10 Tips For Managing Family Conflict During The Planning Of A Funeral

A funeral is a ritual that is done when the body of a deceased person is either buried or cremated after they have passed away. Pain, sadness, anger, denial, and guilt are just a few of the feelings that can be experienced by members of a family after the death of a loved one. Adding already-existing family tensions to a stressful situation like planning a funeral can often lead to disaster. Long after the funeral is finished, some families are left with unresolved anger and broken bonds between members of the family.

The work of making funeral arrangements might be challenging if the person who passed away did not make prior preparations for their funeral or did not communicate their final intentions to members of their family. When judgments must be made fast, it is very unlikely that the descendants will be able to agree on all the facts.

Dealing with the death of a loved one may be a difficult experience, and while people are coming to terms with their grief, they may behave in inappropriate ways. While making preparations for a funeral with members of the family.

It may be helpful to gain an understanding of some frequent forms or causes of family disagreement during funerals to avoid unpleasant circumstances.

Types Of Conflicts Families Can Have When Planning A Funeral Of A Loved One

During the process of organizing a funeral, conflicts can emerge among family members for several reasons. Some of the likely conflicts that might arise include the following:

Money/Cost - Who is financially liable for covering the costs of the funeral and the burial?

Burial or Cremation - Who has the last decision on whether the body of the deceased is buried or cremated? Where should their graves be located? What will happen to the ashes of the deceased after the cremation (will it be kept in a cremation urn or cremation jewelry ), if that option is chosen is another conflicting issue. You can visit Everlasting Memories for your cremation products

Funeral Service - What kind of funeral service should be given to the deceased?

Religious/Cultural value - If the deceased was not religious but the family members want a religious type ceremony or even the other way around. who will decide Which aspects of the deceased person's religious or cultural life ought to be commemorated at their funeral, and which ones need not be?

Who to invite or not invite

Obituary - Who will write the obituary, and what information will be included in it.

The venue where the service will take place - may be a funeral home, a unique place of significance such as a country club, or a park.

Individual Choices - such as cards, flowers, memorial candles, music, and  remembrance photo. 

Merchandise (casket, cemetery plot, headstone, grave marker, urn, or vault).

People Who Participate In The Organization Of Funeral Arrangements

During such a trying time, no one ever wants to be the one responsible for making funeral arrangements. If such is the case, having an awareness of what is required of you and knowing how to address issues will be beneficial.

The deceased person's closest family or, in their absence, a close friend will typically organize the funeral. If there is no one, the community or health authorities will organize a straightforward funeral service.

It's possible that the deceased individual left behind specific instructions on the funeral and burial they desired. Even though there is no legal requirement that these instructions be followed, it is customary for people to do so.

The following is whom is usually involved in the planning of a funeral: the spouse and children of the deceased, at times the siblings of the deceased as well as the friends of the deceased. A funeral director may also play a key role in helping to plan the funeral.

10 Tips For Managing Family Conflict During The Planning Of A Funeral

The arrangement of a funeral is probably not at the top of your priority list right now. Planning ahead, on the other hand, has a number of advantages, including the reduction of stress and family strife, the saving of money, and the opportunity to craft a meaningful and memorable "good goodbye." Here are the top ten tips for managing family conflicts during bereavement:


Make sure that everyone is on the same page by formulating a plan to avoid conflict that is not essential. Before a gathering of the family, designate a member of the group to compose an agenda that will include a list of significant issues to be addressed. To ensure that everyone can able to participate, pick a certain date and location for the meeting well in advance.

Although each member of the family may process the tragedy in their unique way and experience a unique range of emotions, they have all suffered the loss of someone they cared deeply about. A plan should make it easier for family members to stay on subject and steer clear of potential distractions, such as old disagreements or resentments, which could detract from their ability to establish an important arrangement for their loved one.


Communicate with one another, and be willing to compromise. It is imperative to acknowledge from the beginning that there may be disagreements among family members because not all of them will agree with every choice that is made. In the event that the conversations become heated, the planning process should be interrupted.

It is possible that it would be beneficial to hire a family mediator who is able to assist in constructively resolving arguments and ease communication among members of a fighting family. No matter the path you decide to take, it is important to communicate openly about your views and feelings and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share their perspectives before the arrangements are finalized.


If you harbor any grudges towards anyone or anything, please refrain from airing them during the planning meetings. Keep your attention on the task at hand, and select a separate environment in which to settle any old complaints.


Always make an effort to keep a cheerful attitude, regardless of how difficult things get. Organizing a funeral service may be a daunting undertaking, and it is not an easy assignment to keep track of all the arrangements while concurrently struggling with grief. You should make an effort to rise above the negativity and concentrate on paying your respects to the loved one who has passed away.

Keeping a cheerful attitude is not only a good example to set for other members of the family, but it can also help alleviate additional strife once the memorial service is done.


