Finding the right funeral home is no easy task.
Planning a funeral takes quite a ton of your time and attention, and that’s on top of the harsh reality of losing someone close to you. It’s difficult for even the most resilient among us. Choosing a funeral home is not something that should be rushed. Your loved one deserves quality care after their passing, and you should trust their care to qualified professionals only. It’s important to know that not all funeral services providers provide the same level or quality of service, despite licensing requirements by state authorities.
Let’s run through some red flags that you should be on the lookout for when you’re considering a funeral home.
Red Flag #1: Absent Funeral Director
If a funeral home has less-trained staff conducting most of the work, it may be best to keep searching for the right funeral home. It’s much cheaper for funeral service providers to pay uncertified and unlicensed staff to perform the majority of the work caring for your loved one. Some even go so far as to have a lawyer or off-site licensee hold the position of a funeral director, while staff operates the facility.
What to look for instead: The best results come from license holders being on-site and directly supervising their subordinates. Make sure that your funeral home has a certified and licensed funeral director performing or directly supervising the work of their team. That way, you’re guaranteed to get the kind of quality service that your loved ones deserve.
Big Red Flag #2: Being Pushy About Decision-making
Beware of being pressured into making a hasty decision based on false urgency. It’s rare that a decision is needed on the spot regarding the plans of a deceased friend or family member. If you ever feel like you need more time or clarification, always ask for it. It should be no problem for funeral homes to provide ample time for you to decide on the best course of action. However, if a funeral home insists on a quick decision, it may be best to continue your search for the right provider.
What to look for instead: You want a funeral provider that gives you options and patience to let you decide what is best. While you can’t wait forever to decide, there is no need for pressure or rushed decisions. Typically, a modern American funeral takes place within a week of death, or up to two weeks with embalming. While that’s not a large window of time, it still allows enough time for patient decision making and considerate thought for your loved ones.
Red Flag #3: Vague Pricing
Funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission’s “Funeral Rule” to give you a General Price List and other vital documents upon request. If there’s no price list and no documents, it’s best to keep moving.
What to look for Instead: Find a funeral home that has documentation to back up their word. Making funeral arrangements requires you to put a lot of trust in funeral homes. It shouldn’t even enter your mind that your funeral provider isn’t on the level. Make sure to check all licensing and documentation that backs up their word. Having documentation can be instrumental in setting things right if something happens to go sideways.
What should you do if providers fall short of their promises or make mistakes?
When a funeral home service provider makes mistakes that make you suffer unduly, that’s when it’s time to contact legal experts. Funeral homes are trusted to take on a sacred duty. They should be held to the highest levels of accountability when it comes to caring for your loved ones.