What do Funeral Directors do?

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You may or may not have heard of funeral directors before, if you have, are you sure what they do? We outline the role of funeral directors, in this post.

The death of a loved one can be a distressing time. With the weight of grief heavy on your shoulders, planning a funeral can be a little too much at an already difficult time. For most people, the logical solution is to allow funeral directors help to plan a funeral for a loved one. Those that may never have experience a funeral, may be wondering, what funeral directors actually do.

We’ve spoken to S. Stibbards & Sons, funeral directors in Basildon and Essex, about the role they take in the planning of funerals. In this post, we’ll explain all about the role of funeral directors, everything from what they do and why they should be used. Find out all there is to know about funeral directors in our post.

What they do?

Planning a funeral isn’t simple, and there’s a lot that needs to be planned and considered beforehand. There are three different stages of planning, regarding funerals, that funeral directors can help you with, depending on the level of assistance you require. Below, we going to go through the three stages:

  1. Prior to the Funeral

For those that have lost a loved one in a hospital or with medical assistance, they will receive a medical certificate of death. However, it’s not uncommon for someone to pass away at home or outside of a medical facility, which means that you’ll have to contact a medical professional (the deceased’s GP), to provide a medical certificate, certifying the death. Following this, most will contact a funeral director, this will be your first contact for the process. The process of organising the funeral can only begin once a death certificate has been received. Funeral directors will then either transfer the body of the deceased to the funeral home, or if you wish for your loved one to remain at home (before the funeral), funeral directors can provide assistance for this. If you wish to say a final goodbye before the funeral service, funeral directors can arrange for a viewing before the service takes place. All of the official paperwork for burial or cremation will be handled by your funeral director, as well as placing obituaries in local, national newspapers and online for you – if you wish for them to do so.

The main purpose of funeral directors is to assist in the planning of a perfect service for your loved one. It’s their duty to convey the wishes of the deceased and their family in the funeral service. Most funeral directors are ready to provide advice and support throughout the process, to assist grieving families throughout a difficult time. Funeral directors can help plan every detail, from coffin choice, flower arrangements, catering, transport to the service and more. After the details have been discussed, the funeral director will arrange a venue on a selected date of the families’ choosing.


  1. Organising the Funeral

The role of funeral directors is to make the process easier, so you can focus on grieving instead of all the hectic details of arranging a funeral. Throughout the process, the funeral director will be available for close contact, to provide assistance and support. Even on the day, an excellent funeral director will take care of everything, ensuring that the grieving family doesn’t have to worry about the details of the funeral. A member of staff from the directors will be at the funeral service to assist in the seating of attendees and to oversee the general proceedings of the funeral, for example passing out service cards or donations (if the deceased or family has specified a charity). Funeral directors will arrange for flowers to be transported to the venue, organise music for the funeral service, as well as the transport of the body to the service. They will have cared for the deceased up until the service, transporting them there in a hearse. Your funeral director will ensure that the body is transported into the funeral and the coffin is placed. They will organise transport for the family of the deceased, to take them to the funeral service. Once the funeral proceedings have finished, funeral directors can provide assistance for planning the wake, as well as helping with transport and catering if needed.

  1. After the Funeral

Following the service, funeral directors can, as above, provide transport to the wake along with catering too. Most funeral directors will know local venues that accommodate wakes. But, the role of funeral directors doesn’t end after the wake. They can send acknowledgements of the funeral service to local newspapers, and some will even provide thank you cards for those who attended the funeral service. For those that have been cremated, the ashes will be stored in the funeral home until the family are ready to receive them to scatter them or keep them. As for burials, funeral directors can assist in finding a headstone, as well as ensuring it’s engraved properly and even advise as to what to include on their headstone. Some funeral directors provide bereavement support and can help find counselling should you find that you or a member of your family are struggling.

Why use Funeral Directors?

Simply put, at a difficult time, families want to focus on grieving. Planning a funeral is no small task, and funeral directors can take the weight of planning a service off of your shoulders. You and your family are able to grieve and pay respects, without concerning yourself with all the details of planning and the service. For those inexperienced to death, their advice and expertise can help the day feel even just a little bit easier, as they can assist you through a difficult time. Whilst some may choose to arrange a funeral on their own, funeral directors provide an invaluable service to make sure that the send-off for your loved one is ideal. Finding a funeral director is as simple as searching online or in the local paper/directories to find a funeral director with knowledge of the local area.


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