After a loved one has passed away, many families choose to work with a funeral director to make arrangements so they can ease the burdens of planning while grieving.
When working with a licensed funeral director to plan a service, the National Funeral Directors Association says families can expect directors to outline the entire funeral arrangement process, explain the full range of services and product options, and contact all of the parties involved in the arrangements on the family’s behalf.
Though the role of a funeral director will vary depending on the amount of assistance a family needs or wants, here are some standard tasks that funeral directors are responsible for when planning a service.
One of the initial calls you’ll need to make after a death is to a funeral home. In the funeral industry, this is often referred to as the “first call.” During the call, the funeral director will offer guidance on the next steps you should take. According to Funeral Wise, you should be prepared to provide the following information to your funeral director:
- The deceased person’s name, Social Security number, address and phone number
- Time of death
- The location of the body
- Attending physician’s name and phone number
- Your full address and phone numbers
- Your relationship to the deceased
Following the first call, traditionally a funeral director will help arrange for the body to be transferred to the funeral home. They will then arrange for the body’s preparation prior to the service, including the embalming, sanitary washing, dressing, cosmetology, hairdressing and restoration of the body.
In consultation with the family, a funeral director also will handle official paperwork required for burial or cremation, place death notices in local or national newspapers and online on your behalf and help you set the date and time and secure facilities for visitations and the funeral or memorial service.
Managing the Service
In addition to planning the ceremony, funeral directors also are tasked with managing the service. Each ceremony is different and will include special personal touches to ensure the tribute is unique, so the tasks that funeral directors will assist with differ from service to service.
Though many funeral homes are equipped with a location for funeral services, funeral directors also can help families make arrangements for ceremonies at churches or other locations. In these cases, funeral directors will be responsible for coordinating with the chosen venue and arranging cars, flowers and catering for receptions, if required.
Special requests for music or tributes, including military honors, also will be coordinated through funeral directors. If families need help setting up memorial funds, funeral directors will assist. They may even collect donations at the funeral home.
Funeral directors also will print stationery products such as guest register books, memorial folders, prayer cards and service programs and help distribute them to guests.
After the Funeral Service
After the ceremony, funeral directors will help you tie up any loose ends. Families typically need multiple copies of the death certificates to use as proof of death when settling a lost loved one’s affairs. A funeral director will secure the death certificates and notify the Social Security Administration of your loved one’s death.
Immediately following the service and burial, many people are still processing their emotions and coping with grief. A knowledgeable funeral director often will be able to inform you about grief support options and help connect you to local or online resources.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced funeral director about planning a fitting memorable tribute for a loved one who has passed away, or to begin the pre planning process, call Bevis Funeral Home today at 850-385-2193.