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How to Find a Great Funeral Director

Choosing a great funeral director is an important part of planning a successful funeral. While everyone might have a different idea on what makes someone the ideal funeral director, we’ve narrowed down some categories that you’ll want to consider when doing your research.

Religious & cultural affiliations

When choosing a funeral director, it’s important to consider the religious and cultural practices of the person who passed away. If either of these was important to the deceased, consider working with a funeral director that has experience with the practices. If they don’t have direct experience with the practices you’re looking for but you’re familiar with them and can express what you’d like, it may be enough if they’re simply able to comply with your requests. Some questions to consider would be:

  • Have they done similar (religious/cultural) funerals in the past?
  • If they haven't done similar events in the past, how do they plan on adapting their processes to support the event?
  • How many funerals have they conducted?
  • What was the most difficult funeral they managed and why?
  • Do they understand the specific requirements & mourning process?
  • Are they equipped to accommodate special requests?
  • Do they understand the importance of the religious/cultural tradition?


While most funeral homes unfortunately choose not to list their prices online, prices vary dramatically by business, so this can be a crucial factor. Ever Loved’s funeral home listings have prices for the majority of funeral homes, and if you can’t find the price online, it’s a good idea to ask up front. It’s important to remember that you have the right to request an itemized statement that clearly lays out everything you’ll be paying for and its associated price. You can also request this over the phone. It’s an excellent idea to shop around with different funeral homes and compare the itemized statements they’ll give you to understand which business you’d like to work with. If you’re struggling to come up with funds or are looking for a way to cover unexpected expenses, it might be a good idea to create a memorial fundraiser. Memorial fundraisers are a quick and easy way to crowdfund and cover unexpected costs that often come up during the funeral planning process.


The location of the funeral home can be important, especially if you want a lot of local people to be able to attend the services without much hassle. If you decide to go with a funeral director who is located quite a distance from you, it might be more difficult to plan details out to the level you might want to.


At the end of the day, funeral homes are businesses that are trying to sell services and products. With this in mind, it’s incredibly important to find a funeral director that is comfortable discussing pricing and is transparent around pricing. If you’re unsure why something is so expensive, just ask. If the funeral director seems uncomfortable explaining the pricing on anything, it’s generally not a good sign. Additionally, if the funeral director attempts to convince you that you can only purchase products directly from them, it's not a good sign.

Remember your rights under The Funeral Rule and choose a funeral director that is aware of these rights and supports your rights as a consumer. You should not feel pressured or misled in any way when discussing pricing with a funeral director.

Personalized service

While funeral homes have handled many, many funerals, it does not mean that the funeral you’re planning should feel impersonal or run of the mill. Every individual has lived a different life and those who are interested in having a funeral should have one that reflects that. Funeral directors should listen to your requests and needs, and they should provide you with personalized service. Your aim should be to find a funeral home that has a staff that’s empathetic, compassionate, and kind. You’ll want these traits in your chosen funeral director, because you’ll likely be going through one of the most difficult periods of time when you’re planning a funeral.

Personality match

Your chosen funeral director should ideally align with the type of personality or mood that you’d like at the funeral. For example, if the deceased was a very traditional and serious person who wanted a service that honors their life, you may want to choose a funeral director with a similar personality or understanding of that personality. If the deceased was a military veteran, you may want to choose a funeral director who has managed military funerals in the past or who has experience with military honors and funeral rituals. If you’re looking for a celebration of life and an upbeat service, you’ll likely want to choose a funeral director that has experience with that and mirrors that type of personality, as well. Choosing a funeral director with the right personality match is important as this is the individual who will be helping you plan each aspect of the funeral. You do not want to have to be in a situation where you’re “selling” the funeral home on an idea because the personality fit isn’t there.

Keep in mind that you can also save a lot of money (often around 50%) by purchasing [funeral products]{,such as caskets and urns, online. Funeral homes will often discourage this, because they make a lot of money by marking up the prices of these items. However, funeral homes are legally obligated to use any casket or urns you purchase, even if they’re not purchased from that specific funeral home.

Browse funeral products


Researching your chosen funeral director and funeral home online is always a good idea, as it will give you insight into the experiences of others. Reviews are a good place to start since you’ll be able to read the experience other customers have had with the facility and staff. Something to keep in mind when looking over reviews is sometimes businesses have a change in management and staff. If you’re looking at a funeral home that’s had a recent change in ownership or staff, take some time to learn about the new staff members, especially the funeral director. Many funeral homes will have an About page on their website that lists out the staff at the funeral home. Take some time to go over these pages and learn about the staff, especially the funeral director, as they’ll be the people directing the funeral.

Choosing the right funeral director is an important part of the funeral planning process and it’s important to understand some of the aspects that drive the funeral planning process. While your first choice for a funeral home might not be the best fit, taking the time to identify the qualities you’d like in your funeral director will make the funeral planning process much less stressful overall. Doing the research is worth the time spent and not something that should be rushed or overlooked.

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Last updated February 25, 2022
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