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Getting Ready for a Preneed Appointment

Mature couple eating at a table

Most people feel strange when they come to a funeral home, whatever the reason. Even more so, when they need to organize arrangements for themselves or a loved one. When you come to a Hathaway Family Funeral Home, we will do all that we can to answer your questions thoroughly and help you make meaningful choices.

People prearrange for many reasons. Often, it signifies a major change in the family such as a move to a nursing home or a significant illness or tragedy. Sometimes folks just “want to get things organized”, for their own peace of mind. Whatever the reason, we will get you the help and the answers you need.

Below you will find a few things to think about and a list of information you should gather before coming to the funeral home. When in doubt, bring it along, our staff will help you sort things out.

Making This Service Special

Every person in this world makes a unique impression on the lives of others. To us, that means that each funeral should have uniqueness as well. Before you come to the funeral home, take a few minutes to think about the following questions. Your answers will help you make special choices which help people remember best. That’s a big and important part of funeral gatherings, telling stories, and remembering together.

  • If you’re prearranging for yourself, what’s the favorite family story or life experience you want others to know about? If you’re prearranging for someone else, what’s the story you remember best about your loved one? If possible, ask a few other members in the family to contribute their thoughts.

  • What’s the family history? Do people know where you or your loved one came from and what it took to get here?

  • Is there an object or symbol that best signifies yourself or a loved one? Sometimes it’s as simple as a certain dish of candy or peppermints in a purse. Sometimes it’s a special chair or even the smell of certain foods. Was there something that he or she wore all the time like a pin or suspenders or a certain coat? Memories come from many sources. Give yourself a little time to reflect and often the little things will surprise you with their powerful meaning.

Important information to bring

We will help you plan a meaningful service. We will also take care of some important paperwork and filings. Below you will find a list of key documents and key information to bring to your appointment. Do not worry if you are missing anything at first. There is time to locate the rest.


  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Cemetery Deed or Lot Information
  • Military Discharge Papers
  • Birth Certificate (if available)


  • Full Name (including maiden name)
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Spouse’s Name
  • Parent’s Names and Where Born (including mother’s maiden name)
  • Work History
  • Church Affiliation Information
  • Listing of Clubs and Memberships
  • Educational Background (colleges attended, degrees received)
  • Awards/Special Accomplishments
  • Family Information (including name, relationship and place of residence)
  • Hobbies and Leisure Activities
  • Contact Information (for yourself and for key family members, incl. email and cellphone)

Other instructions

Some service details make all the difference. Here’s a few things to consider when outlining your preneed arrangements.

  • Which grave should be used at the cemetery?
  • Where should the family inter, hold or scatter cremated remains?
  • What sort of flowers should be ordered for the service?
  • Are there any special instructions for the clergy?
  • Should the service include any special music or readings?

Make it special

Funerals are more important than ever before. With families scattered as much as they are, this may be the only time that a child or grandchild or niece or nephew or friend hears a special story that helps them make peace with the loss and helps them find hope for tomorrow. We want to make that possible for you and your family. Bring your thoughts, ideas and memories. Together we will shape them into a meaningful and personal expression of life and love and change.