How to Choose a Funeral Director?

Blogs & Articles Article How to Choose a Funeral Director?
Family Run Funeral Directors

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.


Compare prices

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.


History

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?

Over 100 Testimonials and Reviews

James was incredibly understanding and dealt with a difficult situation with care and attention. Nothing was too much trouble.

Tim Quinlan

Jane and her colleagues went above and beyond to support and guide my family and I through the most traumatic time. From the moment of instruction to the service itself, I received true professionalism coupled with empathy. Every detail was discussed, every request was met, with kindness and thought. Thank you.

Nicky Goga

We sincerly thank the staff and in particular Sarah and James at Freemantle's Titchfield for their understanding and kindness in organising and conducting the recent funeral of our son John. The whole process was guided with much empathy on such sad occasion.

Michael Coward

Having had experience with this company earlier in the year they were the natural choice when my wife died. Clair was absolutely brilliant from the initial enquiry and compassionately and clearly explained the whole process. Nothing was too much trouble and the whole range of options clearly laid out and explained. We really didn’t have to do anything ourselves. I would gladly recommend when the the time comes to anyone else.

Customer

James and the team at A H Freemantle did the most fantastic job for us when my brother died suddenly and unexpectedly. They were very clear about the things I had to make a decision on - not there and then but in my own time - but they also completely took over and seamlessly managed all those other things that have to be booked and paid for. They also gave me great advice about how to handle the things I needed to handle. They contributed hugely to giving my brother the send off that he deserved and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend A H Freemantle to anyone else when that time comes and you need a funeral director.

Kevin Briscoe

We as a family would like to thank James and everyone at Freemantle’s Titchfield for all their help and guidance, James you made us feel so relaxed and calm, the day went without a hitch, we laughed we cried, our mum would of approved of everything, also a very big thank you to Martin the celebrant, you were all amazing thank you so much.

Sarah Bartlett

I’ve never lost a parent and didn’t have a clue what I should be doing - James made us feel very relaxed, made sure that our mum would be well looked after with him which gave us comfort. The celebrant he chose was absolutely brilliant and really made the whole experience extremely personal to us. James even sourced out a Leopard print coffin for us - the first in 22 years apparently! Would really recommend

Kerris Smith

I would like to thank all the staff at the Eastleigh branch of helping me through a very difficult time when my mother passed away recently. All the staff were so helpful, considerate and compassionate, Clair in the office was always helpful and kind and helped me through the whole process of arranging a funeral.

Robert Duma

Sarah really put our family at ease and was very helpful. Made a very difficult thing to do a lot easier. Would highly recommend their services.

Verity Maddocks

I can’t praise Claire at the Botley branch enough, who looked after my husband’s funeral. She was very professional, but more than that she was kind, caring, and nothing was too much trouble. Going above and beyond, which made this very difficult time so much more bearable for my family and I.

Nicola Abbott

Exemplary and highly professional service throughout, with every effort made to accommodate the wishes of the family. Would highly recommend to anyone faced with having to arrange a funeral.

Robert Greaves

We sincerely thank the staff and in particular Sarah and James at Freemantle's Titchfield for their understanding and kindness in organising and conducting the recent funeral of our son John. The whole process was guided with much empathy on such sad occasion.

Michael Coward

From my first phone call to the completion of the funeral the staff at A H Freemantle gave outstanding service. They were professional and compassionate, taking time to listen to our requests and discuss the options. They made a difficult time easier and I knew I could trust them absolutely with the arrangements.

PM

James handled the funerals of both my mother and father, and in both cases everything went very smoothly and was done with great dignity. We could not have asked for more.

Peter Allday

Sarah's kindness, genuine warmth, understanding of the personal character of how people say goodbye to a loved one, and inclusive approach, together with her knowledge and professionalism made me feel 'held' throughout the process of organising and being at my mum's funeral. It made such a difference at a difficult time. Highly recommend this company to anyone.

Kes

Recently I was sadly in need of the services of A.H.Freemantle. I cannot find words to thank James and his staff enough. They guided and comforted me through the whole sad process. James's quiet steady professionalism both before, and during the ceremony made a dreadful experience much much easier to endure..highly recommended to anyone facing this inevitable ordeal. Thank you all.

Robert Leake

Although my review is simplistic it comes from the heart. Without A H Freemantle's Park Gate & Titchfield offices I could never have got through what was and always will be my darkest hour. Thank you for looking after my beautiful mother, Gwen. Special thanks to Jane and Dawn. And thank you Jane for recommending the wonderful Rev. Boggust. My brothers, sister, and myself will always remember the kindness, respect, and compassion shown by all at A H Freemantle.

Eleanor Campbell-Loveday

Extremely kind & considerate. Very professional. I felt supported throughout a very difficult process. Jane was fantastic, sensitive and caring and made me feel that she truly understood and cared about us all.

Jill Spence

I would like to thank both James and Jane for the courtesy and respect shown to me and my family. They appreciated the tragic circumstances and were able to guide us gently through the Church service and subsequent committal at Wessex. You were as a company stars that day, showing us the way.

Brian Stoker

Freemantles handled the funeral for my son - firstly they had to collect him from Leicester where his post mortem took place. From the start they were so caring and attentive to our distress as it was a sudden death. Kate the lady we dealt with was absolutely wonderful. She dealt with every detail with so much sympathy and feeling. The Celebrant they appointed was also terrific and dealt with the ceremony exactly as we wanted. If you find yourself losing a loved one I would highly recommend Freemantles. They totally helped make a nightmare of losing your child bearable.

Helen Sallis

James and the team really are who you need by your side when you are facing your most challenging times in life. I've been in need of the services of A H Freemantle twice in a year having lost both my mother and father. Honestly I couldn't recommend them enough, at such a challenging time they really did do everything to make it as bearable as possible. I can not recommend James and the team enough, they were truly incredible from start to finish.

Chris

James and his team were extremely kind, thoughtful ad professional. As a family we appreciated the help and advice that was given.

Connie

Excellent personable service. Caring and sensitive - Sarah always seemed to be available no matter what time. The attention to detail and everything was brilliant. We all felt very happy with the choice that we had made for our Mum's funeral and burial that we did not hesitate to use again for our Dad. Our Mum and Dad had such lovely "send offs" managed so well by A.H. Freemantles.

Susan Grace