How To Choose the Right Funeral Home: Best Practices


Choosing a funeral home to host the funeral of a loved one is one of the most significant decisions to make during the funeral planning process. A great funeral home can make you feel comfortable throughout the process but a bad one can leave you feeling more stressed than you were to begin with. 

To choose the right funeral home, compare different selections. Shortlist your best options and determine which is right for you based on your needs. Consider various factors such as price, location, and services, and meet with each funeral home you are interested in using.

Keep reading to learn more about the different factors when choosing a funeral home and what to expect when meeting with the funeral directors. 

What To Consider When Choosing a Funeral Home

While it isn’t required to go through a funeral home when planning a funeral, having the guidance and knowledge of a professional can make your life much easier. Many people have no idea where to start when planning a funeral and aren’t aware of all the minor decisions that need to be made. 

It may sound overwhelming at first, but it’s best to take some time to research and talk with different funeral homes and directors to ensure a good fit for you and your family. Comparison shopping for funeral homes doesn’t have to be complicated. 

To start, here are a few factors that you should consider when reviewing funeral homes. 

Location

Location is an essential factor to many families when choosing a funeral home. It may be more convenient to select a funeral home close to your family’s place of worship, the cemetery you’ll be using, or your home. 

Some people may use the funeral home as a gathering place for loved ones, while others may mainly gather at home and use the funeral home only for the service. You’ll have to talk to your family and decide what arrangement is best for you, as that may influence where you need the funeral home to be located. 

It’s also good to remember that some funeral homes will charge an extra fee if they need to travel farther to pick up the deceased’s body. Double-check with each funeral home about their policies and consider that during your decision. 

Price

For many families, price is a crucial determining factor in selecting a funeral home. While this may be surprising to some people, funeral home prices aren’t regulated or standardized. Each business is entitled to set and change its prices how they please. 

However, according to the Funeral Rule set by the Federal Trade Commission, funeral homes are required to give a detailed ledger of all prices and fees and allow each individual to opt-out of any products or services they don’t want. 

Therefore, you must ask for this detailed price breakdown at every funeral home you consider. You’ll want to compare the prices for each service, not just the total cost, so you can fully understand what you’re being charged for and where you’ll get the best deal. 

Arrangement Needs

Another factor you’ll need to discuss with each funeral home is your arrangement needs. Prices and processes may vary depending on what you choose to do with the remains. Most families will choose between burying or cremating the body. 

Still, other options are available, such as donating the body to medical research or having a green funeral. Whatever your wishes, discuss those details with the funeral director. 

This factor will be vital in determining which funeral home is right for you as some are better suited for specific arrangements than others, which will directly influence the cost. 

Services Provided

When discussing cost, you should learn about the different services that the funeral home offers. These are important as some may not provide everything you need. You’ll need to consider everything you want before choosing the home that satisfies most of your criteria.

For example: 

  • Does the body need to be transported a long distance to the home? 
  • Does the funeral home offer inclusive packages that include floral arrangements and another specialized décor? 
  • Are they able to accommodate any religious or cultural needs? 
  • Are grief services provided?

Take some time to think through how you’d like the service to be and ask these questions to confirm that the home can accommodate your wishes. 

Reputation

Reputation is also something to consider. If the funeral home, director, or staff have had issues with past clients, you may not want to work with them. Check online reviews, speak to community members, and trust your gut when making a choice. 

If others say there are multiple reports of negative experiences or the funeral home seems difficult to work with, they may not be the right home for you.

The Bachman Funeral Home is the longest running funeral service in the USA

Meeting Funeral Home Directors

Once you’ve thought about your wishes and researched different homes, it’s time to meet the funeral home directors. For each director, you’ll schedule an arrangement conference to go over the details of your wishes, what the funeral home can offer you, and any other questions that you may have for the director. 

Questions To Ask the Funeral Home

Remember that the funeral home is a business, and you’re hiring them to do a service for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions that you may have about the process, price, or service that you’ll be getting. 

Here are a few examples of common questions for funeral directors: 

  • What services are included in the basic fee? 
  • Can you provide me with a full breakdown of your prices? 
  • Am I required to purchase a vault liner for the burial? 
  • Do you have any recommendations for third-party vendors (florists, musicians, decorators, etc.)? 
  • Can you provide me with certified copies of the death certificate? 

What You Should Bring to the Appointment

You’ll want to come to these appointments prepared. Here are a few things that you should bring to the consultation with the funeral home: 

  • Details about your wishes 
  • Pen and paper to take notes 
  • Essential documents for the deceased (birth certificate, social security number, photos, insurance information, etc.) 
  • Clothing for the deceased (after the funeral home is selected) 
  • Anything else the funeral home requests 

Tips for Communicating With Funeral Homes

Funeral homes are just like any other business. And when communicating with them, you should treat them as such. They’re going to be handling an extremely important event for you, and it’s essential that communication between both parties is done well.

Here are a few tips for communicating with funeral homes:

  • Be as polite as possible. 
  • You should also be transparent with your needs to ensure everything is accounted for. Don’t be afraid to be stern about what you want. 
  • Don’t allow the home to saddle you with unnecessary expenses.
  • If the exchange doesn’t suit you, you should walk away and look for another option.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to take the time to consider your different funeral home options before selecting one for your funeral. Each home will offer various services and pricing structures, so research and ask as many questions as possible to ensure you’re getting what you want at the best price.

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Alex Noel

Hi there! I'm Alex Noel and live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I started this website to share my experience. My goal is to provide Americans a more fulfilling goodbye.

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