5 questions to ask when choosing a funeral home, before working with them

Making important decisions can be difficult for some people at the best of times, and even more so when a close relative or friend dies. Grief and shock can cloud your judgement and make even the smallest decisions feel impossible and unnecessary. It is completely natural to feel overwhelmed and emotional as well as an obligation to your loved one to get every detail perfect – but the support of an experienced funeral home can ease this burden and ensure a beautiful funeral service without the stress.

To help you find someone you are comfortable with, here are 5 questions to ask a funeral home before making the decision to work with them. You can do this on an initial telephone call or during a face to face visit to their offices.

Most importantly, you should never feel pressured by timeframes. There is absolutely no reason to rush the decision-making process and your funeral director will be supportive of you and your family taking all the time you need, when providing funeral care. Often, funeral planning requires consultation with several family members who may not all be in the same location, and a good funeral director will understand that reaching agreement on some of the bigger decisions may take time.

Will the funeral director I see today be at the funeral service?

It can be comforting to know that the person you sit down to create a funeral plan with will be there on the day of the funeral service to oversee proceedings. Knowing they understand your family’s circumstances and wishes will help things run smoothly on the day, and will also give you someone to call on with last-minute questions at the venue before or after the funeral service. Here are some suggestions of things to consider before meeting with your funeral director, so that you have some idea in mind of what type of funeral service or final farewell you would like for your loved one. Your funeral director will be on hand throughout the funeral planning so that you can focus on your own needs and caring for your family.

Are the funeral service prices clearly listed on the website?

With everything else going on at the time you shouldn’t have to worry about undisclosed costs or hidden charges. Knowing what the funeral arrangements will cost up front can ease your mind, especially if the death has been sudden or unexpected. McCartney Family Funerals believe in transparent pricing, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. And changing your mind, and some of the details along the way, should be as simple as asking your funeral director.

Keeping in mind that funerals are a very individual thing, it is worth discussing pricing up front with the funeral home, especially if you would like something specific that may alter the standard costs quoted; or if funeral financing assistance is required. Your funeral director is there to make sure you understand the options and are completely comfortable with the choices you make.

Does the funeral director have a good understanding of the local area and the venue options available?

Local knowledge of what venues, chapels, parks and outdoor spaces are available locally can help you settle on a place that gives your loved one a farewell suited to the individual. Your funeral director will understand capacity limits, weather restrictions and all of the factors that may influence where and when the service is held. Here are some additional things to consider before settling on a venue for your service.

Your funeral director may ask some questions about your family and your loved one’s background and interests and should be able to suggest a venue that suits the number of people in attendance, any religious requirements and the type of farewell that would best suit the circumstances.

Do I feel that the funeral director is listening?

The funeral home is there to meet your family’s needs and wishes and you should never feel pressured into making plans that you are not comfortable with. Many families choose a simple sendoff followed by a life celebration, others prefer the comfort of a traditional church funeral and for some there are cultural considerations to follow.

Each family is different and your chosen funeral director will listen to your requests and meet them in a way that gives your relative a fitting farewell. They should be open and upfront about costs, the permitted number of mourners and timeframes and will have some suggestions for you and your family to consider regarding the type of coffin or casket, floral tributes, music and whether you may like a family viewing.

What services can the funeral home provide?

Before settling on a funeral home, be sure they can meet your expectations and any special requests you may have. Have a list of questions handy to ask and feel comfortable to ask as many as you like – there are no silly or inappropriate questions. What is most important is that you and your family feel comfortable with your funeral director and the suggestions they make.

Remember, no two funerals are the same and it is the tiny details and special touches that make the biggest impact for family and friends when celebrating the life of someone you love.

Planning a funeral and choosing a funeral home are things that none of us want to do, but most of us will have to at some stage. Having an experienced professional by your side helping you through the process will take the guesswork out of what may otherwise be a stressful and upsetting task. Making sure that you are comfortable with the venue and service options, costings, timeframes and interment plans will be the most important thing a funeral home can do to ease the burden for you and your family.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding funeral planning whether in advance or at a time of loss, call McCartney Family Funerals on 1300 916 102 for information, advice and support.


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