Choosing a funeral director is a tough, but important job. At the end of the day, the most important factor is comfort. You need to select a funeral director that you feel comfortable with. This is a farewell for your loved one. The funeral should be close to the way they wanted it. You have to consider a few other factors when choosing a funeral director, including personal recommendations, location and price.
It is also important to understand that your decision is not final. You can transfer to a different funeral director, paying a nominal charge, before you sign the paperwork. You shouldn’t be under any pressure to stick with the director you choose.
Here are some factors you need to keep in mind:
Independents vs. Corporates?
A majority of the information on the internet will funnel you one way or the other. This aspect makes choosing between independents and corporates a challenge. We offer you an independent view of the market below, so you can make an informed decision. As with most decisions, we recommend you take a step back, realize that most sources of information have an ulterior motive, and make a decision based mainly on your level of comfort with the funeral director.
The funeral care market in the UK comprises mainly of independent funeral directors. Independent funeral directors are often family-run, small businesses. National corporate chains make up the rest of the market. The corporate chains have branches up and down the country.
When selecting a funeral director, we suggest that you call both an independent funeral director and a corporate chain. You can compare the options based on your interaction with each. Here are some useful links for you:
• Co-op Funeralcare- https://www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk
• Dignity – https://www.dignityfunerals.co.uk/
A majority of independent funeral directors source their clients from word of mouth, so ask around! If unsure, you can check out the following comparison websites:
How Do I Choose?
The funeral director you select should
• Understand your requests
• Interpret the needs and wishes of your family
• Meet your budget
Regardless of whether you opt for an independent or a corporate, these are qualities you should not compromise on.
As per a report in Royal London’s National Funeral Cost Index, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,784. This price includes the funeral director fees, cost of the cremation or burial, and the fee for the celebrant or minister. But the price varies between funeral directors, so be upfront and ask. Below, we provide a link to the largest corporate, and a price comparison website.
• Co-Op Funeralcare – https://www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk/arranging-a-funeral/immediate-concerns/how-much-will-a-funeral-cost/
• Independents – https://www.yourfuneralchoice.com is a great site for comparing local prices.
Local reputation is a common measure of the quality of a funeral director. There are two main review sites out there, but keep in mind the people posting reviews are generally at the two ends of the spectrum. We recommend calling around people you know who have been through this process. They will be more than happy to help.
Location is an important consideration for two reasons. Firstly, it is common for families to want to visit their loved one. In fact, we recommend it. However, the days leading up to a funeral are hard, and driving can sometimes be a challenge. Choosing a funeral director located close to your residence will make this journey easier.
The location of the funeral venue is equally important. Often, people choose an area that suits the attendees, and a place your loved one would have liked. This could be a formal church, or somewhere less formal.
There is no textbook on choosing a funeral director, but we think the most important variable is that you feel comfortable with the provider, whether independent or corporate. Ask people close to you for suggestions. They will be upfront about their experience and will be more than happy to help you. Alternatively, contact us. We deal with funeral directors daily and will answer any questions you put forth.
Team Guardain Angel