If you're creating a funeral pre-plan, one major decision is which funeral home to use. You not only want one that cooperates with your final wishes, you also want a facility that will treat your family well after you pass away. Here are some considerations as you research which funeral home to work with.
Evaluate the Management and Staff
You want to be comfortable that the facility will take good care of your family as they make the final arrangements for your funeral. Talk with the funeral director at each facility and get a sense for how they will interact with your family. Also talk with some of the staff and look for signs that this is the kind of place that will work well with your family, such as:
- the staff enjoy their work and have a positive and helpful customer attitude.
- they are not always selling their products and services.
- the staff has creative suggestions to help with any problems you or your family may encounter.
Availability of Grief Counseling
Funeral homes all handle grief counseling differently. Ask about what services they offer and how your family can take advantage of them. Some of the ways that grief counseling is approached in a funeral home include:
- Some facilities employ trained grief counselors. They will have active support groups and will offer one-on-one services for your family. They may have specialists that work with children or individuals with special needs.
- Some facilities contract out any grief counseling services. Your family may have to go to a different location to work with the therapist and they may or may not offer support groups.
- Other funeral homes may direct your family to local community resources. This may include religious or non-profit organizations that have grief programs.
If you'll be using a cemetery that the funeral home manages, get a copy of the regulations that your family will have to follow. These will specify such rules as:
- what materials, shape and sizes are allowed for memorials.
- who is responsible for the installation of memorials.
- how maintenance of the grave site is handled.
- what grave decorations are allowed and when perishable items are picked up.
Make sure the rules are not too restrictive for your family to work with after you've passed away.
Some facilities offer help with filing for insurance or military benefits. Gathering the information, completing the forms properly and submitting all of the necessary paperwork can be a challenge for your family while they are grieving. Having someone at the funeral home to help with these tasks will be a relief to your family and reduce their stress.
Contact various funeral homes, such as Gillies Funeral Chapel, to find the right funeral home for you and your family.