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Where to start

It can be hard to know where to start when planning ahead. To help, we have compiled some information for you to consider. Please call or email us if you have questions.

When planning ahead, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Choosing a cemetery for a memorial
  • Planning the funeral
  • Understanding your rights under Minnesota law
  • Creating a will, trust and/or health care directive
  • Keeping your personal financial records in a safe place

Choosing cemetery property
To help you prepare for a conversation about your options, think about the following questions:

  • Do you want traditional in-ground burial, above-ground entombment or cremation?
  • If choosing cremation, do you want a place to be remembered where family can visit?
  • Do you prefer for loved ones to visit a space that is indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you want to be near other family members?
  • Are you interested in an upright monument or sculpture?
  • If choosing cremation, where will the body be cremated? (You have options.)
  • What is your budget?
  • How will you pay? Would you like to pay in installments?
  • Who should contact the cemetery at the time of death?

Planning a funeral
You may want to consider choosing a funeral director to help you with funeral planning. Funeral directors have experience in all areas of funeral planning, including arranging ceremonies, providing caskets, placing obituaries and so forth. Visit the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association website to find a funeral director.

If you would like to do some of your own research, there are many funeral planning articles and guides from different sources online. Try Funeral Planning 101.

Understanding your legal rights
Learn your rights under Minnesota law with the Consumer Guide: Funeral Goods and Services, offered by the Minnesota State Auditor’s office.

Creating a will, trust and/or health care directive
Consult with your lawyer or estate planner to develop these official documents.

Keeping personal records
It's a good idea to gather and keep important information about your finances in a safe place for your family. You'll want to consider the following: creating a will, knowing which documents to store, writing down a personal history about you and your spouse, veterans' benefits, Social Security benefits, financial/insurance information, and contact information for children and professional advisors.

To help gather this information, please call us at (612) 822-2171 or send an email and we’ll mail you a free guide for organizing your personal records. (We're sorry, there's not currently an electronic version available to download.)

More information
The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) has pre-planning guides and resources for consumers. Visit their site to read more about planning ahead.

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