Planning a funeral during a time of grief can be a complicated and frustrating process. The family is left to make many decisions and arrangements for the services that will honor their loved one. Choosing a Funeral Home for the service to take place is the first step.
When choosing a Funeral Home there are several different factors to take into consideration, including:
- Funeral Costs
- Family and Religious Traditions
- Type of Funeral
Funeral Services are influenced by religious, cultural and family traditions along with costs and personal preferences. Every family has their own vision and expectation as to how to honor their loved one. These preferences will help to determine whether the funeral will be religious or secular, public or private, simple or elaborate, open or closed casket and whether the remains will be cremated or buried.
What Does a Funeral Director Do?
- Provides transportation of the deceased to the funeral home from – the hospital, nursing home, hospice house, residence, etc
- Helps notify proper authorities, family and relatives
- Secures necessary permits and death certificates that your town or state requires
- Gathers information and preparing death certificate
- Prepares and submits obituary to local newspapers
- Works with Insurance agents, Social Security or Veteran’s Administrators
- Prepares the body for burial or cremation
- Assists the family with funeral arrangements and purchase of the casket/urn, sympathy flowers arrangements, burial vault and cemetery plot and other aspects of the funeral service
- Schedules the funeral service and the opening and closing of the grave with the cemetery personnel
- Coordinates all the details with clergy including readings and music
- Arranges police escort and transportation to the cemetery for the family prior to, during, and after the funeral
- Works with the family to create personal and creative elements in the ceremony to both honor and celebrate the your loved one’s life.
- Provides Grief assistance and counseling for the family
When doing so, you can take into consideration funeral homes that your family has used in the past, references from friends and the funeral home’s reputation.
You can also check with your state’s funeral directors association.
Your Rights When Planning A Funeral
The Funeral Rule is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and requires Funeral Directors to give you itemized prices in person and if you ask, over the phone. The rule also requires Funeral Directors to give you other information about their goods and services.
The Funeral Rule Specifics
- You have the right to choose the funeral goods and services that you want
- The funeral home or service company must provide a general price list for all goods and services in writing.
- If your state requires you to buy any particular item the funeral service provider must disclose it on the price list, with a reference to the specific law.
- The funeral home may not refuse, or charge a fee to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
- The funeral service provider that offers cremation must make alternative containers available.
As you participate in the planning of the funeral service, your intent should be focused on creating a meaningful experience for everyone. It should also be viewed as an opportunity to accept and take comfort in the closure that this funeral service will bring to you and your family.