Whatever the reason for wanting to contact a funeral home, be it a death in the family or you have started to think about arranging a funeral for a loved one who is near to dying, the decision is sometimes hard. Who do you choose? Do you need to contact the nearest funeral director or maybe you may have a friend whose loved one has just passed away and attended the funeral. you could ask them who they used if you felt that the funeral performed was of high standard.
Years ago, the decision may have been based solely on “family tradition”. They may naturally turn to the funeral home which was involved in the burial or cremation of earlier generations of the family.
Things have changed. Thanks to the Internet, today’s families have immediate access to the information they need to make different choices, based on their needs (not on those of their parents or grandparents). But, as everyone knows, sometimes too much information can cloud your thinking, especially when emotions run rampant after the loss of someone dear to you.
The members of the AIFD put together this checklist to assist you in choosing a funeral home.
Determine if your loved one already has a pre-arranged funeral plan. If so, that document will guide you in the selection of the funeral home.
If no such document exists, it’s time to use the resources you have, including:
• The Internet
• Friends, Co-workers, and Extended Family
• Social Review Sources such as Yelp, Google or even Facebook.
• The Telephone
Connect to the Internet, and complete a search for funeral homes in your community. Use a basic search string such as “funeral homes in…” (naming the location). Write down the names of the funeral homes in the top search results.
Members of The Association of Independent Funeral Directors (AIFD) are committed to providing families with a higher standard of funeral and cremation services. That’s why you should compare that list to those funeral firms found in our Membership Directory.
Visit each of their websites. Review the information there closely. Get a feel for their approach to funeral service. Check for images of their facility to see if the funeral home is a place you’d like to spend time in. Read staff biographies, if provided. And if pricing is a major concern for your family, you may need to contact a few funeral directors by telephone to obtain estimates and then reviewing the details on funeral costs. check out the testimonial pages of each company to view what the families that they have performed funerals for have had to say.
Another clue to a good funeral director is if they have WOMO on their website. This is a true indication of the performance of the funeral company. these reviews are accurate and cannot be removed if the company doesn’t like the review.
Facebook is a fine place to ask for recommendations. Offline, you may benefit from calling those you know who have had dealings with a funeral home recently. Listen to, and write down, everyone’s recommendations.
Contact the funeral homes on your “short list” directly, either by phone, or in-person.
We advise asking the following questions:
• Are you locally owned?
• How long have you been in business?
• What services are available?
• What are the basic costs?
• What is the actual cost of the specific services I need?
• Do you offer funeral service packages?
• What options are available to customise the funeral service?
In some states of Australia, it is a law that the funeral company must give a person a written estimate obtained from over the telephone.