Even if you live in a small town, you are likely to be presented with more than one choice when you google funeral home near me. The search will provide you with contact information, location, and perhaps a link to websites of the funeral homes near your immediate location. The search is a useful first step, but most people need more to help them decide which funeral home to use. The eight steps below should get you started on solid footing.
1. Check with family members to find out if your ill or deceased family member has a prearrangement on file with any one of the local funeral homes. If your family member has taken this step in advance, everything just got easier. You’ll not only know exactly who to call but you’ll also know just what needs to be done.
2. When there is no advance plan the first thing you will need to do is to pull together the decision makers. Who in the family is going to take the lead in making the funeral arrangements? Often, but not always, this will be the person who will be financially responsible. Who in the family has been the caregiver? Which family members have strong opinions about what should take place?
3. Bring your group together. Talk about what your family will expect or want in the funeral service. Is your family large or small? Was the deceased well known in the community? Does one funeral home stand out over another as being able to accommodate the number of people who will likely attend the funeral?
4. Which funeral home has your family worked with in the past? Have you been pleased with the services provided? When there is no history with a funeral provider in the community you may want to ask trusted friends or your clergy person for a recommendation.
5. Give some thought to what your family will want or need to support the service desired. In addition to knowing if there will be a burial or cremation or a service before or after either of these forms of disposition, you’ll want to think about space, specialized equipment such as screens, microphones, audio/visual, even parking can be a deciding factor in which local funeral home to use.
6. Once you have a general idea of what you want, you can begin to call the funeral providers you are considering. Tell the person who answers the phone your situation, “We have a family member in the last stages of life,” or “We have a family member who has just died.” Tell the person what you want to know. “We would like to _____. How will you help us with this if we decide to use your funeral home?” If cost will play a part your decision-making process, ask for information. The most useful information regarding cost is a price range rather than the least expensive. You and your family will have preferences. One family may value the vault over the casket. Funeral service is flexible in order to meet each individual family’s needs. Basing the decision of which funeral home to use on the cost of one aspect of the service may lead to lost opportunity and may not even be the most cost effective in the end.
7. Ask for a personal visit, schedule some time with a funeral director. Tour the facility. Ask for a general price list. Go over it with the funeral director, ask questions. You will be best equipped to decide which product and service options best suit your family when you have all the information you need.
8. Finally, take a deep breath. Allow yourselves enough time to get it right. Funerals are emotional. They leave lasting impressions. Be considerate of the people you love. A funeral that focuses on healing the hearts of those left behind brings families together.