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7 Questions to Ask a Funeral Home

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things a person will ever have to go through. Making the call to the funeral home isn’t something a family wants to ever have to do, but it’s a necessary part of the process of caring for and memorializing someone when they die.

 


 

Most people have no experience making final arrangements for someone. It’s important to know what questions to ask a funeral director when the time comes, so you can make knowledgeable decisions and receive the guidance you need in order to honor your loved one in the best way possible. 



Are you locally owned?

Many funeral homes are part of larger corporations with locations all across the United States. If you prefer the services of a local funeral home, you may want to ask them this. Oftentimes, locally owned funeral homes are better able to accommodate your needs and traditions, and have a deep knowledge of the community and its history. Chances are, your local funeral director has kids in the same schools, attend the same religious services, or shop at the same grocery stories.

Chapman Funerals & Cremations opened its doors to the families of Massachusetts in 1862. Back then, our hearse was a carriage drawn by black horses in plumed headgear. Since then, we’ve expanded to better serve our communities both on the Cape and the mainland, including Bridgewater, Martha’s Vineyard, Mashpee, Falmouth and Yarmouth. Just as our great-great-grandparents did, we are proud to serve the people of our hometowns in the five generations since.



What does a funeral director do?

A funeral director has many responsibilities in caring for the deceased and their families. Our roles include:

  • Taking the deceased into our care and transporting them to our facilities
  • Guiding families through their options
  • Filing paperwork for the death certificate
  • Working with insurance or the government to file for benefits
  • Preparing and submitting the obituary
  • Embalming and/or preparing the body for viewing
  • Making arrangements for cremation
  • Funeral planning and event setup
  • Coordinating with clergy or celebrants
  • Arranging for transportation for the family and the deceased
  • Arranging the purchase of a casket, urn, and any keepsakes the family chooses
  • Providing the bereaved with grief support



Is embalming required?

Oftentimes, embalming is not necessary. However, there are instances in which families may prefer to have their loved one embalmed, such as for a public viewing, open-casket service, or for personal or traditional reasons. A funeral director at Chapman will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you make the best choice for your family.



Can I customize a funeral?

Funerals are about remembering and honoring a unique individual, and many families want their memorial services to reflect the personality and passions of their loved one. From personal touches in a traditional funeral to completely one-of-a-kind celebrations of life, families are able to say goodbye in a way that is most meaningful. Our staff can help you come up with ideas for customization and ensure your requests are fulfilled.



What do I need to bring when I meet with a funeral director?

Part of making final arrangements is gathering information about the deceased and their family. This could include personal documents such as social security card, place of birth or birth certificate, or military papers. You may also be asked to bring clothes for the deceased, music to play during services, pictures of the deceased and information needed to write the obituary. The funeral director will inform you of everything you’ll need to have with you when you meet with them.



What are my payment options?

A funeral is oftentimes an unexpected financial responsibility for families. It’s important to discuss your budget and your preferences with a funeral director, who can help you plan a funeral based on your needs. Our funeral directors will walk you through your payment options and work with life insurance policies and help you get any veterans benefits your loved one is entitled to. We will also inform you of any advanced arrangements a family member may have made prior to their death.



Why did you become a funeral director? 

At the time of death, a family may not be in an emotional state to think to ask a funeral director this. But if you’re planning your funeral in advance or happen to meet a funeral director, ask them why they chose this line of work. You’ll learn a lot about a person and the funeral home where they work. For us, it’s so much more than following in the footsteps of our predecessors. To us, it’s a calling, and we couldn’t imagine doing anything else besides being there for the families of Massachusetts to help them get through one of the most difficult times of their lives.

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