The Funeral Director

Funeral Directors have many responsibilities. The one most commonly thought of, preparing the body for disposition, is one of over a hundred responsibilities that a funeral director has. In larger funeral homes, there may be a funeral director who oversees several morticians and undertakers. The funeral director will often pick up the body from the home or morgue, oversee the embalming process, and coordinate and advise the family during the funeral planning process.

Quite often, funeral services are performed at a funeral home and then proceed to a cemetery for the burial. Many families select to have a memorial service (also referred to as a viewing, visitation, or wake). The Funeral Director helps plan this, and during the event will be onsite to provide assistance if needed.

What does a Funeral Director do?

Some of the services a Funeral Director provides include:

• Picking up the deceased and transporting to the funeral home (any time of day or night).
• Notifying proper authorities, family and/or relatives.
• Arranging and preparing death certificates
• Providing certified copies of death certificates for insurance and benefit processing.
• Working with insurance agent, social security or veteran's administrations to ensure that necessary paperwork is filed for receipt of benefits.
• Prepares and submits obituary to local paper(s).
• Bathing and embalming (if necessary) of the deceased.
• Preparation of the body for viewing including dressing and cosmetics.
• Assisting the family with funeral arrangements and purchase of casket/urn, burial vault and cemetery plot.
• If a burial is to be performed, scheduling the opening and closing of the grave with cemetery personnel.
• Coordinating with clergy if a funeral or memorial service is to be held.
• Arranging a police escort and transportation to the funeral and/or cemetery for the family.
• Ordering funeral sprays and other flower arrangements as needed.
• Providing Aftercare (grief) assistance to the bereaved.

06 Apr 2010

By Funeral Home Resource Team