For those that have come to terms with the inevitability of death, being prepared and planning one’s own funeral comes with advantages. Most funerals worldwide are arranged by seasoned funeral directors but you may find yourself saving more than half of the normal rate by doing it on your own!

Of course, the total cost of your funeral will depend on the nitty-gritty of how you want to welcome afterlife, but being able to plan will help you manage expectations. One of the biggest worries of adults is leaving loved ones behind with a huge funeral bill, which is why you can free yourself from this guilt by knowing what to expect.

The great thing about funeral homes and cremation services is that most of them allow you to pay for it in advance. So if you’ve set your heart on a burial or a cremation, you can save up in increments for it. But why is cremation the preferred method of many?

The more environmentally friendly and money-saving option of cremation is best, as it is even projected that by 2030, around 71% of individuals will opt for cremation. The popularity of this way of passing is further supported by its countless benefits.

If you’re arranging your own cremation or assisting a loved one in planning theirs, there are a lot of factors to consider. Don’t worry, because we created the complete checklist to make sure that you’ve got all your bases covered!

Read on and tick off every item on this comprehensive cremation checklist:

Decide if you want a pre-cremation wake
Although most people who opt for a cremation service opt to not have a pre-cremation viewing, it may be something that you’ll want.

One thing that you have to keep in mind is the additional costs of pre-cremation viewing, as this step requires for the body to be embalmed. On top of preserving the body, you’ll need to factor in the funeral home’s cost, along with other nitty-gritty hidden costs.

If money is not the issue, then a pre-cremation viewing may be something that can help your loved ones better cope with the loss.

2. Research and compare cremation services

The first thing you should check is the credibility of the cremation facility you’ve chosen. As there are tons of laws and guidelines that surround the whole process, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not violating any laws for the sake of saving money.

It is also best to choose a cremation facility that has on-site services. Opting for one that is technically a one-stop-shop for everything you will need will save you a headache or two throughout the whole planning process.

The biggest advantage of this is that the body will not need to be moved around. Third-party services will leave room for mistakes as it won’t be under your watch or under the cremation facility’s care.

One other perk to arranging your own cremation is that you have the luxury of time. This means that you don’t need to panic and choose the first facility you find! You’ll be able to compare and contrast, and you can choose one that fits your budget and needs.

3. Know all that you can about the process of cremation

You may probably already have a grasp on how cremation goes, but it’s still recommended that you know the ins and outs of the details. Even if this method is becoming more widely accepted, there are still some traditional family members who may not understand.

By thoroughly coming to terms with your choice, you will be able to explain the benefits and the reason why to your family members. It may take them a while to accept your choice, but you’ll eventually get them to come to terms with it.

If you’re not squeamish, you may even choose to watch online videos that walk you through each step. This helps you get a better understanding of what your loved ones can expect, and how they can prepare for it emotionally.

4. Plan your wake or memorial

A memorial is an important step, as this will not just celebrate your memory but also help those you’ve left behind grieve and cope with the loss.

Holding a service will help with the healing process of those lives that you’ve touched. By planning ahead, you can even modify it to best fit your memory!

There are various kinds of memorials around, from traditional ones to more creative ones. It’s completely up to you to decide how you want your last memories to be celebrated. However, it’s good to note that the most popular options for a gathering is the display of remains through urns or viewings with the embalmed remains.

For more creative options, some popular ones are the scattering of ashes in an area that’s dear to you! Don’t be afraid to search around and find out what resonates with your personality.

5. Choose your urn
Finding the perfect urn will serve as a lasting memorial for your loved ones. After the crematorium, your remains will be in an urn that will be used for viewing or for your wake. By arranging your own funeral, you’ll get the perk of choosing the right one for you!

The first step is deciding on the size of urn you will need. Ideally, you should opt for one that can accommodate all your remains for the viewing. There are various types of materials, from ceramic to metal to wood. It all depends on what kind of purpose they’ll be serving.

Ceramic, metal, and other sturdier versions are best for those who will be in display. If you’re planning to have your ashes scattered, wooden urns may be best as they can be creative, yet they won’t be as bulky or heavy.

Aside from the main urn, something you should also consider is a keepsake urn. You can ask your loved ones if anyone would like to take some home for themselves. This is particularly nice if you have loved ones living in different parts of the world, as they’ll always have something to remember you by.

Keepsake urns also come in a variety of designs. There are some that can encase ashes in a necklace, or a heart shaped urn. The interesting thing about keepsake urns is that they can perfectly encapsulate your personality, or a person’s favourite memory with you so that they’ll always have something to reminisce on.

6. Decide on your final resting place

Being cremated means that you are doing away with traditional burials. These will save you and your loved ones from hefty rental or lot fees! Ashes can be stored typically in a crematorium which takes up less space, and is easily accessible to many.

Another option is if your family members would like to create space for you in their home. Some family members choose to display an urn in their home, to help with their healing and to preserve the deceased’s memory. Be sure to consult with your family members if this is something they’d be open to doing.

Otherwise, you can go for non-traditional methods such as the scattering of ashes. Pick out a space where your ashes can be blown by the wind as your loved ones say their final farewells.

If you’re looking for more creative ways, a quick Google search will pull up innovations such as turning the ashes into a tree through a biodegradable urn! It all depends on what will work for you, and what can help your family move forward after your passing.

Arranging your own cremation and funeral avoids decisions made under stress and pressure. You can design and specify the service you want, and how you want to leave this world. By letting your loved ones know your final wishes, you’ll also be lifting some burden off their shoulders, and helping them celebrate your memory the way you want to!

If you’re planning on arranging your own service, be sure to take our notes above into consideration.