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Arranging your own funeral? Roadmap for arranging a funeral

If your deceased loved one took out funeral insurance, in most cases the cost of the funeral is covered. However, you then face the choice of whether to arrange the funeral yourself or outsource it to a funeral home. There is a lot involved in arranging a funeral. A step-by-step plan can help with arranging a funeral.

Arranging funerals without a funeral home

The moment you start making your own funeral arrangements as a bereaved person, there is a lot on your mind. First, you will have to arrange the funeral yourself. In addition, a number of financial matters will have to be taken care of.

What to arrange for the funeral?

  • Call the family doctor when someone has died. The doctor will come by to issue a certificate of death. Does someone die in the hospital? Then the attending physician does this.
  • In addition, you will need to file a declaration of death with the municipality. Normally, this is often done by the funeral director, but you can also do it yourself. When making the declaration, you will need the death certificate.
  • Find out if the deceased has funeral insurance. Has the deceased already made certain wishes known to next of kin?
  • Do you want the deceased to undergo preservative treatment? The deceased may undergo a preservative treatment that is effective for no more than 10 days.
  • You need to decide whether you want to lay out the deceased yourself, put them up at home and casket them. You can also choose to perform the final care together with an expert. In consultation with this person, you can specify in advance what you do or do not want to do.
  • Where do you want the burial or cremation to take place? In the Netherlands, a deceased person must be buried or cremated at least 36 hours after death and for a maximum of 6 working days, not counting weekends and holidays.
  • Picking the casket. Would you like to make your own coffin? That too is possible. Of course, a cremation coffin must be made of combustible material. Cemeteries and crematoria may have certain conditions regarding the dimensions of the coffin. Check with the cemetery or crematorium in question beforehand.
Arranging your own funeral? A step-by-step plan for arranging a funeral

For the funeral itself

  • Transportation: the casket does not necessarily have to be transported in a hearse. The law has no regulations for this.
  • Would you like to lower the coffin into the ground yourself? This is often possible. Please consult with the cemetery about what is possible.
  • Flowers: you can have your own flower arrangement made and delivered.
  • Funeral cards are almost always used to notify family, friends and relations of the deceased. Increasingly, they are chosen to make them more personal through a photo or personalized text.
  • Do you want to reach a wider audience? Then you can opt for an obituary in a regional newspaper or daily newspaper. However, the cost of an ad is often considerable.
  • You can also make a death known via Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. There is also the option of creating a digital condolence register.

What should you arrange after the funeral?

  • After the funeral, you can have a headstone or grave monument placed on the grave. Every cemetery has its own rules regarding grave monuments. So inform well what is possible.
  • After the cremation takes place, the ashes remain in the crematorium for one month. This gives the next of kin time to think about the destination of the ashes.
  • Financial settlement around the deceased's accounts. Read more about what banking matters you need to take care of after death here .
  • Informing agencies, such as employer, pension fund and associations.
  • Canceling or adjusting insurance policies (such as household insurance or car insurance).
  • Customize various media such as email or Facebook account.

Arranging funeral with a funeral director

Arranging a funeral yourself is not something you do every day. Therefore, it may still be wise to hire a funeral director. The funeral director knows all the options and can advise you on certain choices. Read more about what to arrange in case of death.

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