New York State Funeral Directors Association

While traditional church services still have a place in many people's funeral plans, the one-size-fits-all approach to funeral planning has undergone changes in recent years.

Individuals and families of the departed are more interested in creating funeral experiences that are personalized to that person's life.

Funeral home technology makes it possible to provide that experience in ways that are both cost-effective and compatible with other funeral plans, including the traditional services of a church or other organization.

Whether you're making your own funeral preparations or putting together a plan for a loved one, there are many ways you can use technology to add a personal touch to the experience, while also benefiting the friends and family who want to pay their respects.

Here are five ways technology can support your funeral planning efforts and create an experience that feels true to the loved one lost.


In the past, information about funeral homes, like all other businesses, was limited to printed materials and advertisements.

The internet has changed that experience completely.

Many funeral homes now operate websites that discuss their planning process, facilities and their philosophy when providing services and support to their clients.1

You can also read online reviews to find out about others’ experience with a given funeral home, reviewing the stated pros and cons to determine which funeral home is a good fit for you.

Always do your homework before choosing a funeral home—information is now easy to find, and it will help you make a well-informed choice.


Pictures of a loved one's life are one of the best ways to add personalization to a funeral service.

Physical photos can be scanned to create digital copies, and these digital images can be easily organized into albums.

Your computer likely has the software you need to create a custom slideshow.

"Many funeral homes recognize the growing demand for photo galleries and slideshows, and they offer TVs at the funeral home to play these slideshows before and after a service, or even during a service on a large projector," says Michael A. Lanotte, Executive Director & CEO of the New York State Funeral Directors Association.

"If a slideshow is an important personal preference, ask a prospective funeral home ahead of time what their policies and procedures are in terms of helping you put one together."


It's not always practical or possible for friends and family of a loved one to travel long distances to attend a funeral.

But the closure of a ceremony can be very important to those people.

Fortunately, live-streaming services allow you to broadcast a service online to a potentially global audience, making sure everyone can experience the funeral regardless of their location.

Ask your funeral home if they have any recommended live-streaming providers they've worked with in the past.


Similar to live-streaming services, video eulogies are an option for people who want to speak at a friend or family member's funeral, but are unable to be present for the service.

These video eulogies can be easily played during a service using the venue's projector screen and/or AV technology.

"In some cases, loved ones present for the service may prefer to deliver a video eulogy as a way to avoid speaking in public," Lanotte said.

"Whether it's due to stage fright, concerns about losing their composure, or other reasons, these video eulogies allow the speaker to deliver their message regardless of whatever limitations they may face."


As friends and family seek ways to memorialize their loved one, online memorials and crowdfunding offer user-friendly options.

People can manage a virtual remembrance page, organize the delivery of flowers and establish a donation fund that can be delivered to an organization in the decedent’s name.

Your funeral home will likely have suggestions for platforms that offer this service, and they may have these services built into their own website.

Putting together funeral plans can be emotionally taxing and time-consuming, but today's technology makes it easier to get exactly the experience you and your loved ones want.