Contact Us
Make a Referral
Join Our Team

Connect With Us

Follow us on twitter Like us on Facebook Connect with us on LinkedIn Subscribe to our feed
Get your free Hospice Conversations guide Book
Get the Halcyon Hospice Brochure

How To Get Started With The Funeral Planning Process

efuneral1Halcyon Hospice and eFuneral are teaming up to make it easier to research, plan, and arrange a wide variety of funeral related services for free – saving you time and money – and decreasing your stress level.

Funeral planning can be very difficult, especially while dealing with the grief of losing a loved one or the anticipatory grief of what is to come. While the main goal of a funeral service is to honor your loved one’s life, it’s also an opportunity for you and those who know your loved one to say goodbye. If you are lucky, your loved one will have already pre-planned, pre-paid, created a program, and picked out what he/she wants to wear for his/her funeral. However, this is most likely not the case, as most individuals do not work out such details and make such arrangements in advance. If you don’t know where to begin, try using the following questions to guide you through the funeral planning process:

Will your loved one be buried or cremated?

If your loved one did not specify a preference for burial or cremation, and if your decision will not be based on religious or ethnic customs, consider the pros and cons of each type of funeral service. Burials are more traditional but can cost upwards of $8,000. On the other hand, direct cremations cost an average of $1,100. Whether you opt for a burial or a cremation, you can choose to hold a visitation, with an open or closed casket. Funeral planners can find more specific pricing information on their local funeral homes and their local areas by visiting

What type of funeral service would your loved one and family prefer?

In choosing a type of funeral service, consider your loved one’s religious and cultural background. Would it be important to your loved one to incorporate those traditions into the service? Would you or your loved one appreciate the opportunity to hold a memorial or celebration of life service? As you consider your options, keep in mind the following packages typically offered by funeral homes:

  • A direct funeral service includes the basic funeral home and staff services (like filing death certificates, obtaining proper permits, coordinating plans with the cemetery or crematory, and filing for relevant benefits), transportation of the body, and a casket or urn.
  • A traditional funeral service includes the products and services of a direct funeral service with the addition of embalming and professional preparation of the body, an outer burial container (to keep the grave from sinking), a funeral ceremony (with or without the casket or urn present), and the use of a hearse.
  • A traditional-plus funeral service includes the products and services of a traditional funeral with the addition of a public visitation in which the deceased is present in an open or closed casket.
  • A memorial service is often added to funeral services to give family members and friends the opportunity to honor the deceased and celebrate the life of their loved one. And some families choose to hold a graveside service, often in lieu of a funeral ceremony.

The above are examples of more standard funeral service options, but your local funeral homes may offer additional or different packages and services as well. To find a funeral home and compare funeral home service and pricing options, visit

Who would my loved one want to be involved in the service?

Again, if your loved one was a religious person, would he or she want a clergy member to preside over the funeral service? Is there a family member or friend who was particularly close with your loved one? Perhaps that person could say a few words or deliver the eulogy. Would you feel more comfortable having the funeral director lead the funeral service?

Hopefully, you will find that the answers to these questions can help you shape your loved one’s funeral service. If you are able to talk with your loved one directly about his/her wishes, try to ask him/her about their preferences; this can actually help you and your family agree on the major aspects of the funeral service. If your loved one is not open to this conversation or can no longer participate, try to involve your family members to hear their thoughts and ideas. Often, after your loved on passes, emotions will run high and any pre-planning that can take place is very helpful.

For more information about funeral planning, visit the Halcyon Hospice website for help researching, planning, and arranging a wide variety of funeral-related services.

This blog post was written by Chelsea Gumucio, eFuneral’s Liaison Social Worker. Chelsea is a State of Ohio-Licensed Independent Social Worker. Chelsea previously served as an Alternative Home Care Hospice Social Worker in Cleveland, Ohio where she worked as an advocate, educator, and counselor. 

By | 2017-05-20T19:23:16+00:00 December 13th, 2012|Blog, Hospice Resources|0 Comments

Leave A Comment