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Someone to turn to

Planning a funeral isn’t easy. Not only do you make a number of decisions in a short time, but you have to contact and comfort countless family and friends. On top of that, you have to contend with your own grief. It is difficult at best, but there is one person you can count on to help you with all of the details-the funeral director.

Funerals vary from one client to another. Some are religious; some are not. Some take place inside the home and others at the church or funeral home. Some are elaborate; others are simple. The funeral director must be familiar with the various burial customs and available to assist the family with whatever they need.

According to the Funeral Directors Association, some of the duties of the funeral director include:

  • Providing for transportation of the deceased. This includes transporting the body from the home or hospital to the funeral home and then to the crematory or burial site.
  • Filing for the death certificate. The funeral director may help the family obtain the information needed for the death certificate and file it with the proper authorities.
  • Taking care of other paperwork. To help remove some of the stress, the funeral director may assist the family with making an obituary notice as well as completing any claim forms for social security, insurance, and veteran’s and union benefits. If the family wishes, the director may also notify the deceased’s employer, attorney and other professionals, and speak to personnel, such as the coroner, clergy and cemetery officials.
  • Assisting with arrangements. This includes helping the family decide on a time, location and type of service, as well as selecting a casket, urn or grave marker.
  • Offering support. The funeral director may provide emotional support to the family as well as referrals for anyone who may be having a difficult time accepting the loss of their loved one.

In addition to these, funeral directors have many other responsibilities. They must respond to any telephone inquiries, supervise the staff and handle any complaints that might occur. Most see to several funerals at a time, sometimes all in one day.

Losing a loved one is hard; planning their funeral can be even harder. With the help of a funeral director, you will be able to plan a funeral that will celebrate the life of your loved one and honor their memory.