9 Questions You Should Ask Your San Diego Funeral Home

An astonishing 6 out of 10 people feel they know very little when it comes to preparing for death.

Although it’s a grim part of life, it’s inevitable. And when it happens, you’ll probably leave behind some loved ones.

This can already be a very emotional and trying time. Don’t make your family handle the burden of your funeral on top of grieving.

It’s good to have a funeral plan in place, so when the time comes, your loved ones can properly grieve without having to worry about other things.

If you’re looking at San Diego funeral homes, here are nine key questions you need to ask them before making a final decision.

1. What Are Your Basic Services and the Cost?

In the United States, funeral homes are allowed by the FTC Funeral Rule to charge a basic service fee. Depending on the funeral home you’re speaking to, they may call it by a different name: non-declinable basic services fee.

As the name suggests, if you agree to use a particular funeral home, this fee is mandatory, and there is no way out of paying it.

By law, at minimum, the basic services must include planning of the funeral, procurement of permits and death certificates, secure storage of the remains, and coordination with other third parties to ensure the funeral goes as planned. This can include communication with a crematorium or cemetery.

2. What Are Your Additional Services and the Costs?

Next, you should ask what the funeral home charges for additional services. This can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking to compare how comprehensive the services of each funeral home are and if their prices are reasonable.

Make sure you ask each establishment to list out what additional services they have and what they charge for each one. That way, you have a clear-cut list to reference should you forget any details.

3. Are There Any Cash Advances?

Many funeral homes will need cash advances to arrange all the services they provide for your funeral. Make sure you understand which cash advances are required – if any.

Funeral homes are required by law to state what these fees are clearly. However, they don’t need to disclose how much they mark up those prices by. The good news is, if they receive any discounts or refunds, they must let you know.

4. What Are My Payment Options?

Funerals are expensive, and for many families, they aren’t able to pay for the total costs upfront. But just because you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you should give up on the services you and your loved ones deserve.

Many funeral homes will coordinate with your insurance company to see if they can get you some financial assistance. They can then work together to get you funeral services on a budget you can afford.

5. How Long Have You Been in Business?

You’ll want to choose a funeral home that has years of experience and, preferably, is family-owned as well. Funerals are a serious and delicate matter, and you need to choose someone that understands the nuances of the whole process.

While you or your family members are grieving, you shouldn’t have to deal with a funeral home that’s insensitive or even downright rude. Also, you need someone you can trust to get everything right so your family can focus on solely being there for one another.

Chain funeral homes aren’t necessarily a wrong choice, but if going local is important to you, it’s worth taking this extra step to look into if they’re family-owned or not.

6. Are You Part of Any Organizations or Associations?

In many professions, it’s vital to receive ongoing education and training; this is necessary to keep up with evolving technologies and methodologies.

For the funeral home industry, this is no different. You should look for membership in either the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice or the National Funeral Directors Association.

Many of these organizations offer ongoing training, education, and certification. So membership in these shows a commitment to bringing you the best services available.

7. Do I Have to Buy the Urn or Casket From You Specifically?

Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to look elsewhere for an urn or casket. Or you might want to get everything done under one roof for convenience.

You must have choices. It’s a red flag (and illegal) for a funeral home to either charge you for an outside urn or casket, refuse to use it, or force you to buy either one as part of their services.

8. Is Embalming Mandatory for Burials?

It’s not required by law that embalming is done for burials. However, there are exceptional circumstances where it must be done. These include open casket funerals, transportation of the body, and how long the body is stored before the funeral.

It’s best to discuss with the funeral home whether embalming will be needed for your circumstances.

9. Can I Reach You at All Times?

It’s vital the funeral home is reachable at all times, even if it’s 3:00 am. After all, death occurs at any time of the day.

The funeral home you choose should be available 24/7. They should also be able to clearly explain to you how they handle body retrieval and what you should expect in the process.

Make the Best Choice When It Comes to San Diego Funeral Homes

Planning for a funeral can be a tricky thing, but the burden can be lessened if you work with an experienced and compassionate funeral home.

Take a look at your choices when it comes to San Diego’s funeral homes and make sure to ask those above nine questions to ensure you make the best decision possible.

If you have any other questions or concerns or would like to speak directly to a funeral home, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.