Although most states do not require someone to go through a funeral director to conduct a funeral, many families do so by choice. The main reason for this is that most people have absolutely no idea how to navigate through a funeral upon the death of a loved one. Those who may have such knowledge don’t want to bother with the details as they are going through the initial grief period. Thus, a superior funeral home complete with a sensitive and a caring director is extremely valuable when the loss of a loved one occurs.
Planning a Funeral: Think Ahead
Planning your funeral or the funeral of a close family member should begin years in advance. Although preplanned funeral arrangements can be seen as an awkward inconvenience, in reality, they actually bring peace of mind to all involved. Planning your funeral in advance eliminates the possibility of making last-minute decisions that can be costly and cause long-term regret. It also ensures that you go with a funeral director that you trust. Some items you’ll want to consider include:
- The reputation and experience of the funeral director
- The location of the cemetery and prepaying for cemetery lots
- The total cost of the funeral home services including caskets
- All options that are available to you
- The thoughts, feelings, and suggestions, of other family members
- What is the method of disposition, i.e., burial, cremation, other
- Insurance options and conditions with the funeral director
Like any other industry, funeral homes and directors can apply for accreditation to national agencies. An accredited funeral home is recognized as one that consistently meets or exceeds all regulations stipulated by the agency. State or national certification keeps a funeral company accountable for both the product and services it offers as well as how it the owners and staff conduct their business.
Some states require government-based certification in particular areas in order to demonstrate competency. Two official national accreditation agencies are The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). Before hiring a funeral home to perform services for you and your family, check to see if they are certified by either or both agencies.
Be Knowledgeable of Funeral Home Policies
Funeral homes may have certain procedures or policies in place that can narrow a client’s choices. For instance:
- Always get the final price. Otherwise, you may be hit with hidden fees or extra expenditures that you didn’t see coming. Get everything in writing.
- Does the funeral home have ‘packaged’ services? In other words, all the services provided in the package are required and the client has to use them. Find out which services are require and which ones you can utilize by going through another company.
- Does the funeral home have partnerships with other companies in town such as florists or caterers? Do they require clients to use these other companies?
Ascension Funeral Group serves the Mobile, Alabama area and Saraland, Alabama area with funeral and cremation services, grief support, pre-planning, and more. Visit us online at www.AscensionFuneralGroup.com. Call us anytime at (251) 634-8055 or connect with Ascension Funeral Home & Crematory and Forest Lawn Funeral Home on Facebook and Twitter!
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