After the death of a family member, you can expect to spend much of your time making funeral arrangements. While the process will be easier if your family member planned the specifics of this event in advance, the reality is that not everyone takes the time to do so. One of your first priorities will be to contact a few funeral homes in your community and evaluate whether they'll be able to provide the venue for the funeral visitation and the service itself. While factors such as the quoted cost and the availability of the funeral home are important to consider, there are other factors that are worth evaluating.
When you're thinking about the location of the funeral home, don't just think how convenient it is to your home. Take a moment to consider who will likely be attending the funeral and ask yourself a series of questions. Is the funeral home easy to reach off the interstate? Does it provide enough on-site parking if there will be a big turnout? Such questions might seem small, but can go a long way toward helping you pick the ideal venue. If you anticipate plenty of out-of-town guests, think about the location of the funeral home in relation to any area hotels at which the guests might stay. If people are visiting an unfamiliar city for the funeral, it's convenient to find a hotel near the funeral home.
Many funeral homes are able to accommodate people regardless of their religious affiliation, but it's important to give this topic some thought. Think of the religious affiliation or overall views on religion of your deceased family member and call each prospective funeral home to ensure it can accommodate your needs. For example, if the person would have insisted on a religious ceremony, can the funeral home decorate the hall accordingly? If the person wouldn't have wanted any religious elements included in the service, how can the funeral home cater to this request?
Think about how much you wish to be involved in the funeral planning and setup and talk to a funeral director to determine if the funeral home staff can take care of the other duties that you don't want to perform. Many funeral homes can perform virtually every task required, including choosing the music and taking care of death announcements. While it's useful to determine the costs of having the staff handle these duties, it's important to choose a funeral home with a staff that can do what you aren't able to do.