4 Steps To Successfully Planning A Long-Distance Funeral

Planning a funeral for a loved one is always a challenge, but it's doubly so when that person lived far away from you. What can make long-distance funeral planning easier and more successful? Here are a few key steps to take.

1. Check for Instructions

The first thing anyone planning a funeral should do is look for instructions from the deceased. Their wishes may be stated in the will or other estate planning documents. You may also want to consult with their local religious organization if they were affiliated. 

The ideal situation would be that they have pre-planned some or all of their own arrangements, but many people do not take this step. 

2. Find a Good Funeral Home

The funeral home you choose will be your most important resource for long-distance planning. You will rely on them for everything from handling the remains to guiding you on decisions you can't make in person. 

You may not be able to meet with the funeral home directly, so look for recommendations from anyone locally and research funeral home reviews. Meet virtually with candidates so you find one with whom you feel comfortable working closely. 

3. Reach Out to Locals

Can you reach out to anyone in your loved one's local area? They can help serve as your eyes and ears on the ground, so to speak. If you know their friends or relatives in the area, talk with them about what they might be willing or able to do to help plan. This may or may not involve any financial obligation. 

Another local source of help would be organizations, hobby groups, or religious affiliations. A local pastor or congregation, their model train club, or the knitting group they frequented may be willing to help you out physically or with guidance about the person's wishes. 

4. Keep It Simple

Another key to remote funeral planning is to simplify the arrangements as much as is feasible and appropriate. 

Instead of a viewing, funeral, and graveside service, you might combine these into one or two events. Keep the decor respectful but try not to stray into many extra elements. And consider the ways that cremation may make things simpler to arrange than a full burial would. 

Where to Start

The best place to begin is to find and meet with a qualified funeral home in the deceased person's local area. Call or visit with them virtually today to get started on the right funeral plans for your friend or relative. 

Contact a funeral home near you to learn more.