How Long Does it Take to Plan a Funeral?

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Planning a funeral for a loved one can be physically and emotionally draining. It would be an excellent idea knowing the time it takes to plan a funeral. I did some research on what dictates the time, and this is what I found.

How long does it take to plan a funeral? Some families have a funeral in 24 hours after one’s passing, while others may choose to wait for three days. The time it takes will depend on the costs involved and the beliefs the family has in regards to funerals. 

It’s essential to understand that there are no formal rules on how long you need to wait before having a funeral. Specific factors may affect your decision. 

Why Should You Rush to Bury or Cremate?

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When someone dies, the body begins to decompose. It’s essential to handle the remains promptly to avoid this from happening. 

Nonetheless, you should note that planning for a funeral takes time. For example, after one dies, you may need to notify the loved ones and read the person’s final wishes before arranging for a funeral. 

Fortunately, families can take extra time when planning a funeral thanks to modern preservation and embalming methods. Embalming methods preserve the body for a week. The process slows the decomposition but doesn’t stop it. 

Factors That May Determine How Long it takes to Plan a Funeral

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A few factors that may dictate the time it takes to plan a funeral include:

Personal Considerations

Some families do not see the need to wait for long before having a funeral. For example, if the deceased had indicated cremation as their preferred method of being laid to rest, this can be arranged in a day. The family would then host a memorial after the cremation,

Religious Reasons

The Muslim requires that the body be buried within a day. That means if the deceased had such beliefs, their remains should be handled in a way that his wishes are respected. 

When Can You Postpone the Funeral?

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Families may want to postpone the funeral for reasons like:

When a Valuable family member can’t attend the service

If the deceased loved one, say the wife and children live overseas and may not be available to travel immediately, this may push the time it takes to plan a funeral. In some cases, the funeral may be held off for longer. With this in mind, the family can opt to have a burial ceremony after the death, and memorial service after the funeral. That allows everyone to be present to share in the memories. Also, this allows the deceased to be laid to rest in a time that is convenient for everyone. 

Death Was a Part of Criminal Investigation

For example, if your loved one was shot in a crime-related incidence, this may cause a delay in the funeral arrangements. The police may need time to conduct an investigation, and maybe get post mortem results. Certain cases take long, and this may mean waiting for up to a week to bury the deceased. 

Unavailable Remains

Incidences of remains yet to be found are frequent. Sometimes you may have to deal with a case of a missing person. Such circumstances can necessitate a delay. However, you can opt to have a memorial service to remember your loved one, and go through the grieving process if the death is confirmed. 

Upcoming Event

Sometimes you may wish to avoid setting the funeral date the same day you’re marking an anniversary or a birthday of a family member. That’s the reason why you may opt to delay the funeral arrangement until a later date.

What You Should Remember When Planning a Funeral

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Planning a funeral may sometimes be complicated, given the emotions and all the details that go into the whole process. Nonetheless, with some few planning tips, you can make things easier and be able to honor your loved one in a timely way.

Below are some essential tips to help you with the planning.

Do Not Panic About Funeral Timing

When you receive the news of the death of a loved one, it’s normal to feel anxious and panicky. You may want to rush things if you need to rest your loved one on time. Sometimes the funeral director may rush you to make the decision, or you may not be sure on the best time to accommodate any family member who may not be around. 

However, you need to understand that planning a funeral needs careful consideration and time. Get some consensus if you’re in charge of the process before making any rushed decision. Ensure that you take time to consider your loved ones’ wishes. 


It’s vital to consider each family member’s wishes when planning a funeral. For example, if the deceased left a document detailing their funeral wishes, you have something to work with when planning the funeral.

However, if the deceased hadn’t expressed any wishes, you need to sit as a family and decide what works for you. Make sure to consider everyone’s opinions as a funeral is a significant aspect of the grieving process. Be objective and rational when making decisions.

Some funeral homes enable you to create a unique funeral that reflects your loved one’s wishes, and those of the family. 

Explore All the Options Around

It’s easy to assume that all funeral homes or services are similar. That assumption is the reason why most people fail to explore all the options available. You may end up settling for something that doesn’t meet your expectations or one that you’ll have to compromise on specific things. 

You need to take time to assess all the options available. Although checking alternative options may seem impractical and be exhausting, it may save you money and time in the process.

The best part is that you don’t have to visit the funeral homes physically, but you can compare the options online to see which one best fits the experience you’d want. 

Have a Budget in Mind

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Another reason why planning a funeral may take more time than expected are the costs involved. A burial can be expensive depending on the funeral home you choose, and if you need some form of preservation. 

Before rushing to plan a funeral, you need to decide how much you need to spend based on the experience you want to create for your loved one. Different providers offer services with different price points. 

You also need to understand that funerals are not only for the deceased but also for the living. The family and friends of the dead need to remember, pay their respects, find closure, and move on with their lives. It will take time and effort to plan the funeral, not to forget an extra cost. 

Working with a budget will help you determine which service provider to work with in terms of a funeral home, the memorial service, and any extras like viewing hour or a transportation car.

Avoid paying for any service in advance. Some homes promise better rates if you choose a package immediately. You may end up losing money in cancellation fee if you decide to change your funeral plans as a family. 

Don’t Skip the Details

Take time to think about what you need to include to make the ceremony personal and memorable. For example, if your loved one was a racing enthusiast, you can consider burying them with something related to racing. Also, if the deceased had a favorite suit or dress, you could have them wear that outfit for the service. These details will go into making the whole memorial service memorable. 

Most people think or pre-and post-service events after sitting down to plan a funeral. If your family wants a wake, viewing, or gatherings after the funeral, you’ll need to decide where and when this will take place. 

You can easily forget these details when you’re under emotional stress. During the planning, your attention is pulled in different directions. Fortunately, you can have all the details written down on a document, and tick off things already done. Share the details with the funeral home and with other family members who’ll be involved in the planning process. You can have everyone on the same page with this organization. 

Sometimes you may wish to avoid setting the funeral date the same day you’re marking an anniversary or a birthday of a family member. That’s the reason why you may opt to delay the funeral arrangement until a later date.

Final Thoughts

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How long does it take to plan a funeral? Typically, it’s best to bury or cremate the body as soon as you can after death. However, some factors may interfere with this timing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t postpone burying your loved one. 

You may not have accepted the fact that your loved one left. However, you need to understand that a funeral is part of the grieving journey. A necessary but difficult step will provide healing. 


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