It is one of the saddest things in life when a loved one passes away. It is a time for grieving and to remember all that is great about them. One of the time-honoured ways to remember and pay your respects is at the funeral. This is the event where everybody who knew and loved the deceased can gather to mourn together, sharing stories, songs and all the memories they have of their dearly departed loved one.
A funeral can be a difficult thing to plan, especially if the responsibility falls to just one person. You want to honour your loved one as best as you can, but are finding it difficult while in a state of mourning. One way to ensure the day goes as best as it can is to hire a funeral director to assist you.
But what is a funeral director, and how can you find the right one to help with the final farewell to your loved one.
What Do Funeral Directors Do?
If you’re booking a funeral through a funeral parlour, you’ll probably find yourself being offered or assigned a funeral director to assist you with the process.
A funeral director’s main responsibility is to take on the planning of a funeral. They will mainly do this by coordinating with one of the deceased’s loved ones. The job of a funeral director can range from assisting you with some of the finer details to planning the whole funeral, depending on how hands-on you want to be with the funeral. Most people do not have existing experience with planning a funeral, so working with a funeral director can help assist a person through the whole process, making recommendations and arrangements to support you.
In addition, they perform some duties that are normally not performed by a loved one, including:
- Transporting the person who has died to the funeral home, then to the funeral
- Washing, dressing and preparing them for the funeral, or preparing them for a viewing at the funeral home
- Dealing with the paperwork that is needed for the burial or cremation
- Arranging the collection and delivery of the coffin and urn
- Coordinating with any third-party services required for the day, such as flowers, catering, music, transport etc.
- Repatriation to or from another country
- Help with bereavement support before, during and after the funeral
- Picking a burial spot if a specific one is not required
How To Pick A Director To Assist With Funeral Arrangements
The first thing you should consider when looking for a funeral director is whether you have any familial connections with any certain funeral home or cemetery. In many places, families build up relationships with particular homes and funeral directors, trusting them to help with arrangements for relatives in the past. You can do this by asking other family members if they know about any connections, or finding out where and with whose assistance previous relatives were buried.
You may also want to check your loved ones will before any funeral planning begins. They may have already recommended a funeral director or provided details about the funeral that they wish for. This could be flower arrangements, songs, poems, speeches, burial preferences or whether they wish to be cremated.
You should always pick a funeral director that is close to you or your loved one, as you may need to visit multiple times to sort out arrangements for the funeral. A funeral director may charge additional money if they have to travel outside of a certain radius to make arrangements or transport the body to a church or cemetery. Ask if home visits are possible, but also ask if they charge extra for this.
When picking a funeral director, you should look up any recent reviews of them. You can often find reviews online on a funeral director’s website, but you can also find reviews on different sites. You may want to ask friends and family for any recommendations and ask about their experience with certain funeral directors.
You should always make sure you look at a few different funeral directors before you pick one. You can then check the reviews of each one and see which is the best-reviewed. You should also compare the prices of each director, to see which is the best value of money. Make sure to find out if the prices include any additional third-party costs.
A funeral isn’t something to skimp on, so while getting a deal is great, it’s probably not beneficial to work with the cheapest director you can find. Be wary if a funeral director won’t give you a quote over the phone or over online correspondence, as they may try to pressure you into higher costs in person.
You should also ask about payment options. Some may ask for payment up-front or after the funeral is over. They may also give you the option to pay in instalments, which can be great if you don’t have all the money together immediately. Some funeral directors can even help out with options if you can’t afford funeral costs, allowing you to delay payments till a time that suits you.
You want to make sure the funeral parlour and director offer the type of funeral you’re looking for. This could be an eco-friendly funeral for a loved one who cares about the environment, or options for a non-religious funeral. If you’d like to arrange a viewing before the funeral, you need to pick a venue with facilities to allow for this.
Qualifications are important to picking a funeral director, and there are a number of associations that provide training, qualifications and accreditation for funeral directors. This includes the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) and the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). If your funeral director is part of one of these associations, this tells you they abide by the code of conduct of these organisations and are probably well trained to help you out.
Above all else, you want to choose someone to work with who you get along with and who makes you feel comfortable. Planning your loved one’s final send-off can be a very stressful and intense time for you, so you want to work with a funeral director that takes this into account and who will work with you, even if you are upset.
For this reason, you should make sure you meet with potential funeral directors in person before you make a commitment, so you can gauge the relationship between the two of you. An ideal funeral director will respect your and your loved one’s wishes and won’t try to push you towards any choices you don’t want to make. Be wary of any funeral director who tries to upsell you and take advantage of your sadness.
Funeral Plans from T & I Stockman
Each funeral is unique, so it should be treated as such. Stockman & Loram have been working for four generations to make your loved ones’ funeral special. Our family-run business aims to treat you with care and consideration. We have a team of ten funeral directors on hand, who will personally work on funeral arrangements alongside you. This means you’ll be getting a personalised service from a dedicated point of contact that will work with you to arrange a send-off that will reflect what’s important to you and your loved one.
We are transparent with our costs, with no hidden extras or surprises. We are also available 24/7 to offer advice and our services, either from your point of contact or from any of our team of directors, secretaries, funeral operatives and other support staff. We specialise in looking after bereaved families throughout Paignton, Torquay, Brixham and the wider area of South Devon, but can also look after families elsewhere in the UK or abroad.
To speak to one of our compassionate staff about making funeral arrangements, call us now on 01803 843 710 or 01803 552 112. To find out more about the full range of services we can offer you, including green funerals, memorials and floral tributes, visit our website now.