Planning for Death


People often have questions about planning a memorial or funeral service but there are many more decisions to be made following a death. These are some Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I have a will but I’m sure there are other plans I need to make before my death. Do you have something I could use? I don’t know how to get started.

A: Yes. It is wise to get your wishes in writing. There are many decisions to be made upon a death and it is a very stressful time for your loved ones. We have a very comprehensive document below that will be a helpful guide.

Q: We are a young couple. Why would we need to think about planning for a death? Isn’t that for older people? Or families with children?

A: No, pre-planning a death is prudent for anyone.   Young people can be involved in accidents, trauma or unforeseen health problems. A death of any kind is stressful but an unexpected death is even more so. Pre-planning is really a “gift” for your loved ones.

Q: I don’t really want to think about my mortality. Isn’t the funeral for the ones left behind anyway? Why can’t they just plan something comforting for them when the time comes?

A: Although it is difficult to think about your own death, there are decisions to be made other than planning a funeral. Things you know, that others may not know - such as where are the important papers, is there a life insurance policy, do you prefer a burial or cremation, do you have a will, who knows the password(s) to your computer?

Planning for our own death is not an easy subject for us to think about. However, making plans in advance and getting information in writing is a gift for our loved ones – especially at a very stressful time. Rev. J. Wayne Clark, UMC Chaplain at Hendrix College, has prepared a thorough document and agreed to share with others in the AR Conference. See the document below for details.


Click here for the Funeral Memorial Preparation Handbook.