When trying to pick the best funeral services, it can be hard to find genuine guidance and info. Looking at online profiles of some big funeral chains on the internet, they can seem very impersonal and pushy. You will also sometimes see this attitude when visiting locations in person. When browsing through online listings, it can be hard to find a general price list and the provider offerings listed on the website, and their qualifications aren't always listed in an easy-to-find place. You want your burial services or cremation services professionally handled by a facility, but even validating that without being up-sold and pushed around can be shockingly tough. It is frustrating to find disingenuous facilities trying to take advantage of your situation on your search.
There are a few tips we have put together to help make this process more manageable amid your recent loss. We want you to have a meaningful funeral service during this critical point of closure. While considering these things, keep in mind what you truly wish for and follow your heart as you make these choices. We hope that by following our suggestions, you will find the best funeral home for your service.
Don't Let Your Emotions Rule Your Decisions.
Before our core tips, our first piece of feedback is not to let your emotions make your decisions for you. This process is easier said than done, as many of us know from personal experience. Preparing to say your last farewells is never easy and can really impact your ability to make choices as you usually would. As hard as it is, don't let yourself be upsold because of your emotions. Unfortunately, it is common throughout this process for less moral funeral directors to take advantage of your situation and try to guilt you into buying more expensive packages. Remember to take a step back when looking at your decisions and make your choices based on what the deceased would have truly wanted, not just what is most luxurious.
1. Consider The Community
When picking a funeral home, consider the area and where it resides in the community. If you have selected a cemetery where you want the deceased to rest, consider funeral homes that have a connection to that place. Did the deceased have a personal connection to the area, and will it be convenient for core family members to attend? If the establishment is part of a community that you or those related to the loved one are involved in, they may also have relationships with the funeral director. Beyond that, they may have personal recommendations from past experiences. While looking at things like the online average minimum rating can help, the best thing you can do is get firsthand accounts from those with relationships to the funeral home in one form or another.
2. Is The Funeral Home Always Available?
One of the last things you want is a funeral home that is not communicative. When you have a decision to make, you don't want to have to wait hours or days for someone to return your call. In the weeks you are planning for the funeral and memorial services, you have to choose a lot of things in a short period of time. Having a funeral director or employee of the funeral home who is openly communicative and responsive can help immensely when you have questions or concerns.
Some funeral homes have strict hours, which may make working with them difficult. When finding what day works for the closest loved ones of the deceased, you may need some flexibility in time and day. If the funeral home can't accommodate the time that works for those core people, it may not be the right place for you. Many funeral homes are very accommodating with timing, so keep looking until you find a place that helps you make sure everyone gets the chance to mourn and heal together.
3. Will The Funeral Home Have Your Family's Best Interests At Heart?
Not all funeral homes are putting your loved ones first. It is shockingly common to find funeral directors that resemble car salespeople, trying to upsell you on every small part of the service as much as possible. During a time when you are emotionally already carrying a lot of weight, the last thing you need is a pushy funeral director who is being disrespectful. Finding someone who embodies both professionalism and empathy is essential and can take a few tries.
Online reviews are one way to find a funeral home that is better at taking care of your needs. Even better is to get recommendations from those you know who have had to work with funeral directors. Reach out to your personal network through direct messages or social media to see if anyone has any references for you to connect with before you start digging through disingenuous online reviews that may or may not be accurate. If you do have to look at review sites, consider the quantity of their reviews and the average rating. Look at some of the worst ratings and see if their complaints seem valid or if something else may have spurred the customer's anger.
4: What About Things Like Flowers And Burial?
You aren't often told that you don't need to buy everything through the funeral home, even if they tell you otherwise. You can purchase everything from the flowers to the coffin on your own, and the funeral home has to accommodate that. There is an FTC Funeral Rule, which allows you to not only buy separate goods and services, but you don't have to accept any package that includes items you don't want. This rule also protects your right to get an itemized price list when you visit a funeral home so that you can see the cost of all of their services and offerings to compare with other locations you visit.
Finding the best funeral home can be difficult, but you can save yourself from stumbling into some common pitfalls by considering these tips as you look. By finding a funeral home and funeral director that genuinely cares about your experience, your decision-making becomes infinitely more straightforward and less stressful. Remember that open communication is key to avoid pushy funeral directors who care more about your wallet than your experience and find a place that feels right for the deceased and their loved ones. By keeping all of these things in mind, we hope you have a much easier time finding the perfect place for your memorial services.