Funeral planning, in some ways, is also event planning. Planning for a funeral involves arranging different services, meeting unique family requests, and coordinating with third parties. Funeral directors are integral to this process.
Funeral directors provide unique insights, expertise, and appropriate resources to plan the funeral. At Gather, we aim to make this task easier. That’s why we created a comprehensive direct cremation funeral planning checklist. For more funeral planning checklists, take a look at our planning checklist for traditional burials.
We’ll be covering all the steps to planning a direct cremation service, here’s a quick overview:
Before any funeral planning takes place, you must first organize the arrangement conference. This simple step consists of scheduling a time for the conference and inviting anyone who should be present.
Direct cremations can be simpler to organize and coordinate than a traditional burial. However, collecting vital statistics is still an essential part of the funeral planning process. This information is essential for filling out the death certificate. It may also be referenced for writing the obituary.
Important vital statistics you will need to collect include:
Having your paperwork ready to be signed is crucial to maintaining a timely funeral planning process. There are several forms you may need, but a few we recommend are listed below. For more free funeral forms, we’ve put together a list of 12 planning forms we recommend.
Please note that there may be state-specific requirements. Be sure to evaluate every form you use to ensure these requirements are met.
There is no requirement to purchase an urn from a funeral home, but your customer may be interested in seeing what urn options you have available. With so many options, the process of presenting your goods and services can be overwhelming. You can simplify your offerings with an interactive digital showroom from Gather.
Next, you’ll need to arrange the time and date for the body drop-off. This may differ if your funeral home has an on-site crematory. Additionally, be sure to coordinate the pickup of the cremated remains after the cremation is complete.
Direct cremation services, sometimes called “simple cremation”, are exactly as they sound – simple. They’re a minimal service, which also makes them a cost-effective option for families. Memorial and celebration of life services aren’t included in direct cremation.
However, one of the greatest benefits of cremation is that memorial services don’t face the same time constraint as they would with a traditional burial. That’s why we recommend mentioning your other services, even if a customer isn’t considering holding the service immediately.
After the arrangement meeting, there is more information to be collected that can assist in preserving the memory of a loved one.
It can be difficult for families to write an obituary soon after the death of a loved one. Along with the hindrance of grief, families may be busy with funeral planning. That’s why the assistance of a funeral professional can be of great help. You’ll also want to obtain more information that can personalize the obituary.
Any help you can provide with writing an obituary for a family goes a long way, but this can be a daunting task even for funeral professionals. Gather aims to make this process easier for everyone with our A.I. Obituary Builder.
One of the last things to add to an obituary is a photo. Photos collected from a decedent’s loved ones can also be used in a Remember Page, a slideshow, and a photo book.
Once you’ve successfully completed the arrangement conference and collected more information, there are a few more steps required for direct cremation.
Veterans having cremation ceremonies receive the same honors and similar services to that of a traditional burial. If the decedent is a veteran, it’s important to apply for VA military funeral honors and benefits. Here are a few forms you may need to have completed depending on family requests:
Now you can place the cremated remains in their final receptacle. This may be in an urn if the family selected one, or even several temporary containers to be turned into jewelry.
Some families may opt for an urn burial. If this is the case, you will need to coordinate with the cemetery to make appropriate arrangements.
Aftercare is a critical, yet undervalued, aspect of funeral planning. If you want to positively impact a family as much as possible, guide them through aftercare.
After you’ve completed the direct cremation, there is still an opportunity to help families with aftercare tasks. There are many tasks that won’t be at the top of mind for families but are still important. This may include tasks such as freezing credit, closing online accounts, and contacting social security.
While families assist in planning for the funeral, they may be overwhelmed with options and concerns over picking what they believe their loved one would have wanted. When this is the case, it may be a good time to bring up pre-need funeral planning. If they are interested in taking a proactive approach to funeral planning, arrange a meeting to discuss their options.
Once the funeral service has ended, we suggest reaching out to the family and kindly requesting a review on places like your Google Business profile. This increases your funeral home’s visibility in the community.
In Gather, your staff is able to create a custom direct cremation funeral planning checklist as well as a checklist for each type of service so that every case is organized from start to finish.
Funeral homes that use Gather experience an average 50% decrease in administrative time spent per case, allowing funeral directors to get back to what matters most: helping families honor their loved ones in the best way possible.
With our collaborative case management platform, we’ve worked hard to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible for both funeral service professionals and families. If you’re a funeral home or crematory and you’re interested in seeing how Gather can help your team and families, book a free demo with us today.