If you're considering pre-planning your funeral, choosing the right funeral home is the first step. This is the facility that your family will rely on while they are grieving their loss of you. Make sure the funeral home and staff is the place you want to help your family at the time of their greatest need. Here are some ways to determine if a funeral home will be right for your family's needs.
Meet and Talk with the Staff
Personally meet with the funeral directors and some of the staff in each funeral home you are considering. You want to feel comfortable that these people will take care of your family. Get answers to the following questions to assess the people your family will be working with:
- Does the staff appear friendly and have a positive attitude about their jobs?
- Does the staff take time to answer questions and offer information or do they seem rushed all the time?
- Does the staff communicate respectfully to you without speaking down to you?
Your family will appreciate having a friendly, patient and respectful staff to work with as they are making the arrangements to lay you to rest.
Get Information on Helpful Services
Many funeral homes offer additional services that will ease the burden on your family. Find out about the following programs and how your family can tap into them when you've passed away.
Grief counseling - Your family will struggle with a number of emotions after you've passed away. These feelings can affect various areas of their lives. People find grief counseling helpful to understand and control these feelings. Funeral homes often offer resources for grief counseling. They may have a trained counselor on staff or they may work with a local grief support group. Find out what resources are available from the funeral home and include that in your pre-planning documentation for your family.
Administrative assistance - Some funeral homes offer help with completing and submitting applications for insurance and veteran's benefits. The forms can be complicated so having help to fill them out correctly and submit them quickly will be a big help to your family.
Find Out How Changes are Handled
Regardless of how detailed you make your funeral plan, there will likely be some changes at the time of your passing. A speaker or singer may not be available when you need them. The cost of materials may have gone up. Determine how the funeral home will help your family deal with changes to your funeral plan such as:
- Will the staff help your family locate resources when people aren't available that you specified in your plan?
- Does the funeral home offer financial help should your family want to make a change that exceeds your plan's original costs?
- How flexible is the funeral home in schedule changes and is there a fee for making this kind of change?
One of the greatest gifts you'll leave your family with is a funeral home that helps them through your loss. Friendly, compassionate and understanding staff and management will make your family's experience a little less painful.