What Do Funeral Directors Do?

By: Moles Farewell Tributes
Monday, May 20, 2019

Knowing what funeral directors do at funeral homes in Mount Vernon, WA can help you have complete confidence in their ability to take care of your needs when you lose a loved one. 

One thing that funeral directors do is to transport people who have died from the place where they died to the funeral home. In the earliest days of funeral homes, this transportation was done by using ambulances or hearses (so all the neighbors knew that someone had died), but now, it done primarily using unmarked minivans. Hearses are now used almost exclusively when the casket is being transported from the funeral home to the cemetery where burial will take place. 

Another thing that funeral directors do is to set up an appointment to meet with the deceased's family to make funeral arrangements. This appointment typically takes place within 24-48 after someone has died. 

At the appointment with the family, funeral directors will ask many questions about what the deceased and/or the family wants for the funeral. This is to ensure that all the needs of the family are met during the funeral process. If the deceased is being cremated, the funeral director will find out if the family would like to have a visitation and funeral service before the cremation or if they would like to have a memorial service after cremation is done. 

If the family chooses to have a visitation and funeral service before cremation, the funeral director will help the family select a coffin (either a rented casket just for the visitation and funeral service, after which the deceased will be transferred to a fully-combustible container or a cremation coffin will be purchased) and plan the funeral service. 

Most of the time, families have someone they want to oversee the funeral service. However, if they do not, the funeral director will oversee it. The funeral director guides the family through the order of the service, including any readings, eulogies, and music they choose, and then ensures that the service unfolds in the order the family has specified.  

The funeral director will also take care of, if the family desires, having the funeral service streamed live or digitally recorded. 

If the deceased is being cremated, the funeral director will oversee the cremation. They'll make sure the deceased is properly identified and tagged before cremation begins.  

If the deceased is being buried, the funeral director will make all the arrangements for burial at the cemetery, and will ensure that the grave is opened before burial and closed after burial. They will also take care of making sure gravestones or grave markers are ordered and placed in the cemetery after burial. 

Funerals involve a lot of paperwork, legal and otherwise. Funeral directors take care of all this, which includes obtaining death certificates, permits (for burials and cremations), writing obituaries, if the deceased or the deceased’s family has not written one, and getting them published either online or in newspapers. 

Funeral directors are also responsible for overseeing the embalming of the deceased. This includes making sure the deceased looks much the same as they did when they were alive, making sure the body is cleaned and dressed in the clothing the family has provided, and, if requested by the family, taking care of hair styling and manicuring. 

For additional information about what funeral directors do at funeral homes in Mount Vernon, WA, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Cremations – Bayview Chapel is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.  

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