Choosing the right funeral director for your requirements is a hard choice faced by many. With thousands of funeral homes across the UK, there are a plethora of options for those looking for a funeral director local to them, however, selecting the right one for you or a loved one is a task that may be daunting at first glance.
If it’s your first time searching for a funeral director, it can seem like each one is more or less the same, but when delving a bit deeper, you’ll find that each funeral home has its own specialities.
Read on to find out how you should pick an undertaker that fits your requirements and things you should consider when selecting the right funeral director for you or a loved one.
What do funeral directors do?
A funeral director (also known in the UK as a mortician or undertaker) is someone who arranges every detail of a funeral, including the coffin, ceremony and burial or cremation. They traditionally work in a crematorium or a funeral home in a local village, town or city.
Typically, funeral directors help individuals with the planning of a funeral, whilst taking into consideration specific needs and requirements.
A funeral director traditionally conducts the following:
- Bringing the deceased into their care
- Dressing the body in an outfit chosen by the individual or family
- Planning the ceremony
- Supplying coffin bearers
- Handling the legal documents for the cremation or burial
How to choose a funeral director?
Finding the right funeral director in your area has never been easier – the emergence of technologies and local directories gives families the information they need when choosing an undertaker.
Searching online for terms such as ‘funeral director near me’ can help you collate a list of potential candidates and from there, you can look around for a variety of key points and ask further questions if needed.
Take your time
Whilst it may seem that everything needs to be dealt with right away, resist the urge to dive in head first as this can potentially cause more stress further down the line. Take your time to research local funeral directors as finding the right option for you or a loved one, is a task that isn’t easy or one to be taken lightly.
Services and funeral plans they provide
Some people may know what type of funeral they would like and this can help you decide what funeral director is the right option. Whether you’re looking for a natural burial or a traditional cremation, there are funeral homes that specialise in certain ceremonies so you should seek what services and funeral plans they provide before confirming what director you want to go ahead with.
The price of a funeral shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing an undertaker, but it should come into consideration. You can find the price of funeral plan packages on the majority of funeral directors’ websites along with individual pricing options such as extra limousines and a weekend ceremony. Compare prices with other funeral directors to see if one option is better than the other.
Reviews and testimonials
Customer reviews and testimonials are a large factor when deciding what funeral director to choose. If a funeral home has poor reviews from previous customers, it could be an indicator to stay clear, on the other hand, if they have positive feedback, this can be a good gauge of their services and approach.
Similar to going through their reviews and testimonials, you should look through the funeral directors’ history and if they are a part of a chain or independently run. Some funeral directors (like A. H. Freemantle) have been family-run for decades and have a good reputation in the local community. These too are good signals to look out for when choosing an undertaker.
Questions to ask a funeral director
Not all the information you want to find is easily available, therefore you should have some questions to ask when looking for a good funeral director.
- What type of funerals do you specialise in?
- Do you provide funeral packages, or does everything have to be arranged individually?
- Can extra options, such as alternative funeral transport, be added to a package?
- How much of the total cost of the funeral goes to third parties, such as florists?
- Can we purchase coffins, flowers and other elements from different providers or do we have to use your suppliers?
- Do we have to pay a deposit?
- When do we have to pay the remaining balance of the funeral?
- What happens if we decide to use an alternative funeral director at any point?
- Have you previously arranged similar funerals to what we have requested?
- Are there any aspects of arranging this funeral that might be difficult for you?
- Can you suggest alternative ideas that might be more manageable, affordable and in accordance with our loved one’s wishes?