If you're responsible for organising someone's funeral and are about to have your first consultation with the owner of a nearby funeral home, here are some things you should think about before this meeting.
Whether or not you want to use one of the funeral home's funeral packages
Funeral homes typically offer their clients the option of using one of their funeral packages or of organising a fully customised funeral. It's sensible to give some thought as to whether you'd like to use one of these packages before you have your meeting with the funeral director.
The biggest perk of using a funeral package is that it eliminates a lot of the decision-making that comes with a customised funeral, as you just make one decision (regarding which package you want) at the beginning of the process and then you're left with very little else to do before the funeral. In contrast, if you opt for a customised funeral, you'll need to have a lot of back-and-forth conversations with the funeral home owner and their staff, regarding the minutiae of every funeral service you need to use and you may also need to pay more visits to the funeral home. You'll need, for example, to not only choose the wood for the casket but will also need to select its lining and hardware, and you'll need to decide what type and size of floral spray to put on top of it.
If you want to avoid extra stress before this sad event, you might want to enquire about the funeral home's packages. However, if you'd prefer to have full control over every part of the funeral and feel that focusing on the little details might actually be beneficial for your wellbeing, as it will keep your mind off your grief, then you should opt for a customised funeral.
What your budget is
It's also worth working out what your budget is for this event before going to the funeral home to discuss the arrangements. This will ensure that when you're having the consultation at the funeral home, you don't waste your time looking at, for example, caskets, funeral packages or specific funeral services that you later find out don't fit in with your budget.
When doing this, you should find out if the deceased left behind any instructions regarding what they wanted their funeral to be like; this will ensure that you don't overspend on one aspect and then find yourself unable to afford, for example, the walnut casket that they wanted to be buried in.