How to choose a Funeral Home?

Posted on November 7, 2014 by J. Chad Pendley under Most Common Questions

Macland Chapel

There are many things for you to consider when you are deciding on what funeral care provider you should use.  It is very important to choose a funeral home that can meet all of your requirements and provide the level of service that you are looking for and for the price that you can afford.  We sit with many families everyday that come in trying to find the right fit for their family and we are happy to discuss what we can offer; but even more, give the family some things to think about that they might not be aware of, this will help them make a more educated decision when choosing a funeral home to fit their needs.  It is my intention to provide some ideas for you to consider when making this decision, so when the time approaches you do not have to “scramble” and make a wrong decision!  Yes, this happens very often and it is painful to watch a family have to change their plans and ideas to fit to what their funeral home can provide.

A little disclaimer I must give… I do represent a fantastic funeral home and I am a little biased, but even Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home is not the best choice for some.  We have created services to fit everyone but their are still some that might find a better fit and we are proud to help them find those providers that can help them fill their needs.  Many people do not know but as of right now in Cobb County there are close to thirty funeral homes and crematory providers throughout this county, so you should have plenty of options to shop your list of requirements!

When choosing a funeral home here is a list that might help you consider what you want and will give you the tools you need when inquiring about services on your list of funeral homes.Checklist and pencil

  • What is the best location for a funeral home that is best suited for you and your extended family?
  • Would you prefer to work with a corporate funeral home or a local independently owned funeral home?
  • Would you prefer to work with that funeral home that is religiously connected or that is culturally affiliated?
  • If holding a service at a funeral home, what is the size capacity that you are looking for?
  • What size of parking lot would you require?
  • If planning a church service, would you need a staff available that can help the church with hosting, parking and facilitating that service?
  • If you are planning a burial service, would you rather work with a funeral home that is located inside of a cemetery?
  • If you are planning a burial service, would you rather work with a funeral home that is full service to where you can purchase caskets and vaults in one central location?
  • If you are planning a cremation service, would you prefer for the crematory to be located onsite at that funeral home?
  • Would you prefer to work with a funeral home that has the capability of live streaming or recording the services?
  • What type of musical instruments would you prefer to be onsite and used for the service?
  • Do you have a need for an on staff licensed pre-need counselor for pre-payment of funeral expenses?
  • Would you prefer to work with a funeral home that operates it’s own florist inside of the funeral home?
  • Would you prefer to have a funeral home that uses a hearse or a cargo van for transportation of the deceased?
  • Would you prefer a funeral home that can provide transportation of the deceased nationally or even world wide?
  • Would you prefer a funeral home that can provide death certificates, permits and legal planning counselors?
  • Would you prefer a funeral home that accepts life insurance as payment or that can extend payment plans?
  • What is the budget of the funeral expenses that you are able to pay?

These are some of the common questions that you should have answered when choosing a funeral home.  Once you narrow down your choices of funeral home’s that can meet these needs, then it is important to go into that funeral home and sit down with a funeral director and view the facilities.  The most important thing that you need during the time of a death is comfort, so it is important that you feel comfortable with your funeral director, the staff of the funeral home and the facilities that they provide.

I understand that making these choices in advance are not on the top of many peoples priority list but I can assure you that it is so helpful and reassuring. Funeral home’s are legally bound to show you their facilities and prices when you arrive.  Phone conversations will help narrow down your search a good bit, then making a trip to those that remain on the list will give you the right choice in funeral homes.  You should never have to work around a funeral home’s needs, make them work around yours!

Chad is a licensed professional and is a native of Cobb County, growing up in Powder Springs and currently living in Marietta Ga. After graduating from McEachern High School Chad attended Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service and graduated as a Master Artist of the Pi Sigma Eta Honorary Mortician Fraternity. He was the recipient of the Bill Pierce award and Daniel E. Buchanan award, recognizing him as a leader in the funeral profession. A member of the Marietta Metro Rotary and different organizations in his profession, Chad also participates in monthly activities promoting the funeral home and networking with other professionals in the area. He is a member and attends Westridge Church in Dallas Ga. He is married to Kristin and as a proud father, Chad enjoys the time he gets to spend with his family. Chad is an avid hunter and a true outdoors man. He has a gift of developing a warm, helpful, and strong relationship with the families he serves and is a valuable source of knowledge at Mayes Ward-Dobbins.

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3 thoughts on “How to choose a Funeral Home?

  1. Jeff Madison says:

    I appreciate your tip on going to a funeral home and talking with the director. It seems that once you have narrowed down your decision to a few candidates it would be important to know the funeral director that will be in charge of the service for your loved one. My wife’s father just passed and we have been looking for a funeral home, when we have our top picks we’ll be sure to sit down with the owner and talk to them.

    1. That’s a very smart choice. Working with a funeral director can be a very personal experience and you should be very comfortable with them. I encourage families to come sit with me or anyone in my family…to see what values we instill in our team and how we manage our funeral directors to help conduct services. I’m sorry to hear about your father in law and I hope you are able to find the right funeral home to carry out his wishes!

  2. I think one of the biggest things to consider when choosing a funeral home, after location, is the staff. It is always best to work with someone you trust. Besides, the easier it is to communicate with them the easier time you will have planning the funeral. I don’t care much about how many services a funeral home offers, for me it is more about how easy it is to work with the people.

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