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Can You Trust Your Funeral Home? 5 Ways to Make Sure You Are Making a Good Choice

If you are going through the difficult and heart-wrenching process of burying a loved one, the trustworthiness of a funeral home is probably not at the top of your list of concerns. Most funeral homes treat their customers with the respect and sensitivity that you would expect, however it is not always clear what may be going on behind closed doors.

In a shocking reveal, newly hired funeral home employee in Panama City, Florida found several decomposing bodies, improperly stored and mishandled in the funeral home’s storage area. Although it is nothing short of atrocious that something like this could happen, it is essential to be on the lookout for red flags. Here are a few ways to protect yourself when making this important decision:

1. Take a Tour of the Facility

This is especially true if you notice that the front of the house is not well maintained. In many cases, a funeral home will not only be happy to show you around, they will make a tour part of your consultation. Being wary of showing the facility is a sign that something may be amiss.

2. Find Reviews

Nowadays, it is easy to find reviews on just about every business; funeral homes are no exception. Take a look at the funeral home’s listing on Yelp or Facebook, or if you prefer an even more credible source, talk to others who may have been customers there. In most cases, if there is something to be concerned about, it will be flagged in reviews.

3. Consult the Better Business Bureau

The BBB is an excellent source of historical information about any complaints or issues that a business may have experienced. If there is any evidence of wrongdoing or if, on the other hand, a funeral home is doing a great job, you will be able to find out through the Better Business Bureau.

4. Check Out the Website

This may be something that you have already done, but reviewing a funeral home’s website could be a great way to find out how professional and reliable they are—is the website up-to-date? Is there credible information readily available? All of these can give you cues on whether or not a particular funeral home is a good choice for you.

5. How Long Have They Been in Business?

While it would be unfair to say that newer funeral homes are not providing good services, the length of time one has been in business is a legitimate way to gauge trust. Most reputable funeral homes have been operating for decades and have a strong, recognizable presence in their communities. If you find a newer funeral home, no need to automatically discount it, but you might want to look even closer at their website, their facility and their reviews.

A bit of research can go a long way in ensuring that you are dealing with an honest, respectable funeral home.

  • Ridley Fitzgerald Reply January 5, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    These are some great tips for making sure you can trust your funeral home. I definitely agree that finding reviews online is a great way to get opinions. I wouldn’t want to choose a funeral home without hearing other people’s opinion on them.

  • Max Jones Reply March 29, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I hadn’t thought about looking at the BBB when planning the funeral. We’re trying to decide on a place for my grandmother’s viewing right now, and I think that would be a great idea. I think hearing about any issues or complaints would be a good way to decide on a funeral home!

  • Rachel Lannister Reply April 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    I had heard in the past that it was important to choose a good funeral home, to ensure that memorial services are handled well. You wrote that you should check out their website, as they often outline their services and other valuable information. Since visiting websites is easier than physically driving out to different funeral homes, I’ll have to remember this.

  • Lillian Schaeffer Reply April 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I like how you mentioned the value of checking online for reviews before choosing a funeral home. My husband and I are trying to plan for the future, so we’re trying to find a good funeral home we can pre-plan our funeral with. I hadn’t really thought of checking reviews for a service like this, but I’m sure it could be insightful, so we’ll make sure to read some before we make a decision.

  • Jade Brunet Reply May 8, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I am glad to know that checking the service’s website can be a helpful thing to do when choosing a funeral home. I am glad to know that this can help you determine how professional and reliable they are. It would be good to come with a list of questions when meeting the funeral director for the first time to ensure you know how the process will be carried out.

  • Annika Larson Reply May 19, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Sadly, my mother recently passed. We are planning her funeral, and we want to ensure that the funeral home we choose will be a nice place to hold this memoir of my mother’s life. Thanks for sharing these tips to help us feel confident in our choice. We will be sure to take your suggestion to tour the facility and see if they accommodate this request and make it part of the consultation.

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