Any tips for how to figure out how to choose a funeral home?

5 answers | Last updated: Oct 23, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Any tips for how to figure out how to choose a funeral home?

Expert Answers

Ed Markin, BS, MBA, PhD, is the director of research for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Foundation and author of more than a dozen books. For the past 15 years, Markin has operated the Funeral Help Program.

Tips on Choosing a Funeral Home

A while back I was on one of the TV 'magazine' shows and was asked, after three days of shooting, "If you had only ten seconds to tell someone how to choose a funeral home, what would you say?" I responded that one should ask to use the restroom in each funeral home and check out the toilet paper. If it's cheap, single-ply grade, odds are they are cutting corners everywhere so go elsewhere.

As you might imagine, this response was widely quoted and derided in the funeral industry magazines for a while, but I was later told by one of the main players in the industry "Maybe they scoffed, but I think you single-handedly changed the industry's TP-buying habits over night!" I want that on my headstone!

The best way to choose a funeral home is to visit, chat with the staff, pick up a General Price List, then go home and compare them. There are a lot of intangibles you can't put a price on, mind, but you can get a general feel for what's available. If you don't have the time or incination to do this yourself, contact the Funeral Consumer Alliance ( chapter nearest you. The Alliance can provide information on most funeral homes within your area.

Community Answers

Kidme56 answered...

Have your support group-nearest family &friends,your not alone,they are great source of information.2nd Yellow Pages,the newest one could give you the rating of each company chose a local company as much as possible.Check not only the price but what includes such as service,transportation if your out of State,pick up from the hospital to the morgue etch.Does it allow you to do prepaid funeral plan?And make sure they have a license from the State.And a Funeral Home as far as I know will provide the Funeral Director bec. included in the service depending of the Funeral plan a person buys.Funeral Home are 24hr.operation,after all people die at anytime.

Teddybear answered...

Check out the cemetary. You can tell which furneral home takes care of all the small details (but none are really small) by who they chose to open and close the grave, and how it is left after the funeral.

Dignitymemorialnc answered...

As a family of funeral homes ourselves, we suggest that families find one that they feel comfortable with and that has the right answers to your questions. A funeral home should be there to support you and your family through a time of loss. If they don't have the answer for you for some reason, a good funeral home will find it for you. We recently started a blog to give our families another resource to use while they are figuring out which home to go with. By reading our blog we hope that you will have a better understanding of our approach and thus be comfortable with your decision.

Dignitymemorialnc answered...

Make sure to choose a funeral home that lets you take control of your own plans. You should be able to pick out what type of service you want, what kind of songs you want, and where you'd like them to take place. That includes choosing your own cemetery. You need to make sure that your funeral matches your unique wants and needs, and the right funeral home and director can do that.