Picking a funeral home is a major decision everyone must make at some point in time. Do not assume that just because you or someone you know has used a funeral home in the past, it is the best choice for you now. If you do not take the time to compare prices and services offered, you will not know which funeral home is actually the best choice.
Here are some steps to take when selecting a funeral home.
Talk with Family and Decide on a Budget
Funerals are large-ticket items, and therefore they need careful planning. Decide what your budget is, and what elements are important to the family and what elements can be ignored. You are not obligated to incorporate everything involved with the traditional funeral of the past. Make decisions regarding what is right for your family and how to best honor your loved one.
Talk with Friends and Relatives
While you do not want to make a decision based solely on a recommendation from family or friends, it is often a good starting point. Find out what their experiences were like in dealing with different homes. It might help you narrow down the number of funeral homes you are going to call in the next step.
Make Phone Calls to get Prices
Call up various funeral homes and request price lists. Every funeral home is obligated by law to have price lists available at no charge and with no obligation.
Determine Your Priorities
Go through the lists. Determine which elements are essential for your family and which are not. Make sure your choices fall within the family’s budget. Do not feel pressured to go with something elaborate if you cannot afford it or if you feel it would not truly be honoring your loved one.
Additional Questions to Ask Yourself
There are other aspects of the funeral homes you will want to look at beyond the prices. First, is the location convenient for family and friends? Is the funeral home able to accommodate any requirements you may have in terms of religious and cultural rituals? Does the funeral home have a chapel large enough to suit the number of people you expect to attend? You might also want to look into parking availability, as well as technology and handicap accessibility.
Make Your Final Choices
It is now time to make your choices. Do you want to have a more traditional funeral service with a burial, or a memorial service with a cremation? If you wish to have a burial, then you need to choose the casket. If you choose a cremation, what do you want to do with the ashes? The funeral home can help you make these often difficult choices.
Visit Several Funeral Homes
If you have the time, it is a good idea to visit several funeral homes. See what each funeral home has to offer. Talk with the funeral director and see if the funeral home is able to fulfill all of your requirements. Go over their price list with them and ask any questions you may have. If you do not feel comfortable with the funeral director or the funeral home itself then it is best to move on and choose another facility.
At each funeral home you visit, get a quote for the arrangement choices you and your family have made. Ask for an itemized statement but do not sign anything yet. Take the quotes home and go over them to determine which is the best choice.
Make a Decision
After discussion with family, it is now time to make a decision and sign an agreement.
Throughout the process, remember that the purpose is to memorialize your loved one in a manner that would be befitting to them. You do not need to try to fit within any mold. Just think about what would have made your loved one happy and go with that, because that is what is most important.