The Second Step: Planning a Funeral

Unsure of where or how to start planning a funeral for your loved one? Want to plan your own funeral?


Once you’ve dealt with the initial first steps when someone dies, the time comes to plan their funeral. Here’s some help, support, and advice for every step of the way.

things to consider when planning a funeral in east sussex


How to Plan a Funeral?

Planning a funeral can be a daunting experience, at a time when you and your family are grieving and coming to terms with the death of a loved one. Having someone on hand to assist and advise on how to plan a funeral, is not only useful but can be of great comfort too.

You can of course arrange a funeral yourself or pay for a funeral director to arrange the funeral following your wishes and requests. As a family firm of funeral directors in East Sussex, we always recommend checking if the deceased had made arrangements for their funeral, as some people plan their own funeral, using prepaid funeral plans for example.

Choosing the type of funeral is the first step and this will usually depend on their faith, views and outlook on life. Some people prefer a simple more affordable funeral or an alternative funeral. Whatever the financial situation or choice, from a traditional funeral to a green funeral, we can work with you to create a ceremony that is right for your loved one.

Planning a Funeral Step by Step

Below are the steps to take for planning a funeral:

1. Check for funeral plans, life insurance or any instructions or wishes.
2. Choose a funeral director.
3. Discuss with the family; the budget, style of funeral wanted and how it will be paid for.
4. Decide the type of funeral – traditional, burial, cremation, alternative natural or green funeral.
5. Pick a date and a venue for the funeral, memorial, or wake.
6. Decide on the type of coffin.
7. Organise funeral transport.
8. Put together and co-ordinate an order of service.
9. Choose funeral music, readings, or other requests.
10. Make arrangements for catering at the wake if required.
11. Select whether to have flowers or donations from mourners.

How Long to Plan a Funeral After Death?

This will depend on several factors, but how long to plan a funeral is usually around one to two weeks after the death. This may be longer if there is an inquest into the death or shorter if your loved one has religious beliefs. The availability of the funeral director, funeral venue and if family have to travel from overseas, for example, will all impact the length of time after the death when a funeral can take place.

How Long Does a Funeral Take to Plan?

As you will see from the step-by-step funeral planning list above, there is a lot to consider when arranging a funeral. It can become overwhelming with emotions running high. A funeral director can assist and arrange many of the planning aspects. We also suggest talking to family and close friends who may want to help and be involved in planning or supporting you when organising a funeral.

funeral directors assist in many aspects of funeral planning in east sussex

How to Trace a Funeral Plan

Today, many people plan their own funeral. For some, they feel it helps to remove the financial burden from family and a funeral plan ensures they have the funeral and burial of their choice.

If you don’t know whether your loved one had a funeral life insurance policy or plan, you can trace a funeral plan by checking through their paperwork or looking at bank statements for payments to an insurance company or funeral plan provider.

You can also trace a funeral plan by asking local funeral directors if they have a record of a funeral plan or indeed talking to other family members or close friends who may be aware of funeral arrangements.

Planning a Funeral for a Loved One

As funeral directors, we are often asked what makes a good funeral? Planning a funeral for a member of your family, a dear friend or loved one is an honour. While it may be a stressful and emotional time, giving the best send off and a final farewell can help with the grieving process.

How to Plan an Eco Funeral

Towners are founding members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors and we welcome the opportunity to assist in planning an eco funeral. This can include or incorporate environmentally friendly aspects such as natural burial, eco friendly coffins and sustainable flower choices. You can find out more about planning an eco-funeral here.

If you have any questions about how to plan a funeral, Towners are available to discuss the steps and any queries you may have. Please feel very welcome to contact us by telephone one 01424 436 386 or via email at

Back to blog