For a funeral director, the most important part of his position is to help a grieving family through a certainly difficult situation. Funeral directors are well trained in how to give comfort to a family member who has suffered a great loss. A large part of a funeral director’s services to a family is to connect them with support, advice, even groups that may be helpful for people who are grieving.
In addition to consoling the bereaved, licensed funeral directors are prepared to ease the process of funeral planning. The director can walk you through each step of the funeral arrangements.
The first part of a funeral home or mortuary services start immediately after a death occurs. The deceased is brought from the place of death, whether it be the home, a hospital, nursing home, or elsewhere, to the local funeral home. You may or may not know this, but a funeral home is one of your first calls when a loved one passes. The transfer of the body from one place to the funeral home is actually completely arranged by the funeral home director. If your loved one passes out of the state or the country, it is still the director’s responsibility to bring him or her home.
Tip: if you’re in this moment of dread and are frantically searching for what to do next, we have a large directory of funeral homes that can help.
Upon arrival at the funeral home, the body will be professionally cared for. This could include: sanitization, embalming, restoration, making up of outfit and hair, makeup, and then the casketing. These processes, especially the embalming, is subject to state requirements. Each funeral director or embalmer needs to be licensed and adhere to the regulations.
After the embalming process is begun, it’s time for the funeral director to meet with the family to discuss funeral services or a memorial, and burial or cremation. The director will inquire as to whether the family wants a traditional funeral or a memorial service. There are also state requirements for death certificates, plus any permits or affidavits necessary. With the death certificate, there may be a number requested depending on how the deceased estate will be settled.
Part of the funeral director’s funeral home services is to take care of the entire funeral and memorial service’s details. This includes, arranging with the family’s choice of clergy or location, creating any type of register book or prayer cards the family may want, aiding in the death notices for friends and other relatives. It also includes taking care of all transportation, pallbearers, or any special arrangements such as military, and receipt and storage of flowers and distribution of them after the funeral services. In a way, a funeral director is an expert at event planning. They will ensure that the timing is right, that the catering comes off well, and that the service generally runs smoothly in all aspects.
Typically, a funeral home is available to host the services, but the director is capable of and responsible for helping make arrangements at whatever location the family desires for the services.
The funeral director will not only publish the obituary for the family. The family may choose to write one, the departed may have already written theirs, but it can also be requested that the funeral director write one based on the information the family provides.
If the family wishes to set up a memorial contribution fund, the funeral director will handle all parts of it and care for the donations made. This may be a way to bring costs down for the family, or have charitable donations given to an organization of the family’s choice.
While funeral home’s funerals can be expensive, the help and the respect paid to a loved one is a huge benefit for the family. The funeral cost can take a toll on the loved ones, or at least be a source of stress. One reminder is that the director of the funeral home is helping with every legal document, and also ensuring that the family can take advantage of any social security benefits. Having a funeral guide can be the best way to actually reduce the stress of having to plan a funeral. A funeral director can also help in pre-paying for funerals or setting up a payment plan beforehand.
If you want to learn more about the cost of funerals, refer to our article called “A Closer Look at the Costs”.
Also check out our article titled “Important Items to Know When Arranging a Funeral”.
If you’ve already gone through the process of planning a funeral, and want to know more about how to pre-arrange one if you need to again, we have a few articles about this. These include: “Why It’s Smart to Pre-Arrange a Funeral” and “Things to Know about Preplanning”.
Looking for local funeral homes? Browse our website, FuneralHomes.com, in order to find the best option for you and your family. We are the number one funeral home directory in the country, giving you all the information you need to make your decision.