When you are planning a funeral service, the home you choose to work with becomes essential. Whether you are pre-planning your service or are just starting to explore options for a loved one, your funeral director will be working closely with you to ensure the memorial and funeral go as you hope it will. You can shop around for the funeral home you use, so keep in mind that your options are not necessarily limited. What if you do not know how to choose a funeral home? Here are the best things to look for during your search.
Maintains Good Reviews
Technology has come so far that you generally have access to the internet no matter where you go. With a quick search, you can pull up all kinds of business results, including funeral homes. Look up the homes in your area and see what people are saying about their services. A quality funeral home with compassionate staff should maintain good reviews and be responsive to lower reviews. If a particular review concerns you and you are still thinking of using that funeral home, be sure to ask about it when you talk with the director or staff member.
Also, keep in mind that reviews are not the end-all-be-all for every company. It is a good idea to check out the lower reviews to see exactly why some customers were unhappy, but be sure to look at the best reviews, too; the reasons might surprise you. Reviews are a good starting point, and consider visiting the funeral home in person anyway to get a feel for it yourself.
Is Upfront About Costs
Every funeral includes a basic services fee, which typically consists of the cost of the death certificate, funeral planning, notices preparation, and arrangements with the cemetery or crematory. What about flowers, coffin options, headstone choices, and other merchandise? The last thing you probably want is to plan the service you really want to be remembered by only to find out later that most of what you chose came with an extra fee. When you discuss the service arrangements, your director or planner should be transparent about the cost for each item. Some costs that may be added onto the basic services fee include:
- Graveside service and equipment
By law, your funeral home of choice should articulate the cost of each of their services clearly. Getting this information early may also help you to decide which home can meet your needs for the most appropriate price. Remember also that cheaper is not always better, so make sure you are getting quality goods and services from whichever home you choose.
Works Within Your Budget
You may have a limited budget to spend on your own funeral, or perhaps your loved one left a designed amount to spend on services. Whatever the reason, your funeral home of choice should work within a budget if you have one. It is vital that you clearly inform your funeral planner about how much you have to work with and what you envision the service to be. While you might have to make some compromises if certain options just do not fit within your budget, a good funeral home will do everything it can to make your dream service come to life.
Customizes Your Service
Speaking of making your dream service come true, your planner should be attentive to your wants or the wants of your loved one. You may think of a memorial service as something where friends and family gather, a eulogy is given, some songs are sung, and some memories are shared before moving to a graveside service. However, the format of the service can ultimately be as unique as the person of honor. For example, a unique service might involve any of the following:
- A live band or performer
- A potluck or catered service
- A talent show
- A memorial slideshow or movie
- A costume party
You may have a will from your loved one that details what the service should be like in some cases. If you plan on holding a unique service, talk to the different funeral homes in your area, or check online reviews to see which ones are best able to accommodate you. When in doubt, visit the home in person and ask about creative service options.
Accommodates for Religion and Culture
Special considerations and arrangements need to be made for people of certain cultures and religions. Because these are so important to individuals and their families, it is vital that your chosen funeral home can take care of these needs with the utmost respect. This also falls under the ability to customize a service to meet specific needs. The best way to find out if a funeral home or planning service can facilitate the requirements for a certain culture or religion is to ask.
Uses the Latest Technology
It is becoming increasingly important for family members to be able to communicate with one another over greater distances. Some circumstances prevent friends and family from being able to attend a service virtually. If your funeral service arrangements require accommodations for technology such as live streaming, be sure to ask if your funeral planner can assist you.
Offers Resources for the Grieving
Everyone deals with the loss of a loved one in a different way. Access to grief resources, such as counseling, is important. It can be beneficial to inquire about counseling services through your funeral home just in case some friends or family members may need that support. If you do enlist resources for grieving through your funeral home, let your friends and loved ones know so they can reach out for that support if they choose.
Employs Compassionate Staff Members
You can get a good sense of what a funeral home and its services are like just by interacting with its staff. The people you contact, especially those who will be planning or overseeing the service, should be compassionate and respectful. This is why it is good to visit a funeral home in person, no matter what the online reviews say or how the pricing looks on paper.
Many people do not think about researching funeral homes until they lose a loved one. Whether you are making plans for your own service down the road or need to make arrangements for someone you care about, taking the time to research and compare your service options is still important. Good funeral homes will be understanding of your situation and embody the qualities listed above. Remember also to consult with other family members about the decision if needed. Robinson Funeral Home can answer all of your questions about the planning process and is here to help you through every step. Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling us at 864-859-4001.
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