How to Avoid the Biggest Funeral Planning Mistakes

woman reading EWSFS planning guide

For most people, funeral planning is an unfamiliar process. It can also be complex and confusing, so it’s important to choose a trusted funeral provider that offers the services and pricing that are appropriate for your family’s needs.

To assist in this process, we’ve prepared the following list of common funeral planning mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not asking questions.

The grief that comes with a loss can feel overwhelming. Understandably, it can cloud awareness and judgment, and it may prevent the bereaved from fully exploring their options. Whether you're planning a funeral in advance or after a death has occurred, it’s important to ask questions about the service and disposition prior to signing any documents. This is where an experienced funeral director and a reputable funeral home can be invaluable. Quality funeral providers will be happy to answer all of your questions and will never make you feel rushed as you make your arrangements. They should take the time to understand the type of service you desire and willingly suggest appropriate options to help you arrange a meaningful, personalized ceremony that suits your needs. 

Mistake #2: Forgetting that these remembrance events are also for the living.

Funerals, memorial services, celebrations of life, and other rites of passage are central to the grief journey. They provide opportunities for those left behind to gather, pay their respects, find closure, and move on. These commemorative events play an important role in comforting the living. This is important to remember when planning a funeral because it can be an arduous, time-consuming process. Knowing that your efforts are valued and meaningful can provide an important perspective at a challenging time. 

Mistake #3: Failing to pre-plan.

There are many reasons why people choose not to make their funeral arrangements in advance. They may feel they’re too young or that it’s too morbid to consider. Whatever the case, there are a number of advantages associated with funeral pre-planning. It provides an opportunity to outline every detail of the arrangements, if desired, and eliminates nagging questions about what the deceased would have wanted. But perhaps the biggest benefit is that it prevents placing an added burden on bereaved family members at a time that’s already filled with stress and sorrow. Pre-planning alleviates this worry and affords the ultimate peace of mind.

Mistake #4: Expecting grief to end with the funeral.

The pain associated with the loss of a loved one never goes away completely. In time, it becomes less severe but it serves as a reminder of how deeply we cared for the individual who passed away. Although the grief process is different for everyone, it’s never easy and it won’t abruptly end with interment because love lives on. The experienced, compassionate professionals at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services help grieving families access quality aftercare resources, including bereavement counseling, support groups, and therapy options.

The caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is here to help you make the most informed choices and assist you with your funeral planning needs. Please reach out to us with any questions or if you would like additional information.

About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit

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