When planning a funeral for yourself or a loved one, it is highly likely you’ll require a funeral director to help with the organisation of all the formalities. A.H. Freemantle has been around for over 150 years so you can be sure we know how to help you through the process of organising a funeral – it’s something that has been rooted in our rich history.
The public’s understanding of what a funeral director’s job is can be blurred, which is why we’ve created this easy-to-understand guide. Read on to learn what a funeral director does in all stages of planning and delivering a funeral.
What does a funeral director do?
Traditionally, a funeral director is someone who helps arrange every detail of a funeral, including the coffin, ceremony and burial or cremation. They typically 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.
What does a funeral director do before the funeral?
Together with family members, a funeral director will help determine where the funeral service will take place, the date and time of wakes, memorial services and establishing whether your loved one should be cremated or buried.
In addition to this, an undertaker will help manage legal requirements and death notices as this comes under their job description – so don’t put pressure on yourself to know how to handle these things!
- Collection and preparation of the deceased
- Handling of legal documents and paperwork
- Help arrange the funeral
What does a funeral director do at the funeral?
On the day of the service, a funeral director’s main role is to ensure everything runs smoothly. They would begin by leading the procession and will walk in front of the hearse (this may not be for the entire route depending on the distance between the funeral home and the service), but it’s where the funeral director is at their most visible to anyone attending the service.
Following that, they’ll also oversee transportation for family members and supervise the burial or cremation once at the service location. It is the funeral director’s responsibility to ensure the requests made by the family members are followed and respected on the day, and to be on hand at all times should the bereaved need it.
- Transportation of the body
- Supervise pallbearers
- Conducting and overseeing the service
- Help arrange the wake
What does a funeral director do after the funeral?
Once the funeral service has finished, a funeral director will arrange for the ashes of the deceased to be placed in an urn for those that have chosen a cremation service, alternatively, they can help select a headstone or other memorial and arrange its installation.
After this process, undertakers can also help arrange for acknowledgements and thanks in local media outlets along with bereavement support.
Is an undertaker the same as a funeral director?
Funeral directors and undertakers are often used interchangeably in the industry but this isn’t fairly common knowledge in the UK. You’ll be able to find in the Oxford Dictionary that a funeral director is defined as “an undertaker (= a person whose job is to prepare the bodies of dead people to be buried or cremated, and to arrange funerals).
So yes, an undertaker and a funeral director are the same things.