- Transportation of the person who has died and visiting facilities for the family at the funeral home
- Completion of all the necessary paperwork so the burial or cremation can go ahead
- Funeral arrangements in accordance with the wishes of the deceased or their family
A good undertaker is there to guide and advise and will organise as much of the funeral as you want them to. They will liaise with the church, crematorium or cemetery and person conducting the funeral service, provide appropriate vehicles and trained staff and help with funeral flowers, newspaper notices, collection of charity donations and order of service sheets if required.
Funeral directors can make a huge difference to family and friends both through the support they receive and the quality of the funeral service itself, so it really is worth taking time out to choose the right one. After all you only get one shot at this so you need to be sure that your funeral is in good hands.
A benefit of putting your own plans in place in advance is that you are more likely to shop around, compare funeral plans and choose wisely, something your family may be reluctant to do when the time comes, either because they feel it is disrespectful or just too upsetting.
To help you choose the right funeral director or undertaker, there are a number of things you can do:
Get recommendations from family or friends viewing facilities for the family
Get estimates from 2 or 3 Funeral Directors as costs do vary.
Get a detailed description of funeral prices and quotes over the phone and in writing
Check the funeral director is professionally qualified and holds a diploma in funeral directing (Dip.Fd.)
Finally, whether you choose a large corporate group or an independent family owned business, always choose a funeral director who is a member of one of the following:
National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
These organisations follow a strict code of practice which should guarantee a quality service. They must also provide you with a price list for all their funeral services on request so all costs are clear.
Of course there is no legal requirement to use a funeral director. If this is something you are thinking about, the Natural Death Centre can provide free advice and guidance.