Arrangements Checklist

Someone you love has died. You and your family are now at the point where you must make decisions and carry out the tasks involved with planning for the funeral. Bearing the responsibility may feel overwhelming. Remember that you are not alone. W.L. Case & Company Funeral Directors are always ready to assist you with the details and offer our guidance. We have compiled the following list to help guide you through the steps you will need to take when a death has occurred. Your funeral director will help coordinate all of the details when you meet for an arrangement conference.

It is important to remember whether you meet with your clergy or funeral director first, that any plans regarding a specific day or time of service should be confirmed with both the clergy and the funeral home before proceeding with any other plans. The funeral director will not be able to publish any times until we have confirmed them with the clergy.

Confer with Clergy

__ Discuss funeral day, place and time (Please confirm with Case’s schedule before making further plans)

__ Discuss readings and music

__ Family participation

__ Luncheon at church?

Arrangements Conference with Funeral Director/Arranger

__ Go over death certificate and obituary information (see obituary below), discuss price information, select casket, vault, memorial folders or prayer cards. Discuss and decide on funeral arrangements: day, time and place of service (To be confirmed with clergy before any arrangements are complete), days of visitation prior to service, which chapel location to be used. Discuss cemetery services. If the deceased is a veteran, discuss military honors at the committal service and use of flag for casket. Discuss other services such as vigil services or Masonic or other fraternal services. Discuss use of picture board during visitation, organist for service (if at funeral home), special music during service, CD player and Cassette player available for family’s own music. Discuss use of large screen television and DVD player if family is making or bringing a memorial DVD. The funeral director/arranger can assist with information about local retailers who produce memorial DVDs.

Death Certificate:

__ Information required in Michigan includes: name, age, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, job title or description, type of business or industry, number years school completed, US Armed Forces veteran?, marital status, name (and maiden name) of surviving spouse, father’s name, mother’s name and maiden name, ancestry,  place of burial or entombment, or cremation

Obituary/Death Notifications

__ Information typically included in an obituary:

Name, age, date and place of birth, military service, work history, church, clubs and affiliations, marriage (to whom, and date), survivors, family who have predeceased, memorial selection (in lieu of flowers?). Do you want a photograph in the obituary?

__ Check with funeral director/arranger regarding deadlines and charges for death notifications and/or obituaries in the various media, i.e. websites, social media, television, newspapers.

Personal Items for Funeral or Memorial Service:

__ Photograph for website

__ Photographs for Picture Board or DVD

__ Personal Items for Display:

  • Angels, Craft Items, Sports Equipment, Beanie Babies, etc.

__ Glasses, Watch

__ Wedding Band or Wedding Set

__ Lapel Pins, Tie bar or tac

__ Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets

Gather clothing:

__ Underclothing, Stockings

__ Outer clothing (can be formal or casual)

Long sleeves and appropriate neckline are preferred. Please check with your funeral director if you have special requests

__ Photograph for hair

__ Does anything need to be cleaned or picked up at dry cleaners?

Luncheon at Location Other than Church

__ Church, Hall or Home

__ Church, Caterer or Family and Friends to provide food


__ Typically need 6

__ Do not need to drive together in one car (family option)

__ Do not need to rent a limousine for pallbearers unless desired

__ Do need to be physically capable of some lifting  


__ Typical arrangements that many  families select:

  • Casket Spray (often from spouse or nearest survivor) (an American flag may be draped over the casket for veterans, in lieu of a casket spray)

  • Table arrangement (if memorial service)

  • Matching arrangement from children

  • Grandchildren or great-grandchildren pillow or other arrangement

Additional Tasks

Your friends will be happy to help you with any of the tasks outlined here. Asking for their assistance allows them to be helpful and frees you to spend more time with family.

__ Notify other family members, close friends, employer and/or business colleagues  

__ Schedule or re-schedule family appointments

__ Get family members’ clothing ready

__ Make arrangements to pick up people at airport (check about bereavement rates and requirements

__ Make room reservations (check about bereavement rates)

__ Coordinate supplying of food and other necessary household supplies  at home over the first several days

__ Childcare

Copyright 2013