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First Timer’s List to Funeral Planning


By Reid Trimble, Manager, Trimble Funeral Home & Crematory, Moline and Coal Valley

If you have accepted the responsibility of handling the affairs of a loved one upon their death, or if you have decided to pre-plan arrangements for yourself, key information will be needed by your funeral director and other trusted professionals to serve you and your family at your time of need. In this article, I have set out logical categories and provided a checklist to help you collect vital statistics, including personal preferences and remembrances. If you are assisting a family member, this discovery process can be quite rewarding as you recall fond memories together.

A life well-lived deserves an end-of-life celebration well planned and per their wishes. Any pre-planning done now to compile a file of accurate information will allow loved ones more time to focus on gathering family and friends at the time of death, confidently knowing they have done the “right thing.”

While this may be a first time experience for you, funeral directors, such as myself, have the education and experience to assist you every step of the way. With accurate information, we can guide families through end-of-life decision-making and take care of everything, including writing a detailed obituary, filing a certificate of death, and other necessary documents. For an individual entering a long-term care facility, pre-payment of funeral arrangements is advised while the person still has resources. A pre-paid funeral and celebration of life is an exempt asset.

While this list may appear daunting, it is organized by topics and your funeral director can help you obtain many of the listed items. You can start by establishing a file at your preferred funeral home and make changes as necessary. This is a dynamic record, not static, and should be kept on file. If you move to a different community, your records can be forwarded to a different funeral home. This information (especially a military DD214 record) should not be kept in a safety deposit box as the box may be sealed at time of death and not accessible when you need it most.

With the mobility of modern families, key information may not all be found in the same place. Allow this list to serve as your roadmap. See pre-planning check list below.

If you would like to meet in person with either Reid or Eric Trimble of Trimble Funeral Home & Crematory to discuss any items on this list, just call 309-764-1144 or stop by Trimble Pointe at 701 12TH Street, Moline, IL 61265. You can visit www.TrimbleFuneralHomes.com or call to request a funeral resource guide, which includes this list and other helpful information.

Photo credit: Susan Chiang/iStock