What Your Family Needs to Know When You Die (Part 2)

In the hours following your death, your family will be called upon to make several important decisions.  While no one likes to contemplate their own demise, family members will be grateful for any and all help you can give them in this emotionally trying time.  One of the greatest gifts that you can bequeath to your family is making your wishes known before the need arises.

  • What funeral home should be called to come and get your body?

In the minutes after your death, your family may be asked to schedule the immediate pick up of your body by mortuary.  If your death was sudden and unexpected, an autopsy may be required to determine the cause of death.  A post-mortem exam will delay the decision; but, eventually, the family will have to provide a response to this question.

While most funeral homes are honest and reputable, stories about unscrupulous establishments and their staff members preying on the bereaved family abound.  Establishing a working relationship with a trusted mortuary during your lifetime will spare your family this emotionally trying experience.

  • Do you want to be cremated or buried?

Every individual has his or her own personal beliefs on this subject.  If you have a preference, let your family know.  Tell someone … leave written instructions.  You can engage in what is known as pre-need planning and make these arrangements now; while you are healthy and have the ability to think in a clear, rational, and unemotional way.

  • Do you want a funeral/memorial service to be held?

A very close friend recently lost his father.  He told me that the greatest thing that his father had done for his mother was meeting with the local funeral director several years ago and plan everything that he wanted done.  When the man died, the family contacted the funeral home and the director simply pulled out the file and said, “here is what he wanted …” The instructions indicated –

  • The type of service that was to be conducted;
  • Who was to officiate;
  • What type of music was to be played; and, he specified hymns that had special meaning to both him and his family;
  • Who he wanted to present the eulogy;
  • Where his ashes were to be buried.

In fact, not only had all of the arrangements been made, the expenses had been pre-paid.  Clearly, the loss of a husband and father is devastating for any family.  However, this man relieved his family of an enormous burden and, as he had so many times before and in so many ways, demonstrated his love and concern for their well-being.


  1. Cam R. says:

    This was precisely the answers I’d been searching for. Amazing blog. Incredibly inspirational! Your posts are so helpful and detailed. Thanks a lot 🙂

  2. H.H.D. says:

    Thanks for that awesome posting. Useful, and it saved MUCH time! 🙂

  3. Name Withheld at Reader's Request says:

    I have learn a few things here. Certainly worth bookmarking and revisiting.

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