Top Questions to Ask a Funeral Director
When it comes to planning a funeral, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed.
There are a lot of things to consider, and you may have many questions that need answering.
The best advice is to come prepared to your first meeting with the funeral director with the right questions, so you’ll come away feeling like you have the answers to help make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Here are some of the top questions to ask your funeral director, so you have peace of mind regarding your funeral arrangements.
Is our first consultation free and will you visit me at home?
One of the first things to ask a funeral director is what are the first consultation costs and what the breakdown of fees are.
You need to know exactly what you are paying for, what the advice you are getting costs, and that there are no hidden fees.
Most funeral homes will make arrangements to visit you at your home and offer a free consultation or a credit towards the funeral plan.
What are the costs of the entire funeral?
Funerals these days come with many different services and package options to suit all types of budgets and individual needs.
A funeral director should be able to easily guide you through the services they have on their website and other customised options that may not be shown on the website.
You should receive the opportunity to be able to customise your service, and your funeral director will be able to take you through the costs of additional customised options.
A reputable funeral home will be able to provide you with a fixed price and all-inclusive quote, so you know exactly where you are standing with your finances and budgeting requirements.
Are they involved in community associations and organisations?
This is a question often overlooked; however, knowing if your funeral home is associated with local communities and organisations is an excellent way of establishing their reputation in the local community.
If the funeral home is part of the Australian Funeral Directors Association and other community and charity associations, it shows they are very reputable in your local area which will give you peace of mind of your choice.
What types of transport can you offer for the coffin?
Most funeral homes can arrange a large range of possibilities of transport including hearse, informal vehicles such as an estate car, motorcycle hearse, horses and carriage other specialist vehicles.
You may also wish to use your own vehicles and you can talk to your funeral director about these options.
What are my payment options?
A reputable funeral home will be able to assist you with a range of payment options.
They will be able to work with insurance companies if there are existing life insurance policies and also be able to assist with information in case financial help is needed.
There are several ways you may be eligible to be financially assisted with funerals, including options like government assistance, state assistance, superannuation assistance and life insurance.
In the case of financial need, the funeral home will also be able to arrange accommodations for the least expensive services possible or to suit your budget.
Are your staff on call 24/7?
The answer should be yes.
The funeral director or staff member of the funeral home will be on call 24/7 to outline staff procedures about who will come to remove the body, how long it will take and what you can expect to happen once they get there.
The family will always be given the option of sitting with their loved one before the body is removed.
This is the same case despite if the person passes away in a hospital, nursing home or residential setting.
The funeral home with whom you have pre-planned your final arrangements will come and remove the body and transport it to their facility at any time, day or night.
Can your loved ones view the body?
Another common query surrounding whether your loved ones will be able to see, spend time with, or view the remains before burial or cremation.
Who will be taking care of cleaning and dressing the body before services?
Is this necessary with cremation?
These are valid concerns that your funeral director will be able to address.
A good idea is to ask to see the area of the facility where your loved one will be kept until services, or other arrangements if this is something that concerns you.
Where will the remains be buried or cremated?
Ask the funeral director about all available options for cremation or burial.
If you already own a family burial site or you plan to store the cremated remains, this is something to discuss with the funeral director.
Can family members and friends carry the coffin?
Yes, family members can carry the coffin in most funeral situations.
Ask the funeral director for information on how this can be carried out and how many family members will be needed to assist you with this process.
What type of coffin should I choose?
Most funeral homes will have a large assortment of coffins and caskets for you to choose from.
Today there are many options to choose from including traditional wooden styles and environmentally conscious ones in cane, bamboo and banana leaf or cardboard.
There are also many options where you can choose painted coloured coffins.
Your funeral director will be able to provide a price list of options and help you decide on the perfect type of coffin which best represented your loved one.
Is there anything else I need to think about?
It’s a good idea to end with this question, as there may be things you’ve forgotten about asking that the funeral director will know.
From transport to funeral music, to unusual requests made by family members, remember your funeral director has heard it all.
There are no silly questions, as your funeral director will make every effort to answer all your questions, so you feel comfortable that you’ve made the right choice and have everything covered.
Remember that planning and paying for your final arrangements in advance saves your family the stress later.
A member of our dedicated, friendly and sympathetic team will be happy to help you with any queries that you might have so please don’t hesitate to contact us on the Gold Coast or Brisbane 24 hours a day on 1800 644 524 to inquire about out services.
Article by Tim Connolly – Funeral Director Newhaven Funerals Brisbane & Gold Coast
Tim Connolly – Funeral Director Newhaven Funerals Brisbane & Gold Coast.