Coincidently, today (October 30) is designated as "Create a Great Funeral Day." This event was created by Stephanie West Allen in 2000:
"The Day was founded with the hopes of getting loved ones to sit down together and talk about what they would want at their funeral so their loved ones know when the time comes and do not have to juggle their grief with trying to plan a funeral and guess what they would have wanted, even if it is just so much as a particular song played at the funeral, or words for the headstone."My great aunt had known what she wanted and had written down her instructions for the family to follow. A good idea. I remember being impressed at the time (1966) that she had planned ahead. I don't know how many years ahead, but I'm glad she did it while she could still communicate. She lived to the ripe old age of 96 years.
More information about Create a Great Funeral Day has been posted by Gail Rubin, author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die, on her Family Plot blog.