End of Life Issues
Planning a Funeral Service
Funerals are unique, and service options may be influenced by religious and cultural traditions,
costs, and/or personal preferences.
• May be a brief, simple service at the funeral home, a place of worship, or graveside.
• May be a full-service funeral including viewing and/or visitation, service at the funeral home
or a place of worship (which may include readings, music, a sermon, and, at times, a eulogy),
a procession to the cemetery, and a graveside service.
• Like a funeral service, a memorial service commemorates the life of the deceased, with
the exception that the body is not present due to cremation, out-of-town burial, or other
• In lieu of the body, a collection of photographs amid flower arrangements is commonly
displayed at the service.
Burial or Cremation?
The decision to have a burial versus cremation
is a personal choice. Some people have definite
opinions regarding their final wishes, while others
may follow religious or cultural beliefs and traditions.
Regardless of your choice, be sure to research your
options before making your final decision.
• A family may choose to have a simple or fullservice
funeral or memorial service, or a direct
burial or direct cremation.
• When burial is the choice, consider contacting
local cemeteries for itemized costs for burial plots and opening/closing fees. Vaults are not
required by law, yet many cemeteries require a vault for burial. Please note that cemetery
and vault costs are separate expenses from funeral home costs.
• When cremation is the choice, be sure to gather detailed information. Consider whether
the crematory is onsite or offsite and whether the funeral home owns and maintains their
More on Funeral Planning:
• Funeral Preplanning Bill of Rights
• When a death occurs - A survivors checklist
• Support Groups