Pre-Planning Checklist

Mississippi funeral planning checklist

Clients who pre-plan memorial services know that there is a long list of things to consider when it comes to funeral planning. However, making important decisions ahead of time can ease the burden for loved ones at a later date, and knowing what to do and when to do it is the key to funeral planning. Mississippi residents have a long history of turning to the helpful staff at Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Homes for guidance during this often overwhelming and stressful process.

First Steps

Getting started on funeral planning can be difficult, and though this initial series of steps may take time, it will help you lay the foundations for the rest of your plans.

- Make a contact list. The first thing you need to do is prepare a list of everyone that  should be contacted in case of a medical emergency or death.

- Begin writing the obituary. To ensure that the obituary will contain all of the information that you consider most important, jot down the things you would like to have included.

- Decide where memorial information should appear. Your obituary and memorial information can be placed in print newspapers or on online newspaper sites, as well as on obituary websites.

Choose the Service

Once you have completed these first steps, it is time to choose the type of service you prefer. Select the service that aligns best with your wishes and your family’s needs. There are a number of factors that should be considered at this time, including the following:

- Cemetery lot location

- Casket or cremation urn type

- Vault or sectional crypt

- Type of service: religious, military, non-denominational, or fraternal

- Service details: Pallbearers, speakers, music, and flowers

- Scripture or other readings

- Charities, churches, or organizations that will benefit from memorial donations in your name.

Delegate the Responsibilities 

Another important step in pre-need funeral planning is to ensure that you know who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. Arrange your instructions and important financial details in advance, and be sure to include information about when and how each step should be carried out.

- Give a copy of your Will to your Executor. Though you should also keep a copy in a safety deposit box, providing a copy to your Executor eliminates the risk that your Will may sit in a safety deposit box until the beginning of the estate settlement process, which occurs long after the funeral.

- Provide contact information. Make sure your Executor, attorney, next of kin, and other representatives possess a list of all of your important documents and contact information. Anything related to your insurance policies, retirement plans, investments, bank accounts, safe-deposit boxes, properties, preferred law firms, and preferred accountant firms should be included. Remind representatives to contact the Social Security Administration and the Veteran’s Administration, if applicable.

- Designate a power of attorney. In case of your illness or death, it is important to ensure that all of your important information can be accessed by the proper representatives. Make sure that a durable power of attorney for health care and a living will are in place so that your wishes are carried out if you are unable to do so.

- Optionally, pay for services. You may wish to pay for a number of services in advance, including cemetery and memorialization services or arrangements for the clergy, florist, and transportation.

At Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Homes, we know the process may seem overwhelming, and we invite you to contact us for assistance with funeral planning. Mississippi residents living throughout the Gulf Coast, including Biloxi, Gulfport, Ocean Springs, and Vancleave, can benefit from our expertise and guidance on this subject, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, without obligation.