Funeral directors are a valuable addition to the funeral planning committee. Ideally, the professionals bring in the much-needed expertise to streamline the funeral planning process. Below are the questions to ask your funeral director before engaging in their services.
1. Are You Experienced In Planning Similar Funerals?
Most directors have the expertise needed to plan conventional funerals. However, what if your family intends to execute a cultural funeral for your loved one? Assess the director's understanding of your cultural beliefs and heritage. For example, you might need to plan special ceremonies before the funeral or perform rites on the body before the funeral. Moreover, certain activities could be considered taboo during the mourning period. Your director might not fully comprehend your culture if they have not executed similar funerals. If this is the case, give them a crash course on the dos and don'ts. Most directors are used to working under pressure and with different personalities. Therefore, you can be sure that they will follow your instructions to the letter.
2. What Services Will You Offer?
Most people presume that directors are funeral consultants. However, they do much more than consultation. Simply put, the director takes charge of all funeral planning activities to ensure family and friends do not overburden themselves as they mourn the departed. Typically, the director will
- Consult with close family to determine whom to invite to the funeral. The director then sends invites to the guests.
- Establish the wishes of your loved one and those of the family to determine how to prepare the funeral program. For instance, you may want the funeral officiated by a particular minister or held at a specific location.
- If you plan to have a ground burial, the director secures a suitable burial plot and prepares the area for burial.
- The funeral director liaises with the funeral home to ensure the body is well-prepared for burial. For example, they make sure the body is embalmed and refrigerated to keep it fresh for viewing.
- The director organises transport for your loved one's remains and close family. Moreover, they provide tents, seats, sound, lighting, and catering to ensure the event is successful.
3. How Will You Manage The Funeral Budget?
The funeral budget is a concern for most families. Therefore, ask the director how they plan to manage the budget. First, the director conducts due diligence to determine if the departed had a funeral plan, life insurance, or some money saved up for their funeral. They then draw the budget to determine if there is a deficit. Most directors integrate cost-saving mechanisms to keep funeral costs low. For instance, they could recommend reducing the number of guests or using a cheaper coffin. Remember to negotiate the funeral director's quote.
For more information, contact a local funeral director.