Preplanning Checklist

Preplanning your own funeral arrangements is a meaningful way to prepare for your future, and to alleviate the stressors that could burden your family when the time comes. However, it can feel overwhelming at first. There are many things to consider, and many decisions to make.

This checklist can help you figure out what you need to know, what questions you might have, and which decisions are most important to you. Your funeral services should be a reflection of your personality, and the time you’ve spent on this earth. We encourage you to plan accordingly. We are here to help you with anything you need along the way.

What To Plan First

The first step in your preplanning journey is to choose a funeral home. This is who your family will contact when the time comes. It’s important to listen to your intuition when choosing a funeral home. You should feel welcomed, listened to, and your questions should be taken seriously and answered with honesty. Your funeral services are important, and the funeral home you choose should feel right.

After you choose a funeral home, it’s time to consider other important and deeply personal details, like your obituary and any charities you’d like to donate to. Gather information you’d like included in your obituary, and clearly delineate where you’d like any donations directed. If you’d like, you can even write your own obituary. This can be a way to leave a creative mark on your funeral services, and let your voice be heard one last time.

What To Consider When Planning Your Funeral Services

There are many decisions to make for your funeral services. Your funeral services can be a reflection of your values, personality, and, if applicable, your faith. However, it’s also important to remember the needs of your family and friends. They are the ones who will actually experience your funeral services, and for them, it will be an important part of their grieving and healing journey. Your funeral should both reflect who you are, and be a source of comfort for them.

There are many decisions to make for your funeral arrangements. It’s normal to feel strongly about some, but unsure about others. We can help you go over your options and choose what is best for you and your family. Some things that you will need to think about are:

  • Do you want to be buried, or cremated?
  • If you choose burial, what kind of casket do you prefer? Is there a particular cemetery where you’d like to be interred?
  • If you choose cremation, do you want your ashes to be scattered, or buried? If you choose scattering, do you have a place in mind?
  • Would you like a traditional funeral service with a viewing, church service, and graveside service, or something less formal? Would you like a combination of both?
  • Are religious services important to you or your family? Are there particular clergy members you’d like to be present?
  • Are there pieces of music that are meaningful to you that you’d like to be played?
  • Would you like your funeral services to have a particular theme, or look?


It’s ok if you don’t know all the answers right now. We are here to help you through this process, and to give you the information you need to make meaningful decisions.

Other Considerations To Make When Planning Your Funeral Arrangements

Preplanning isn’t just about the funeral itself. You can also make sure that important paperwork is done in advance, too, and provide the information needed for paperwork that can only be completed when the time comes. The following information ensures that everything is taken care of:

  • Your social security number
  • Your veteran’s discharge papers (DD Form 214), if applicable
  • Insurance information, if using to pay for funeral services
  • Your father’s name and mother’s maiden name
  • Your highest level of education, social organization affiliations, and anything else you’d like included in your obituary

We Are Here To Help You

We know that preplanning can be difficult. We are here to help the Abingdon, Virginia community through this process, and answer any questions you might have. To speak to one of our funeral directors, please call us at (276) 623-2700.


Forest Hills Memory Gardens | (276) 623-2717
19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA

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