New York State Funeral Directors Association

End-of-Life Planning

Many people have thought about what type of funeral they'd like for themselves.

Whether you choose to formally make advance arrangements or not, it is very important to let family and/or friends know what it is you desire for your funeral. Chances are a lot greater that your wishes will be carried out if people know what those wishes are.

There are several important elements to record to ensure your wishes are carried out: 

Last Will and Testament

  • Contact an attorney to have a will written or make updates to an older one. Be sure family and friends know your attorney's name and where the will is filed.

Cemetery/Cremation Information

  • Record the name of the cemetery or location for disposition of cremated remains, address and phone number; plot number and location; name on plot purchase; and location of deed.

Monument Information

  • Record name, address, and phone number of dealer as well as the item(s) purchased and contract numbers.Contemplating Plans

Funeral Home Details

  • Record names of funeral home and funeral director, address and phone number.
  • If formal arrangements were made, record contract # and location of filed contract.

What type of service chosen?

  • Where is it to be held (church, funeral home, other)?
  • Will it be a military service?
  • Will you have visitation/calling hours?
  • Names of clergy and pallbearers chosen.
  • List selections of music, clothing, flowers, memorials/contributions and any other special requests.

Biographical Information

  • The necessary information to record is: full name, address, phone number; years of residency; birth information (city, state/province, date); Social Security Number; full names of father and mother (maiden); marital status and name of spouse; religious and fraternal affiliations; education information; employment history; family members; location of birth and marriage certificates and adoption papers.

Military Service

  • Be sure to record: branch; serial number; date entered and discharged; grade/rank; place of entry; war or conflict; where papers filed; decorations; pension and disability claim numbers; flag requested?; veteran's cemetery marker?

Estate Executor

  • Does the executor know of their role? Record their name, address, phone number.

Motor Vehicle Department

  • Record the location and phone number or the department and list all vehicles registered in your name.

Licensed Firearms

  • List any licensed/registered handguns.

Plans for Pets

  • Have you made arrangements for pets/animals?