When it comes to making arrangements for the funeral of a parent, it's not uncommon for siblings to take opposing sides, which can lead to unintended arguments. Even though every child has their own opinion regarding "what Mom or Dad would want," it is best for the entire family to come to a consensus regarding the final plans before making any decisions.

Avoid framing it in terms of "we versus them" or any other adversarial relationship.


In many contexts, gaining control of a situation can be advantageous; nevertheless, when it comes to making arrangements for the burial of a loved one, it is best to divide up the tasks involved in the process. If you refuse to let go of the reins and begin making decisions on your own, it will lead to arguments that aren't necessary inside the family.


There is a possibility that some relatives would take offense if they perceive that someone isn't showing their grief in the "appropriate manner." Keep in mind that nobody goes through the process of grieving in the same manner or at the same speed as you.


Without a written record of your loved one's final wishes, members of the family are required to take on the obligation of making all of the necessary arrangements. Even if everyone has their own opinion about what your deceased loved one would have desired, it is best for the family to make the final arrangements collectively.

Everyone will have the opportunity to share their perspective in this way, while simultaneously accelerating the process of arriving at a solution that everyone can agree on. Talk things over with a funeral director if you're still having trouble settling on a course of action.

When there are conflicting ideas and wishes, a funeral director might act as a mediator to help bring the parties together. In addition, if you have questions regarding your options for burial, cremation, or celebrations of life at the end of life, a funeral director will be able to address those inquiries for you.


Demonstrating respect for others does not mean accepting disrespectful treatment from them. Many people believe that their personal boundaries are respected less when it comes to their family than when it comes to their friends, coworkers, or acquaintances. Some people consider this to be an unavoidable aspect of having a family. It is critical to upholding your personal limits while dealing with members of your family that do not honor those boundaries.

A heated argument is not the appropriate forum for discussion during family bereavement. expressing your expectations in a private chat, putting some physical distance between yourself and the other person, or reacting at the moment by making it apparent how you feel disrespected.


Whenever there is strife among the living, it simply serves to deprive those who have passed away of the opportunity to be honored. On the day of a funeral, it is not appropriate to win debates, resolve disagreements, or create unnecessary drama, even if you believe you are in the right.

Try to maintain as little of a presence as you can. Try to keep in mind that these problems will probably only last for a short while. You wouldn't want a short-term problem to interfere with the memorial service for your loved one or with your ongoing ties with family.

How Can You Avoid This Conflict With Your Own Family When You Pass Away?

When you pass away, those who care about you will have to choose whether to bury you or cremate you. In the event that your surviving loved ones decide cremation is the best option, they will need to choose what will happen to your ashes once the process is complete and who will be responsible for their long-term care.

If they choose burial instead, the procedure is the same, but it takes place at the cemetery itself. In either scenario, there is a possibility that family members would argue with one another because they have different ideas about how things should continue after your passing and want various things to take place.

Here are some suggestions to help retain the peace in your family after you pass away and avoid arguments around the funeral arrangements.


Although no one like contemplating their own mortality, making funeral arrangements in advance can spare your loved ones a great deal of emotional anguish and help avoid future problems. First things first: decide whether you want to be buried in the ground or cremated. If you choose to have your body cremated, you have the option of either having your ashes scattered or having them placed in an urn. (You will need to choose a casket if you decide to have the body buried.) 

Put your decisions in writing as soon as you've arrived at them to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. You should also consider prepaying for your funeral costs; doing so will relieve the financial strain that will be placed on your loved ones after your passing.

After that, you should give some thought to the memorial ceremony that you want to have. You are able to share your ashes with others when you use a keepsake urn, and everyone is able to gather together in sadness when a memorial ceremony is planned.

You have complete control over the situation! It may be important to some people to have a traditional funeral service complete before the cremation takes place. Others are content with the knowledge that their last intentions were carefully documented and carried out without any unforeseen complications. Still, others might be content with nothing more than an online monument for the deceased person, where friends and family can go to pay their respects and share recollections of the person who has passed away.

No matter what kind of funeral ceremony you choose, you should make sure that all of the arrangements are taken care of in advance so that the people who are left behind do not have anything else to be concerned about when it is finally time to say goodbye.


Having candid conversations with your loved ones while you are still living is one method to reduce the likelihood of problems arising at your funeral. You are free to discuss the type of funeral ceremony you would like, where you would like to be buried or cremated, and what you would like to happen to your ashes after your passing.

It is essential to communicate your exact desires in order to achieve them. If you want a portion of your ashes to go to someone else who wasn't able to attend the funeral, a keepsake urn that allows for the sharing of ashes is also a nice idea. Keepsake urns are unique containers that are designed to hold only a trace amount of cremated remains. 


