Funeral Directors: What They Do & How to Choose One

1380606010_f0b73e046eFunerals can be overwhelming for many. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional outpour but also, handle the logistics of the service. All these and more can take a toll on someone. That’s why funeral directors exist. Otherwise known as undertakers, funeral directors can be considered your greatest helping hand during this time of need.

Dealing with death is the most daunting experience one could ever go through. That’s why many recommend hiring funeral directors. Not only do they take on all of the work for you. They also lighten your emotional burden, which is by far, the biggest aid anyone could ever wish for.

If you’re interested to know more about funeral directors, then you’re in the right place. Below we’ll tell you all about what a funeral director does and how to choose the best one for you.

Do take note however, that you are not required to hire a funeral director should you ever find yourself arranging a funeral or cremation service. In fact, you have complete freedom as to whether you would take on the entire process yourself or get someone to do it for you.

What is a funeral director?

A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects concerning a funeral service.

What does a funeral director do?

Funeral directors are in charge of the following tasks:

  • Removal and transferring the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home
  • Professional care of the deceased, which may include sanitary washing, embalming preparation, restorative art, dressing, hairdressing, casketing and cosmetology
  • Consultation with the family members and loved ones to discuss with family necessary information and specific arrangements for the duration of the service
  • Filing of all necessary documents such as certificates, permits, affidavits, and authorizations, if required
  • Acquiring of requested certified copies of the deceased’s death certificate
  • Compilation of all information to create an obituary for placement for the family
  • Handle arrangements concerning a family’s choice of clergy person, church, music, etc.
  • Handling of and coordinating with cemetery, crematory, or other place of disposition
  • Providing of the register book, prayer cards, funeral folders, acknowledgements, and more as requested by the deceased’s family
  • Assistance when notifying other relatives and friends
  • Handling clergy honorariums, music, flowers, death certificates, additional transportation, etc
  • Handling of floral pieces and the post funeral distribution as directed by the family
  • Arranging and contacting pallbearers, automobiles, and special services (fraternal or military)
  • Preservation of floral cards, mass cards, or other memorial contributions presented to the funeral home
  • Professional direction of the entire funeral service
  • Assisting the family with social security, veterans insurance, grief counseling, and other post death-related claims
  • Meeting with the family in all aspects of the funeral, before and after

How does one choose a funeral director?

Before hiring one, it’s important to remember that engaging with a funeral director is a commercial transaction, just like any other. This is why it’s not uncommon for other directors to haggle for higher rates. You owe it to yourself and your deceased loved one to find the best value and care possible.

One of the most important factors to consider is license and experience. Many run a small firm in your local area. Others run larger funeral companies. Whichever you choose, it’s essential to ask them about their experience in the industry. Furthermore, they should be legally practicing their service in your area.

Another is to consider recommendations and feedback. This digital age has helped many find the right funeral director for them. Whether it’s a personal recommendation or reviews found online, consider what others are saying about a potential director. Furthermore, many are listed online, which makes it easy to find one. Just keep in mind that you need to double check their license and legitimacy of operation.

Cost is another factor to think about. Always ask the rate and if their services are worthwhile. Be sure to have at least three options to choose from. Find out how much they charge and what exactly they can offer you. This way, you know your getting your money’s worth.

The most important thing here is to observe the funeral director you’re communicating with. Does the person look sincere? Does s/he genuinely care about giving you the best possible service? Does s/he listen to your needs and desires? Does the person have enough knowledge and experience? What is your gut telling you?

When choosing the ideal funeral director, it’s always best to take into careful consideration the factors above. You’re not only spending for something trivial. You’re spending for something that matters to you and to a lot of people. At the end of the day, you want your deceased loved one to be respected, given the proper service and be remembered well.