Funeral Service Planning, A Guide to Arrangements for Loved Ones or Yourself
The Final Arrangements Network 

Funeral Service Planning
A Guide to making Funeral Service Planning Arrangements for a Loved One or Yourself. Funeral Service Planning, although complicated can be done in advance and without a great deal of expense if any at all.

Funeral Service Planning? 
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Finding that Funeral Home and Director to work with you regarding your final arrangements preplanning for funeral services is so Important.

Final Arrangements Preplanning Can Save You 50% of the Costs

Funeral Costs Comparison Chart

Funeral Guide Prologue

This Funeral Guide concentrates on those services rendered only by a Funeral Director for a Loved One. The issues of caskets, vaults, urns and memorials/markers, are coved by us as separate planning arrangements, since purchase of these goods can be made from more sources than has been thought in the past

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The Funeral service is the most complicated of all the arrangements you will make. For loved ones, a funeral forces decisions people are ill equipped to make. The circumstances often make these choices the most incredibly difficult, agonizing, stress filled, emotionally devastating, confusing moments a human ever must endure. Reader's Digest's Consumers Guide 1989 has summed it up pretty well when they said:

  "Few consumers would ordinarily admit to spending $5,000 or more on something that they knew little or nothing about. Yet everyday thousands of Americans do just that when a family member dies. On short notice, with their judgment often clouded by grief or guilt, they turn to the nearest funeral director to tell them what to do."

   ".....While few people are comfortable about discussing funerals in advance, it is really a very poor idea to decide on arrangements under the pressure of time and emotional stress."
(pages 325-326) 

 What most don't know is funerals don't have to be purchased in order to prepare for a funeral service in advance. What is critical to both the preplanning of a funeral and that funeral ultimately being carried out, is that they get recorded and safely stored. Stored somewhere that is accessible to those who you want to carry them out.

Funeral Services Provided by a Funeral Director

The Basic Service Fee

Every funeral home charges everyone this fee. It covers the overhead and services provided on every funeral. Typically this fee covers; the use of staff and facilities to coordinate the overall funeral with cemetery, church/synagogue, crematory, meet with the family to design the funeral, prepare and file the permits and authorizations connected with the funeral. It pays for the supervision of the various transfers of a Loved One's body from the moment of death to its final resting place.

Documentations & Filings

Usually this is part of the basic service fee but it is a good idea to find out if there are any additional costs for necessary documents and filing fees. (Example: Death Certificates,. necessary for insurance claims, probate and any other legal situation cost a less if they are gotten by the funeral director when he/she gets the original than if they are gotten at a latter date.)


Charges depend on what and how many of the facilities vehicles are required for the event. Usually there will be a hearse and one or two limousines. Pricing depends on the type and number.
Staff Personnel for Services

Generally referred to as "Use of Facilities and Staff" and "Outside Services" in most general price lists of funeral homes. It covers the use of personnel, not equipment, for services at the facility, a church, cemetery, another funeral home, etc...

Visitation Personnel

Use of the facility and personnel to have visitations, the cost would depend on the amount of visitation requested, days or periods depends on the director's pricing system.


This may be included in the basic service fee.

Obituary Notices

The service of preparing an obituary for a Loved One is generally part of the basic service fee but the cost of placement in a newspaper or multiple papers is charged to the funeral client.

Register Book, Acknowledgement Cards, Prayer Cards, etc.

These items are so often overlooked, yet can have a long lasting effect on loved ones, as they may be the only physical item that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Embalming Service

Optional fee but if there is going to be visitation it may need to be paid. Also, transportation of a Loved One's remains across state lines in the U.S. require embalming in most cases. 

Body Preparation

The cosmetology, casket positioning, and caring for the body. If there is no embalming there is generally a larger fee for this work as some preparation that would be done with embalming was not done. 
Transfer of Remains Services

Covers cost of pick up and delivery to the funeral home. Its cost depends on distance.

Forwarding of Remains

If the remains are going out of state in the U.S. or anywhere for that matter one funeral home coordinates with the other and this fee is charged by the initial facility. Usually, it does include the embalming and preparation for transport. 

Receiving of Remains

This is the same service on the other end. The remains are being sent to this facility. It does not, nor does forwarding, cover any other services that would require use of staff for such things as visitation, memorial services, church transport, etc.

Funeral Alternatives To Consider With Your Funeral Director

Direct Cremation

A separate fee inclusive of the coordination functions of the basic service fee, to supervise a direct cremation, no embalming or visitations or other services. It does not generally include the actual fee for cremation. 

Direct Burial

A separate fee inclusive of the coordination functions of the basic service fee, to supervise a direct burial, no embalming or visitation or other services.

Direct Cremation Container

If a direct cremation service is to take place either the client (purchaser of services), the crematorium or funeral home needs to provide a container. This varies greatly from a simple cardboard container to the actual burning of a casket.

Directory of Planning Services Available from The Final Arrangements Network

Making Final Arrangements Cremation Arrangements Planning
Funeral and Cemetery Arrangements Planning
See Cemetery Lots For Sale Burial & Mausoleum Arrangements Planning
Personal Information for Final Arrangements Planning Funeral Services Arrangements Planning
Financial Information for Final Arrangements Planning Buying Memorial, Monuments, Caskets, Vaults & Urns
Social Security, Long Term Care, Power of Attorney and Other Special  Information for Final Arrangements Planning HOME

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