Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 10.25.2022

Everything You Need to Know to Choose a Local Funeral Home

Everything You Need to Know to Choose a Local Funeral Home

Reviewed By: Elizabeth Siegel

Cross Checked By: Joshua Siegel


    Choosing a Funeral Home: A Run-Through

    When a loved one leaves unexpectedly, the grief can be overwhelming – and of the many procedures to be followed, one vital one is selecting a funeral home. This decision lies solely with the deceased’s family, and before doing so, it is a must to weigh the pros and cons of services offered by a multitude of funeral homes in the area. Over the course of this write-up, we shall help shed light on all necessary points to keep in mind when opting for a funeral home.

    Services Offered by Funeral Homes

    There exist many types of funeral homes, most of which offer a wide range of services, as listed below:

    • Funeral Services: An aspect most essential to their business operations, funeral homes offer funeral and memorial services that include venues, organizers, and planning essentials.
    • Obituaries: Many funeral homes also have partnerships with local newspapers, to ensure you can publish a loved one’s obituary – both online and offline.
    • Paperwork: When you lose a loved one, the last thing on your mind will be undertaking paperwork. Funeral homes assist with completing all necessary paperwork pertaining to death certificates, burials, and cremations.
    • Transportation: In addition to helping transport the mortal remains of the deceased, funeral homes also make transport arrangements for the deceased's family.
    • Reception: After the funeral service takes place, a reception is generally held for the attendees. Funeral homes help make arrangements for the same and even offer catering services.
    • Embalming: Funeral homes also help make arrangements for embalming the mortal remains and even preparing the body for the sake of viewing.
    • Products: Based on the specific needs of the family, funeral homes also help arrange for caskets, vaults, urns, and the like.

    Things to Look for in a Funeral Home

    Before choosing a funeral home for the funeral service of your loved one, make sure to keep the following aspects in mind:

    • Budget: The most vital aspect of planning a funeral, which includes selecting a funeral home, is a budget. Make sure you demarcate an exact amount for the funeral home and stick to your budget.
    • Reviews: Before zeroing in on a funeral home, make sure you check all reviews posted about the establishment and its services.
    • Arrangements: Based on your own unique need, make sure the funeral arrangements you are looking for can be catered to.
    • Service: Before settling in on a funeral home, ensure that the staff are kind, courteous, and empathetic.
    • Transparency: Before zeroing in on a funeral home, make sure that all conversations pertaining to funeral costs are clearly stated.

    Red Flags

    To ensure that you and your loved ones avoid getting duped in a time of immense grief, it is essential to take cognizance of the following red flags:

    • Licensing: In order to run a funeral home in a legal manner, you must necessarily be a licensed funeral director. You must avoid funeral homes that engage in delegating tasks to junior, untrained staff.
    • Scope for Questions: Make sure that your funeral home offers you the space to ask questions freely. Never engage with one that makes you feel rushed into making a decision.
    • Hygiene: Make sure that the facility offered is clean and hygienic – otherwise, it reflects badly on how your loved one’s mortal remains will be handled as well.
    • Third-Party Costs: Make sure that all third-party costs (such as florists, caterers and so on) are also included, transparently, in the final funeral costs.
    • Bad Reviews: Stay away from a facility with bad reviews – it’s a strict no-no.
    • Illegal Requirements: As per Federal Law, funeral homes are legally required to allow caskets purchased from elsewhere. If they deny your right to do so, you have the right to escalate this with your local authorities.


      Making the Right Decision

      Before choosing a funeral home of your liking, make sure you choose and stick to your budget, understand your priorities clearly, visit different funeral homes, compare services and prices, and finally make your decision. Once you have chosen a funeral home of your choice, you can proceed with making the arrangements, inviting guests, and holding the funeral service.