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The Final Disposition Planning Process - Steps & How To's

Published: May 16, 2022

It can be overwhelming to know how many steps go into planning a funeral, not to mention the final disposition. You may have many questions that it’s difficult to know where to even begin. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the steps involved in the final disposition planning process to help alleviate some stress during this difficult time.

What is a final disposition?

The term “final disposition” refers to what is planned to occur to a loved one's remains after they have died. This includes the method of disposition chosen, such as cremation or burial, and other associated events such as the scattering of ashes or in-ground burial.

Where you will find the term, “final disposition”:

The final disposition stage is the last part of the funeral process. It is when they transfer the body to the cemetery for burial or cremation. This is the time when you say your final goodbyes. When filling out paperwork afterwards, you will find the term, “final disposition” in a number of places…

Funeral and Final Disposition Application: If you’re planning to apply for funeral benefits from your state, you’ll fill out an application. On the application, you’ll be asked to specify your loved one’s final disposition.

VA Funeral Benefits Application: Families of those who served in the U.S. military may be eligible for some degree of reimbursement for funeral expenses. The application will require you to specify the service member’s final disposition. Learn more here.

Death Certificate: You won’t find a section to fill out labeled “final disposition” on a death certificate, but you will specify the burial or cremation place.

Funeral Paperwork: When first determining what you will do with your loved one’s remains, you’ll likely be asked to specify preferences for their final disposition on funeral home or crematory paperwork.

End-of-Life Paperwork: If your loved one spent some time getting their end-of-life affairs in order, they might have written down wishes for their final disposition. Be sure to scan paperwork and files provided by your loved one for this phrase.

How to determine the final disposition:

Determining a person’s final disposition is just one of many things to do when someone dies. If you can, talk with your loved ones ahead of time and ask them what they want to happen. If talking with them about this decision is out of the question, then consider what they would prefer and what is best for you and your family. Choosing a person’s final disposition ahead of time can greatly relieve stress later on when the decision needs to be made.

If you’re thinking ahead and planning for your affairs, consider creating an end-of-life planning checklist to help you keep all the to-dos in one place. Figuring out your final disposition is just one of many items you’ll need to write down and give to an executor or trusted relative. Download our free funeral-planning form here and learn more information.

Here are several common disposition options to consider for yourself or a loved one.

Ground Burial at a Cemetery. This is the classic “traditional” disposition option

Above Ground Burial in a Mausoleum. Burial above ground takes place when the body is entombed in a mausoleum, crypt, or sarcophagus.

Green Burial - read about our offerings here

Cremation with Burial of Ashes

Choosing a method of final disposition for yourself or your loved one is an important step in saying goodbye. Whether you can make this decision together or not, choose a method that will honor your or your loved one’s life, legacy, hopes, wishes, and preferences.

It is important when planning a funeral and the final disposition, to consult the professionals, find a funeral home and director that you feel comfortable with, that will help guide you through each step of the process.

Have questions? Contact Roupp Funeral Home today at 570-966-2402

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