pre-planning.  Since my parent wished cremation, I screened and priced the different providers.  I found the prices varied wildly.  Once I felt comfortable I made a pre-need purchase for everything. 


I also roughed out the information needed for an Obituary and priced it - I once again was astonished at the high price. 


As I went thru photos, I picked out those I wanted to have put onto a disc so we could have it for the memorial service.


Then I called the church and found out the cost of the church (none since we were members) and the cost of an organist and soloist.  Since we were to have a light lunch after the service, I priced that out too.


I found it necessary to do this so I could be prepared financially as well as having a file ready so I need not do it under the stress of mourning.


It may sound morbid to some for doing this, but my mother was so very ill and declining and had gone on hospice - it was best for our family to take such steps.


After Mother passed away, everything was pretty much seamless and that saved me a lot of worry.


One thing I did was have miy daughter who is talented, design my mothrer's program for her memorial.  We put a photo of Mom on the front, and did the usual on the inside.  On the back cover, the names of Mom's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were listed.  And - - - - inside, I tucked in another sheet with some of Mom's fcorite recipes as a memento for those who attended the service.  These were old fashioned family recipes and those from the family were so glad to have them as they were part of our traditions and many of lthem did not have them.


Best wishes,


Johanna C.

Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 8:28 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 84

It sounds morbid to those that have never had to deal with it. I think it is a good idea. Having just gone through a lot of this with my mom's passing on February 1st, I plan to do some pre-planning before my dad passes away. There is a lot of information you need for the death certificate, as well as information for Social Security, health insurance, life insurance, etc. I hope to have all this gathered in a file well before Dad passes away. I am still dealing with some of my mom's stuff, but then I want to be sure his stuff is in order.


They had prepaid for cremation so I just had to sign a bunch of forms and order and pay for the death certificates. It was such a blessing that they had pre-ordered their final arrangements...all had to do is agree to what they wanted. I did not have to second guess or anything.


It took me a week to write and submit the obituary (she did not want a service, so there was no real rush other than getting it done). It only took a couple hours to write but it took me a week to get to it. I think it is a good idea to have some of that ready too. It is hard to do this stuff when you are dealing with the death of a loved one. I have always wondered how people do it.

Beth in Indiana
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 10:58 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 95

Hi - all good advice.  I'd just add that the funeral home of choice should be able to walk through just about everything you'll need in advance.  And boy!  is that ever helpful.  My Mom preplanned before entering the nursing home about 5 years ago.  Yes, the funeral home (trust) gets money up front but all the info they need you've already collected in advance.  Things like their siblings and locations, marital history, etc.  Things you might have some problem focusing on.  That way, they can write the obit, find the papers to post it all in, all of that.  That's not to say there won't be things left still to do when the time comes, but you'll be soooo busy that this pre-planning is really very helpful. 


Good luck with your planning - it's great to have time to reflect and truly make it what you think your parents would like.