A funeral arrangement conference is the first step in planning a funeral service. It is a meeting in which you can discuss about the funeral plans for your loved one with a funeral counselor.
Thus, this conference helps you seek guidance on the various details about the funeral process. It usually lasts for a couple of hours.
The counselor can assist you in creating a thoughtful and meaningful funeral service to honor the life of the deceased. Moreover, it works as a way to let the family and friends face the reality of death and recover from the grief of losing a loved one.
Though different funeral homes have different requirements, depending on their way of working, given below is a general list of items that you would need in a funeral arrangement conference.
- General informationabout the deceased such as his or her date of birth, city and state of birth, home address, father’s name, mother’s maiden name, details pertaining to job and education, marital status, etc.With proper information in hand, the funeral home can help you obtain several certified copies of death certificate (photocopies may not be accepted at various places as they are not regarded as legal documents) that you would require for notifying bank, credit card providers, health and life insurance companies, utility companies, government agencies, and so on.
- Social security number: The funeral home needs it in order to notify the Social Security Administration about the death on your behalf.
- Copies of insurance policies to help you review and understand the status of these policies.
- Some people have certain prearrangements for the funeral or burial. Thus, it is suggested to bring the end-of-life plan and other similar paperwork.
- Military discharge papers (form DD 214), if you want to apply for military burial benefits.
- Contact information of the physician or coroner.
- Name and contact details of the clergy
- Appropriate clothing, including undergarments, shoes, glasses, dentures, etc. for the body. Preferably, opt for long sleeved outfits with closed necklines when holding a funeral for a woman. You can bring jewelry, cosmetics, and other personal items on the day of visitation as well.
- In case you are not the legal next of kin, you should carry a health care directive with you.
- A recent photograph of the loved one for the obituary. In fact, it is better to bring a few photos for options so that a suitable one can be selected for this purpose.
So, a funeral arrangement conference is meant for tasks like confirming details about the obituary notice, deciding upon the type of funeral service to arrange for, scheduling the date, time, and location of the funeral ceremonies, selecting a casket, urn, and so on.
When looking for the relevant merchandize, make sure you ask for all the charges in advance and do not forget to get the receipts of the items you buy from the funeral home.
Plus, remember that it is not necessary to buy all the items from the same funeral home, you are free to purchase from any funeral home or cemetery.
Besides, it is suggested that you discuss about the funeral service, cremation/burial options with your family and then take a decision.
Though troublesome still, it is important to hold a funeral service as it helps the family walk through the grieving process and helps replace the sorrow with support and reassurance.
As Dr. Alan Wolfelt (renowned author, educator, and grief counselor in North America) puts it, “when words are inadequate, have ceremony.”