Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a funeral?

Funerals are an important step in the grieving process, as well as an opportunity to honor a life lived. They offer surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about the death. Often funerals are the first step in the healing process.

What role does the funeral director fill?

Funeral directors are there to help you through a very difficult time in your life. They are listeners and counselors, tribute planners and crisis managers. Through discussions with you, based on information you share about your wishes and details about your loved one, they are able to offer guidance and help you coordinate a very personal tribute that honors the life of your loved one. Your local NFDA funeral director can guide you through planning the service; complete necessary paperwork; and coordinate doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and other vendors to make your funeral experience as seamless as possible. But they also listen to your stories about your loved one, answer your questions on grief, link you to support groups and recommend sources of professional help. By acting as an experienced source for support and guidance, a professional, ethical funeral director can provide you with relief during one of your greatest times of need.

Is it possible to plan a funeral in advance?

NFDA recommends that everyone preplan his or her own funeral. Doing so can offer emotional and financial security for both you and your family. By preplanning a funeral you will get the kind of service you want and your family will be unburdened from making decisions at a stressful time. Preplanning doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying.

Can I still have a funeral service if I choose cremation?

Yes. Cremation opens the doors to a number of different funeral options. From traditional services to contemporary celebrations, cremation gives you the flexibility to personalize the services for yourself or a loved one.

What determines the cost of a funeral? You and your family do. A funeral can be as extravagant or as simple as you desire. Preplanning your funeral can help control costs. By making decisions ahead of time, you avoid making choices at a time when your emotions are heightened. It also provides an opportunity to set aside funds that can be used to pay for part or all of the future service.