Wills are legal documents that declare your desires for the distribution of your property after your death and should be drawn up by an attorney. In the event that you do not leave a will, the laws of the state will govern the distribution of your possessions.

When it comes to estate planning, there are many strategies that may be implemented to prevent your loved ones from arguing after you have passed away. One option is to draft a will that specifies in minute detail how you would like your property to be distributed after your death.

You can also buy keepsake urns for sharing ashes so that each of your children has a piece of you after you pass away. A memorial service can also be planned in advance to ensure that everyone is aware of what will take place at the event.


You can select an alternate decision maker in your will so that disagreements among the family do not arise during the time of your funeral. This individual will be in charge of carrying out your last wishes and making sure that the people you care about are provided for when you pass away. You will be able to have peace of mind knowing that your last desires will be followed out and that your family will be able to move on without any contention if you take this step. 

You also have the option of giving someone else the power of attorney so that they can make decisions on your behalf regarding your finances, property, and other concerns. You may have a spouse or children who need time to grieve but don't want to manage the day-to-day activities of life at this tough time.

You can help them out by taking care of those responsibilities. By delegating these tasks to them, you make it more likely that they will be able to get through their feelings of loss and continue living their lives normally.

It is a way to express love and respect for your spouse by ensuring that he or she will have sufficient assistance in the event of your death. When it comes to wills and powers of attorney, a lawyer is the best person to ask for advice on whether or not any unique factors need to be taken into account.


It is important that the person you select to act as executor after your passing is someone in whom you have complete faith. Since it would be up to this individual to carry out your last wishes, you will want to make sure they are capable of doing what is required of them. Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting an executor for your will:

Make sure that this person has a good understanding of you: You do not want to bring someone into your family who will make choices based on what is best for them rather than what is best for the rest of the people in your family.

Think about those who have time: Whether the person in question has a full-time job or young children, it's possible that it's not the best idea to ask them if they can take on this role.

Inquire of someone aware of what must take place: Make sure that your wishes regarding how you would like your remains to be handled, and who should speak at your service, are crystal clear before you name anyone as your executor.

There is also the possibility of appointing numerous individuals to serve as co-executors in a situation where you feel a single person won't be able to carry out all of your last desires as well as a group of individuals will. On the other hand, there are some situations in which you might have to choose between two individuals who are equally qualified. If this is the case, you should strive to make your pick after taking into account both their strengths and their weaknesses


It is possible for there to be a great deal of contention within your family if there is no definitive resolution regarding what to do with your body or how to carry out the funeral. Here are a few things you can do to avoid doing that.

First thing, make sure that you have discussed these particulars in advance with your children and grandkids so that they are aware of the options available to them. Next, select somebody familiar with you well to serve as the executor (sometimes called an executor or personal representative). That individual will be in charge of conveying those desires to others in a manner that everybody understands.


If you want your loved ones to get along after you're gone, one of the best things you can do is let go of whatever expectations you have about how your funeral should be handled and let them manage it any way they see fit. You should make sure that your family is aware of any particular requests that you have while you are still living so that there is no room for misunderstanding.

Also, make an effort to be empathetic if they are unable to fulfill your wishes or if they choose not to. After all, kids will experience mourning as well. In addition to this, it will most likely be less of a financial burden for them than it would be for you.

Even if they don't get a chance to give a speech, say goodbye one last time, sing a song in your honor, or play some music from your favorite genre, the fact that they show up and pay their respects is the thing that matters the most at a time like this.

You may be giving those things so much weight right now because you're trying to prepare yourself for how you'll feel when you lose someone extremely important to you. However, when you have been through such a significant loss, the emotions you experience towards the specifics of the funeral will seem insignificant.

For this reason, I believe it is best to let go of whatever expectations you may have regarding your funeral and to give others the freedom to celebrate your life in whichever manner they see appropriate.

Drama Free Funerals: How To Keep The Peace

There are a few different factors that, if they occur, could turn a funeral into a dramatic event. To begin, if the person who passed away was a divisive public figure, there may be differing opinions over how they should be remembered. Second, if the loss was sudden or unexpected, it's possible that people won't know how to deal with it, and they may take their anger out on those around them. Third, disagreements may arise over the payment of funeral costs, which is especially likely if the person who passed away did not have life insurance.

Getting involved in a drama is the last thing anyone wants to do when attending a funeral, and yet a surprising number of individuals still find themselves in such a circumstance. It is possible for people to find themselves in the middle of conflicts despite their best efforts to avoid them and maintain a neutral stance, just because of the people they are related to or who they are close friends with.

If you want the day of the funeral to go off without any hiccups, make sure to follow these guidelines on how to keep the peace throughout the service:


At a funeral, it is essential to pay respect to the relatives of the deceased as well as the deceased person. You should steer clear of contentious topics and comments that have the potential to anger other individuals. You should also steer clear of jokes and merriment at this time.

