Funeral Planning

One of the first items of business in funeral planning is to determine what to do with the body of your loved one. This first decision will govern many of your other decisions to come. The basic choices are burial, cremation, and donation. Let’s take a look at each one a little closer as it relates to funeral planning:


The majority of people are still being buried after death. Some religious are against cremation therefore, burial is the most viable option. If you choose this option, you will then need to make further selections of a casket, burial plot, and a marker. This is the most expensive of the three because there is the cost of the plot, there is more labor involved in opening and closing of a gravesite, the burial container is more substantial than that of cremation.

You will need to purchase a plot at a cemetery. This type of purchase is similar to a real estate transaction. What you are buying is not a plot of land but rather a plot of land owned by someone else where you can bury the body. The prices vary depending on location of the plot, size, and the more attractive the plot, the higher the cost. If the body is buried in a military cemetery, there is no cost to veterans. You will also need to purchase a marker for the gravesite plot which vary in prices depending on intricacies of the stone.


With cremation, the body is subject to an intense heat of approximately 2300 degrees for several hours thereby reducing the body to a course powder or commonly referred to as ashes. These ashes are noncombustible bone fragments. The ashes are then returned to the family within a cardboard container for you to scatter, keep at home, bury, or place within a special container. Usually if they are kept or buried, a more substantial container is purchased.

By scattering the ashes or keeping the ashes, it cost little to nothing. Containers are available from funeral homes or where you can purchase a supply of grave items. Some people seal the ashes and keep them in a beautiful vase at home. Scattering can be done at just about any location at anytime.


There are some people who wish to donate their body to science for medical research. Arrangements for this type of selection must be made in advance with a medical school or research facility. Not all bodies however are accepted. Most schools reject bodies that have been seriously injured in a car accident or those that have had a serious disease. If the body is accepted, the school uses a special perseveration embalming method that does not require refrigeration. Medical or dental students use the body for education and study. After about a year, the medical school will have the body cremated with its ashes returned to the family.

Once the initial decision is made on what to do with the body, the rest of the funeral planning begins to unfold. Funeral planning is not an easy task, there are many decisions and details to tend to. It’s wise to enlist the help of a close friend or family member and distribute the tasks involved.