How to Select a Funeral Director

The choice of a funeral director in years past was usually as simple an undertaking as choosing the family doctor, lawyer or banker. You simply called the professional that was used by past generations and who lived and worked in town or the neighborhood where you lived.

Today with families living all over the country and numerous funeral service and disposition options available, selecting a funeral director may need some thought and careful planning. However, in this age of specialization, choosing a funeral director need not be a daunting task but is similar to engaging any other professional.

If you don’t have a family funeral director, look at the funeral homes in your town or neighborhood. Questions to consider are: Where are they located?; Is the facility of adequate size to serve the family?; Is there suitable parking?; Is the facility well kept and maintained? If there are still questions, consult with your pastor or rabbi or friends and neighbors. If you have attended a service at a funeral home, did it impress you? Visit the websites of the funeral homes you may consider. It is also a good idea to access Erie-Niagara Funeral Directors Association Membership List on this website to view our member firms.

If you’re not familiar with the funeral homes in your area, make an appointment and visit one or more of them. In this way, you can meet the funeral director and see the facilities you could be using. The funeral director can provide a choice of many options for services and disposition and can give you a clear understanding of the costs of services and merchandise you may need. Remember, you are under no obligation or costs until you actually engage the funeral home and funeral director of your choice.

Before you visit a funeral director to see a facility, make arrangements at the time of need, or discuss and or make pre-arrangements, think about your wishes and preferences for a funeral service. Make a list of things you would like and questions you may have. Then bring that list with you to the appointment at the funeral home. The funeral director will provide you with a printed “General Pricelist” and itemization of the services and the merchandise which are offered. This will help you to choose an appropriate and dignified service at a cost that is within your budget.

At the time of need the funeral director arranges all details of a funeral service, and will help the family to tailor the services to fit their emotional and financial needs. Services may include but are not limited to caring for the deceased, arranging for the day, time and place for the service, contacting the clergy, composition and placement of death notices and obituaries, contacting cemetery and or crematory officials to arrange for the disposition, securing , preparing and filing all necessary medical and legal documents needed for burial cremation or transit, and notification and filing of social security and all state and federal veterans benefits.

The funeral director can also offer the family bereavement counseling or refer survivors to local organizational agencies that counsel family members in their time of sorrow.

If you have additional questions, contact your local Erie-Niagara Funeral Directors Association Member or e-mail us at

(Remember e-mail should never be used for questions which arise at the death of a loved one or similar emergency situation. Please call your funeral director first.

© 2023 Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association (ENFDA). All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility