How to choose a funeral director

Choosing a Funeral Director

Funeral planning can be hard work. Families who are already stricken with grief are suddenly thrust into a tumult of decision making, form filling and bill paying just to get to the all-important funeral day. Many people are choosing to take this stress away from their loved ones by making their own plans for their send off. You can choose your own Funeral Director before your die and make decisions easier for your family.




Choosing your own Funeral Director

When planning your funeral, it’s important to pick a reputable funeral director, as they will be the lynch pin that holds everything else together. Funeral directors, also known as Undertakers, will take care of all arrangements, from hearses to burial and everything in between.

Usually families don’t have the opportunity to be too picky; it’s more a case of whoever is available in time. But if you’re planning your own funeral while you’re still here, you can take a little more care over who is given this great responsibility.

Governing bodies to be aware of

Here in the UK, there are two official governing bodies relating to the funeral director industry. These are:

1. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
2. The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)

Any funeral director who is a member of one of these associations has a stringent set of quality and care standards to maintain in order to retain their membership. Picking an undertaker who is backed by these associations will give you peace of mind you are dealing with a professional.

What does an funeral director do?

  • Undertakers have three distinct roles in helping you plan your funeral. They are:
  • Event planners: Able to source, instruct and control other providers for your day
  • Advice givers: Able to listen to you and offer solutions that meet your needs
  • Service providers: Able to transport and look after dead bodies

There are a lot of things they can take care of for you, from collecting the body and measuring up a coffin to dressing the cadaver, arranging flower deliveries, superintending funeral seating and even taking the chief mourners to the wake. Check out as Funeral planning checklist to help understand the jobs they may be needed for. The more they do, the more they cost, but of course you can ask your family to take care of a number of these jobs themselves.

How much do funeral directors cost?

Because money from your Estate is not released for some weeks following your death, your relatives will have to find the money up front for your funeral. Sadly, not everyone has the funds available to arrange the perfect send off, and funeral directors do not come cheap.

Research by the UK’s Money Advice Service suggests that the average UK undertaker will cost around £3,300 – £4,100, which includes storing the body, buying the coffin, staff and rental of a hearse.

In addition to this basic cost, there may be other costs to keep in mind. There could be doctors’ fees, costs for burial ground preparation, memorial expenses such as the cost of a religious representative, plus costs of headstones and more. Funeral directors who work with SAIF and the NAFD must stick to a stringent pricing structure, so if you’re in any doubt, talk to the governing body for help.

Making a great choice

  • Engaging with a funeral director is just like any other commercial transaction. You should be looking for great value for money, but also for someone you can trust to do the job well. Look out for these key points to slim down your choices:
  • Convenience: Is the undertaker located close to where you spend your time? Are they close to the place you want your funeral held?
  • Cost: Are they within budget for the service they have offered to provide, and are there any extra costs to be taken into account?
  • Service: Do you get the impression they will go the extra mile to make your loved ones comfortable?
  • Gut instinct: Do you feel like they are really listening to you, and that they are genuinely caring and thoughtful about the service they provide?

The best funeral director for your funeral might not always be the cheapest, but they will be the person you feel you have connected with the best. Having a genuinely empathetic, professional and caring funeral director on your side will make all the difference to your funeral day, and to the feelings and emotions of those you love.

You can also leave additional Wishes for your Funeral within your Lexikin account, stored safely and securely until we are notified of your passing.

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