When someone you love passes away, or if you are trying to make your own end-of-life arrangements in advance, funeral homes are not one size fits all. In fact, the services and products available can be different to the tune of thousands of dollars, and not all funeral directors are adept at recognizing what clients really need. Look for these points as minimum must haves as you search for the funeral home in Cleveland, OH that’s right for you.
1) Adherence to rules from the Federal Trade Commission.
The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule gives you a number of rights as a funeral home consumer. The funeral director must provide you with an itemized price list, for example, and they also must provide prices to you over the phone if you ask. Additional rights include the right to use alternative containers instead of a casket, use a casket or urn you purchased somewhere else at no extra charge, forego embalming buy and buy only the goods and services you desire. A funeral home that does not follow these guidelines is subject to up to $16,000 per violation, but perhaps more importantly, severely inhibits your ability to develop a service that is appropriate given your budget, philosophies and general circumstances.
2) Arrangement options.
It isn’t always necessary to have an elaborate service for a funeral, and some funeral homes specialize in providing only basic, very affordable options, albeit with limited product selection. That said, you want to make sure that the funeral home offers an arrangement type you’re truly comfortable with. For example, if many individuals are going to attend, a more elaborate service with refreshments, eulogy, graveside care, hearse transport, etc. might work best. Alternately, a “natural” or “green” burial in a simple shroud or box might appeal both for economics and ecology, or you might want your loved one to be cremated so you can have their ashes scattered in a place that’s meaningful. A good funeral home in Cleveland, OH should be able to accommodate reasonable special requests, such as those related to faith, assuming there are no legal constraints. In fact, the funeral director should ask what your preferences and needs are and do their best to tailor what you purchase.
Some funeral homes are very limited in terms of the room they have, while others have individual rooms for showings, getting something to eat, praying or even entertaining kids. Think about the number of guests that will come and the special needs they might have, such as hearing/visual assistance or a place to let a baby nap. Consider how you will incorporate flowers and other decorations into the room(s), as well as the funeral home’s proximity to guests’ residences.
Planning a funeral requires consideration of many different elements, but perhaps the three most critical things to look for in a good funeral home are adherence to FTC guidelines, a wide range of or flexibility in arrangement options and an appropriate amount of space. It’s best to take your time and insist on having these points than it is to rush into a funeral experience you and others will regret.
Federal Trade Commission (2012). Complying with the Funeral Rule.
Halstead N. Gray-Carew & English Funeral Directors and Funeralnet (2012-2016). How to Choose a Funeral Home.