As you are there to show sympathy for the family who recently lost a loved one, it is not appropriate to wear anything that could be considered exposing, provocative, overly showy, or extravagant.

Be sensitive to any requests made by the family, and don't overstay your welcome when they are still hurting from the loss of a loved one.


There is no need for a lot of fanfare or drama during a funeral service. The arrangements should be kept as basic as possible, with the primary focus being on honoring the life of the person who has passed away.

Inform your relatives about your plans in advance, giving them the opportunity to get ready and take part in the activities if they so choose. Maintain adherence to the customs that have been established, and steer clear of any surprises that can result in unease or upset.

Last but not least, show respect for everyone concerned and avoid making any unfavorable remarks or taking any unfavorable actions. It happens far too frequently that individuals will talk about a wide variety of topics that should not be brought up during funerals. If you have something significant to say about the person who has passed away, please hold off on saying it until after the service has ended so that you can do it with respect and decency.


When attending a funeral, the last thing anyone wants is to be the one who causes a scene. However, when feelings are running high, it can be challenging to maintain calm in the situation. It is in everyone's best interest to keep a low profile as much as possible.

If other people want to talk to you about your loved one, you should give them the floor and allow them to do most of the talking. If individuals want hugs or words of sympathy from you, offer them without going into too much detail about the nature of your relationship with the person who passed away.

Recognize the feelings of the other person by nodding and stating phrases like "I know" or "that must have been incredibly difficult." Above all else, you should make it a point to steer clear of any type of public discussion on political or religious subjects that could cause members of the family or other participants to feel divided.

Funerals will never fail to elicit strong feelings from their attendees. There is no need to make matters worse by fostering further conflicts among family members who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. This will only serve to make everyone's grief more difficult to bear. Maintain a respectful attitude toward the viewpoints and convictions of others, while also paying tribute to loved ones who have passed away in order to give those who are still alive a sense of closure.


If you feel yourself becoming angry with the person who has passed away, try to think back on the happy times you shared in the past. It is not their fault that they passed away, thus harboring resentment toward them for it is unreasonable.

Your memories of the person and the love you had for them during their lifetime will not be erased simply because they have passed away. Remembering how much you loved them when they were still living is going to be the most helpful thing you can do to make this process easier. 

You can maintain a connection with the person who has passed on by clinging to these sensations as a means to honor their memory. Remember them often, talk about them frequently, and carry out activities that you know they would have enjoyed when they were still living if they were still here.


The day of the funeral is not about you or anyone else who is present there. It is about the deceased. It is a way to celebrate the life of the person who has passed away. Funerals are holy events that should be honored and respected as such. Do not act in a hostile or retaliatory manner against the person who has insulted, disrespected, or offended you.

For the sake of everyone else who cared about your loved one, you should make every effort to keep any bad thoughts to yourself. Do not cause a commotion by stating phrases like "I can't believe she did this" or "I'm so upset," as these are not appropriate responses.

You don't want to bring unnecessary unhappiness and suffering to as many people as possible by tainting the service with negativity. make sure to set aside some time to conduct private conversations with those who have questions.

If you believe that it is important. It is important to keep in mind that funerals are about mourning the loss of a loved one and moving on with life; therefore, it is best to avoid bringing up previous grievances that may come up during the service.

Conflict & Funerals Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ritual that is done when the body of a deceased person is either buried or cremated after they have passed away.

What are the likely common types of conflicts family can have when planning a funeral of a loved one?

Money/Cost, Burial or Cremation, Funeral Service, Religious/Cultural value, Who to invite or not invite, Obituary, The venue where the service will take place, Individual Choices, Merchandise.

Who is usually involved in the planning of a funeral?

The spouse of the deceased, the children of the deceased, the siblings of the deceased, Funeral Directors, the friends of the deceased, and the health authorities.

What are the 10 tips for managing family conflict during the planning of a funeral as discussed in this article?

Create an advance Plan, Try to compromise, Avoid Reviving Long-Forgotten Animosities, Stop Being a perfectionist and a control freak, Remain Positive, Avoid Side chatting, Understand individual Grieving Differences, Consult a Funeral Director, Set and uphold your boundaries, and A final word

How best can you avoid family conflicts in your funeral when you passed away?

Preplan Your Funeral, Have an open discussions, Create a will with each child, propose an alternate decision maker, Pick someone trustworthy as an executor, Discuss what happens if no, clear decision exists, let go of expectations.

Is it advisable to consult a funeral director to act as a mediator When there are conflicting ideas and wishes among the family of the deceased?


Avoiding Conflict At Funerals

Follow those 10 tips discussed above to help manage family conflict during the planning of a funeral, so everyone can have time to grieve and mourn their loved one in peace. With help from this article, you can ensure that funeral planning won’t become another stress during an already difficult time.

September 21, 2022 by Frances Kay