Planning Guide

The final love note...

Welcome to eFuneral's planning guide.  We will guide you through some of the common considerations, decisions and actions made when planning a funeral.  If you're here as you think about planning your own funeral be sure to check out the planning in advance section.  If you're here planning the funeral of a loved one, please accept our condolances.  


Questions to Consider

Even if you've planned a funeral before, there are many questions you should consider prior to making decisions about funeral arrangements.  This covers the spectrum from spiritual to financial to practical. 


Decisions to Make

There are a lot of decisions to make in a short amount of time.  We will cover some of the key decisions that need to be made and provide you with additional resources. 


Actions to take

No matter if planning in advance or if in a time of need, we will provide you with some of the key actions to take to execute on your funeral plan.  We also provide some other post funeral actions to consider.


Questions to Consider


How to best honor a life?

A funeral service is often times about honoring the life a loved one lived. Many times the funeral is just the begining of honoring and remembering someone. Some questions to consider:

  • What made them special?
  • What were they passionate about?
  • Do they have any unfinished work?
  • What is their legacy?

How much should we spend?

Nationally, the average funeral costs around $7,000. But this is just an average. And it's national, not local. There is no "right" amount when it comes to funerals. Sometimes the best way to honor someone is by staying within your financial means. Other times it is with a more extravagant celebration. The most important thing is that you can afford the services selected.


What is involved in a funeral?

A funeral is a time when family and friends gather to not only remember a loved one, but also begin their personal grieving process. For many, it is the first time they are confronted with the loss of someone they hold dear. A majority of funerals are made up of two parts. A viewing or visitation. And the actual service. Each of these serve their own purpose with some choosing to do only one or the other.



Decisions to Make

No matter if you're planning for yourself or a loved one, there a lot of decisions that must be made for a funeral.  These decisions help make the funeral a unique remembrance of the life that has passed on.  While we are only going to cover some of the larger decisions, please don't let that limit you from making your funeral unique.  If you can dream of it, odds are there is a funeral provider who can help you make it possible. 


Where and when?

One of the first decisions is where to have the funeral. In most states, a funeral must be performed by a licensed funeral director. If you don't know where to look for one, try using our Find A Provider tool to find one in your area. You also need to decide when to have the services. In general, services are usually within a few days after death. However, if family and friends need time to travel this can be delayed to accommodate.


Type of Services

Hand in hand with when and where is the type of service. This is something that can be as unique as the individual. Were they religious? Did they have hobbies or passions? How will others remember them? 
Use the service for the living to allow people to remember and honor a friend.

Burial or Cremation?

This may be a spiritual decision or a matter of preference. Burial offers loved ones a physical location for loved ones to come visit when feeling sad or anxious. Cremation offers flexibility in that a loved one can always be close, kept in a keepsake or an urn. There are also options to do a combination with relatives spread out taking a keepsake and the remaining ashes buried in a special place to visit.


Actions to Take


It may feel overwhelming.  That's because it is.  But there are a few steps you can take to make it easier.  And most importantly, know that you don't have to do it alone.  There is a funeral provider in your area that can help you through this process.



You're doing it right now. You will feel better equipped to have a conversation with a funeral provider if you know some of the key decisions and questions they will ask. 


Contact Funeral Providers

Don't feel that you need to limit your search the first one you find. Ask the funeral providers about the services they provide and how much they cost. The funeral home will be happy to talk with you about your options. Find the funeral home that provides the right comfort and support to you at a price you can afford.



During times of stress it can be difficult to operate from memory. Write down your decisions to make sure you remember and can share them with others. 


Let people know

Once you have decided on when and where the services will be, the next step is communicating to those who cared for the deceased. Phone, email, social media, and word of mouth are some ways to let others know.


Ask for help

Often family and friends will ask what they can do to help. Take them up on it. If you know of specific things that need done, you might find it easier than going it alone.


Plan ahead

One thing you can do for your loved ones is plan ahead. Planning your own funeral can protect your loved ones emotionally and financially.