How to Choose the Best Funeral Home For Your Loved One
When you lose a loved one, you want to make sure they’re honored as well as possible. Here’s how to go about choosing the right funeral home.
When putting your loved one to rest, choosing the proper funeral home adds to an already stressful situation.
First impressions speak volumes when shopping for a funeral home. You want one that is in a good location, has attractive facilities, services priced to meet your financial situation, and friendly, caring staff.
We are going to share everything you need to know about honoring your loved one through your selection of a funeral home.
Selecting a Funeral Home
Planning a funeral is a time when you must make important decisions while grieving for your loved one. Selecting the funeral home is only the first step. You must also plan the service, decide on all details such as casket or cremation vessel, flower arrangements, and the cemetery.
The location of the funeral home should not only be convenient for you, but also convenient for all family members that will be meeting with you to make arrangements in the coming days or weeks. This includes casket selection, dates and times of services and visitations, processional to the cemetery, grave-side service, and more.
A reputable funeral home will provide you with clear, transparent pricing. They will provide you with a price list and be upfront about what each step will cost.
Do not let a funeral home try to make you feel guilty about not selecting something that is outside our financial ability. The same goes for things that may be popular with some, but not of interest to you.
Things that factor into the price include the number of seats, size of the casket, amount of space necessary for floral arrangements, memorial displays, and more. The number of viewings and other services including the hearse, transportation of the body or ashes to the cemetery, and a grave-site service will affect pricing.
Funeral homes must follow the Federal Trade Commissions Funeral Rule that a funeral home must:
- Provide clients with a general price list
- Inform the client of their right to select the funeral goods and services they want
- Must show on the price list if any item is a requirement of state or local law
- May not refuse to use or charge a fee to handle a casket that was purchased at a different location
- Must offer alternative containers if cremation is chosen
You need to request an itemized contract on what is included in your arrangements. This makes sure nothing is left out and you get exactly what you are paying for.
The casket is often the most expensive item you will pay for when planning a traditional funeral. There is a wide selection available in both style and price. According to the Federal Trade Commission, an average casket costs just over $2,000. Other caskets made from bronze, copper, or mahogany sell for up to $10,000.
The funeral home has a federal obligation to provide you with a list of the caskets the company has for sale, descriptions of each casket, and pricing before they show you the caskets. This prevents a funeral home from showing you only the most costly caskets.
Funeral homes are prohibited from refusing to use or charging you a fee to handle a casket your purchase elsewhere. If you are having your loved one cremated, the Federal Trade Commission also provides similar laws regarding pricing and containers for that purpose.
Pay attention to the way the phone is answered when you call the funeral home. The person answering the phone sets the tone for how the remaining staff likely behaves.
If the person on the phone is friendly and professional, you are on the right track. Every staff person you deal with should be kind, sympathetic, and respectful in their handling of your arrangements.
A funeral home will have licensed staff and experienced staff members to help with funeral arrangements. They will also have other staff or volunteers who fill other needs, such as clergy, funeral director, funeral assistant, and cemetery staff.
Make sure the facilities are well maintained, clean, and attractive. When pulling into the parking area is the landscaping well kept or is it overgrown and deteriorating? This is the first impression the mourners of your loved one will have when they visit.
Check out the facilities inside as well. Everything should look clean and neat. Take a look in the bathrooms and make sure they are clean, properly stocked, and contain no foul odors.
All families have their own preferences and needs. Does the funeral home have a side room where you and close family members can take a respite from visitors if necessary?
Are they able to accommodate your religious beliefs and cultural heritage? Are they accommodating to persons with disabilities? These are questions you will want to consider when selecting a funeral home.
The funeral home business is one that is always in demand. Make sure the one you select has a good reputation with former users. If their website does not contain testimonials a simple online search will usually bring up reviews of any business you are considering.
Do Your Research
Do not make a decision in haste. Choosing a funeral home that your family or friends have used in the past is a great way to go. The other option is to plan ahead by meeting with a funeral home and maybe even doing some preplanning for your own or a loved one’s funeral.
One way to plan a successful memorial service and burial is to use a full-service facility. When you are able to choose everything from a funeral parlor to floral arrangements and a cemetery plot at one location, the planning and coordination of everything is easy.
Make Your Plans Now
When you are seeking out the best funeral home, be sure to check out La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary located near the I-805 and 54 Freeway in San Diego’s South Bay Corridor.
We make arrangement preparations as comfortable as possible by providing a funeral home, mortuary, crematory, cemetery, and funeral planning memorial park.
We welcome you to stop in for a visit, request additional information online, or call us at (619) 475-7770.
Whether you are planning services for a loved one or thinking about pre-planning your own arrangements, we are happy to help you through the process.