Funerals are parties that no one wants to plan. After the death of a loved one, it often comes as a surprise how much planning funerals require and how quick decisions need to be made. Things like religious requirements, wishes of the deceased, number of people, plot selection (if applicable), post funeral reception, readings, pallbearers, etc.
With so much on your mind, we want to ease the arduous process of working with a funeral director with the most important questions to get answered.
Here is a list of questions to ask a funeral director
- What do you do?
As simple as it sounds, funeral homes will offer various services. Look for the following services to be included in a well run funeral home.
- Transporting the deceased body
- Handle paperwork to receive a death certificate and certified copies of the death certificate (we recommend requesting no less than five copies).
- Write and/or submit an obituary
- Embalm the body (if applicable)
- Prepare body for viewing (if applicable)
- Assist with the purchase of a casket
- Assist with transportation to and from the funeral home
- Coordinate with clergy
- Plan the funeral service with your assistance
- Programs and prayer cards
- Ordering flowers
- What do I need to do?
This answer will depend on how involved you want to be in the planning process. The funeral director can plan the service, or you should have the option to customize it. There may be wishes from your loved one that you’d like to include in the ceremony. Telling the funeral director how involved you want to be will enable them to tell you what the next steps are.
- What are your basic costs or packages?
Ask for a general price list or if they have packages. If they only have packages, it’s vital to understand what is included in each of them. You don’t want to be paying for services you don’t need. We highly encourage you to know your budget before you speak with a funeral director. An average funeral can cost between $7,000 – $12,000. They can get expensive quickly, so if you know your budget the funeral director can help you stay within it.
- Do we need to embalm the body?
Some states require embalming bodies before they are buried. Typically, this is the case if the cause of death was a contagious disease or the body wasn’t buried in a certain time period.
- What if my loved one passes away in the middle of the night?
The answer should be they work 24/7, and someone will be available to retrieve the body of the deceased at any time. They should be able to talk to you about how long it will take them to get there, and what the next steps are.
- Will you assist me with my funeral insurance?
Once again, the answer should be yes. Many more people are pre-planning and pre-paying for their end of life care and funeral costs so they do not put this burden on their loved ones. If your loved one had final expense insurance, or funeral insurance, the funeral director should be able to explain what steps you need to take as soon as your loved one passes away.
- What coffin options are there, and which is best for my loved one and budget?
Coffins come in multiple sizes, shapes, color and materials. They can be made from traditional wooden styles, wicker, bamboo, wool, cardboard, willow and wood pulp. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of each.
Planning Can Remove Your Stress
Planning for an emotional and life altering event can be very difficult. Planning these items ahead of time can be the best way to make sure your loved one is celebrated and remembered in a way they would like with the least amount of stress on you.
If your loved one is sick, or your parents are simply getting older, we want you to make the most of your time. Check out this valuable read with 30 questions to ask your parents. You’ll spend great quality time with your parents and we bet you’ll learn something new!