Someone I Love Has Died. What’s Next?


We know how difficult losing a family member or friend is and how overwhelmed you can feel. The responsibility of funeral planning can be challenging, but Dignity Memorial® professionals have extensive experience working with people in the midst of grief.

When someone dies, there are many decisions to make for a memorial service or burial, and we can guide you every step of the way. Let’s start with the following checklists.

Before your funeral planning meeting

In a funeral planning meeting, or funeral arrangement conference, we’ll work together to plan a fitting tribute. We’ll talk about your family’s traditions, your loved one’s wishes and any religious requirements you might have. We’ll discuss what should be included in an obituary, what elements would mean the most in a funeral or memorial service and more.

Before we meet, think about the following:

1. Decide if you or someone else will be in charge of communicating with the funeral home and funeral director.
2. Ask a close friend or family member to support you at the arrangement conference for emotional support and to take notes for you.
3. Check to see if your loved one prepaid for funeral arrangements, purchased cemetery property, or even wrote down preferences and wishes, bringing applicable documents to the meeting.
4. Consider your family traditions or preferred religious rites. What type of funeral, burial or permanent memorial will best honour your loved one’s personality and life views? From a faith-based funeral to a no-holds-barred celebration of, we specialize in creating personalized services.

Funeral arrangement conference checklist

At the funeral arrangement conference, we’ll ask questions about your loved one to begin the planning process and review burial options. Use the checklist below to bring the following necessary items to the meeting:

1. Clothing, including undergarments (these items will be used to dress your loved one if you are planning a viewing or prefer special clothing for a cremation or casket burial)
2. Eyeglasses and jewellery (these items may remain with your loved one or be removed and returned after the service)
3. A recent photograph (for cosmetic purposes, if a viewing is planned)
4. Social Insurance
5. Life insurance policies
6. Names and contact information for 6 to 8 pallbearers, if applicable
7. A collection of approximately 30 photos we can use to create an Everlasting Memorial™ and a multimedia scrapbook

Death certificate information

We’ll initiate the original death certificate, to be signed by a physician, who will also indicate the cause of death. This certificate is registered and recorded by the health department, where the original is retained and certified copies issued. The following checklist details what we need:

1. Your loved one’s full name
2. Social Insurance
3. Date and place of birth
4. Address at the time of death
5. Marital status and surviving spouse’s name, if applicable
6. Father’s name
7. Mother’s full name, including maiden name
8. Place of death
9. Highest level of education and occupation

In-person or remote planning

Coping with the death of a family member or friend isn’t easy, but when you choose a Dignity Memorial provider, we pledge to help you plan a fitting tribute, handling all of the details so that you can be with friends and family when you need it most, whether we plan in-person or remotely. Contact us today to find out more about the special savings and benefits available to CARP members and their families. Visit to download your free copy of The Insider’s Guide to Funeral & Cremation Planning, or call 866-668-1841 to get started.