Featured FAQ: How Do I Choose a Funeral Home?November 1, 2016
While it may be convenient to choose a funeral home based on the fact that it is nearby or it comes recommended by someone you know, contacting your local funeral homes, visiting their facilities, and developing a relationship with the staff before there is a need will ensure that you feel comfortable with the facility and build trust with the staff who will be guiding you and your family through an emotional time.
“We are constantly improving our facilities to create a clean and comforting environment, and our dedicated staff works compassionately with our families to determine what will best honor and memorialize their loved one,” said Co-President John Keohane.
Comparing Funeral Homes
In order to best compare funeral homes, visit or call multiple funeral homes and speak with the funeral directors to have an opportunity to ask questions, learn what services are offered, understand the pricing for merchandise, and get a sense of each funeral home’s style and approach. It’s important to find a funeral home that meets all of your needs and can accommodate your wishes and the wishes of your loved one. When visiting a funeral home, keep the following points in mind:
1. The team: The staff should welcome your visit, gladly show you the funeral home, and clearly explain their policies. The funeral director should understand the type of funeral you desire and be committed to helping you actualize your wishes. Comfort and care are some of the most important elements of the funeral home industry. People are vulnerable after a loved one dies, and a caring staff will treat you with respect and compassion. They are trained experts to help you through this time of need by guiding you through the variety of choices based on your values and needs.
2. The facilities: The site should be clean, welcoming and well-maintained. You should feel comfortable entering the building and be at-ease meeting with the staff in a pleasant environment. If the staff takes good care of their facility, they will be likely to take good care of you and your family. Consider if the facility has the amenities necessary to cater to your space needs such as areas for visitation and services, as well as other special needs such as a handicapped bathroom or private meeting area for family before the service.
3. Goods and services: Ask the funeral director if they offer the goods and services that you’re interested in purchasing, such as picking up and preparing your loved one for burial or cremation, preparations of the obituary, filing necessary documents and permits, tribute videos; flower arrangements; use of the funeral home facilities, vehicles and staff; as well as merchandise such as caskets and urns. Funeral homes are required by law to provide a list of prices for their services and merchandise, including any packages as well as itemized prices for each type of service or article, so don’t be afraid to ask for pricing.
4. Religious and cultural considerations: Find a funeral home that understands your cultural or religious needs. Ask if they have ever performed a funeral service for your particular belief system. If they do not have the specific products or services necessary to perform a traditional funeral according to your beliefs, find out if they are willing to acquire them or allow you to bring them in from an outside vendor.
As you visit funeral homes and speak to funeral directors, bear in mind that, you are the customer and while the subject matter is extremely sensitive and personal, you have certain rights as a consumer that are protected. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission created the Funeral Rule, to ensure the rights that a consumer has when shopping for or purchasing a funeral.
According to the FCC website: “The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), makes it possible for you to choose only those goods and services you want or need and to pay only for those you select, whether you are making arrangements when a death occurs or in advance. The Rule allows you to compare prices among funeral homes, and makes it possible for you to select the funeral arrangements you want at the home you use.”
For more detailed information on the protections provided by the Funeral Rule, visit the FCC website.
To visit our facilities or discuss funeral arrangements with one of our knowledgeable funeral directors, please contact us at any of our locations or call our main office at 1-800-Keohane (800-536-4263).