Working with a Funeral Director
Couple meeting with funeral director

Working with a Funeral Director

The average person makes funeral arrangements for a loved one only once or twice in their lifetime. It is natural to feel overwhelmed or perhaps have a fear of the unknown. If you're unsure of where to start, begin by finding a funeral home that is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) near you.

First and foremost, NFDA member funeral directors want to make this time as easy as possible. They are familiar with the laws of your state as they pertain to your loved one’s arrangements and will help take care of all necessary details, including taking your loved one into his or her care from the hospital, nursing home, or home. They will contact all interested parties on your behalf, obtain all required permits, file the death certificate and guide you through the decision making process as it relates to services and funeral merchandise. 

Funeral directors are skilled in creating memorable life tribute events. Your NFDA member funeral director will have unique ideas and access to special resources to help your family be as creative as they need to be when planning a service that captures the essence of one's life. 

By agreeing to comply with the NFDA Code of Professional Conduct (NEED LINK), NFDA member funeral directors are committed to honesty and integrity. You are in charge of all decisions that are made; they are there to accompany you during this time to help make things as easy as possible.

There are many services that your NFDA funeral director can provide for you. The following is a partial list of how your NFDA funeral director can assist you:

  • Creating a personalized and meaningful funeral honoring your loved one’s life
  • Explaining your full range of service and merchandise options
  • Coordinating a newspaper or online obituary
  • Preparing and filing the death certificate
  • Coordinating with the clergy and/or your church
  • Arranging for a funeral celebrant or clergy if you do not have one
  • Coordinating cemetery arrangements
  • Coordinating crematory arrangements
  • Securing musicians
  • Securing lowers
  • Coordinating memorial contributions to your favorite charity
  • Notifying the Social Security Administration of your loved one’s death
  • Providing information on Veterans benefits and military honors
  • Arranging or assisting with meals and receptions

Funeral Directors in the Community

Funeral professionals not only serve families who have experienced a loss, they are also leaders in their communities. Whether they support a local food pantry, sponsor a community event, or develop a new program to fill a need, funeral professionals play an important role in the health and wellbeing of the community.

Therapy Dogs

In the past few years, more and more funeral directors have realized the benefits of therapy dogs to the families they serve. These dogs sense a person’s emotional needs and respond to them with unconditional love and affection, making them a welcome source of comfort after a heartbreaking loss. They are especially helpful for children, who may have difficulty understanding or expressing their grief.

To dog lovers, the use of therapy dogs is a no brainer. Studies have shown that simply petting a furry friend can raise levels of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, which helps reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression – emotions many people experience when a loved one dies.

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