Writing Down Your Wishes
If you want any type of after-death service, you can help loved ones by writing down your preferences.

Consider the following details as you write out your plans:

  • the location of the gathering or service
  • who should be invited -- for example, should it be private (for invited family and friends) or public (open to anyone who wishes to attend)
  • who should facilitate any ceremonies
  • who should speak at the service or say the eulogy, if you want one
  • whether your body will be present in a casket and, if so, whether the casket should be open or closed
  • any specific clothing or jewellery in which you wish your body to be attired
  • who you would like to serve as pallbearers, if necessary
  • whether you would like a picture or other items displayed with (or instead of) your remains
  • special music, readings, food or drink, or other details
  • whether you want to direct survivors to send flowers or memorial donations

 This may also be a good time to make some obituary notes for your survivors.

Consider writing down:

  • your date and place of birthfamily information, including the names of your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings
  • details about your education, employment, or military servicememberships in organizations, and whether you want people to send flowers or make donations to a particular charity or organization in your name.
  • You may also want to select a photograph to include or describe the newspapers or magazines where you would like your obituary published.