How to choose the right funeral service company for your loved one’s funeral even when you’re pressed for time
This article will provide you and your family members sound advice on how to choose a suitable funeral service provider in a situation where you’re under pressure to make a quick decision.
When a loved one passes, it’s natural to feel deeply overwhelmed by sorrow. Even so, there’s little time to grieve because the practical logistics of giving the deceased a proper farewell comes next. The deceased’s family will have to quickly decide on the funeral company, even if they are not in the right state to do so.
Yet, even with the time pressure, the family should handle the funeral process with care and attention to detail – nobody wants to make a mistake that will tarnish the memory of their loved ones. Besides, a funeral arrangement is the only chance to show respect and honour the deceased. That is why it’s essential to ensure the funeral is handled appropriately, reflecting the wishes of the person who passes.
Because of these, a funeral often incurs significant expenses. While nobody wants to get into a heated discussion about the costs, it’s much better if the family chooses an upfront and transparent funeral service provider. Doing so will help soothe the grieving family’s worries. It will also reduce conflict among family members.
Thus, selecting a funeral service is not an easy process. While some ask their relatives or friends for recommendations, most people will search online.
Things to look out for when searching for a funeral service provider
When you are visiting the website of a funeral service provider, you should look out for these 4 things:
Is the service provider a registered business?
A business with its address registered is more likely to be a legit company and not fly-by-night. You’d know where to seek resolution in case anything goes wrong. To determine if a business is registered, you can do a search on ACRA’s website.
Is the funeral service provider willing to provide a quotation, invoice, and other documentation?
A company with proper invoices and other business documentation will also assure you that it’s legal. Getting a price quote from any funeral service provider in Singapore is possible before the company receives the deceased into their care. If your funeral director gives an excuse not to provide you with a quote, it may be an early sign of hidden costs and unfair pricing.
Is there accurate contact information on the website?
Contact information is important so you can get in touch to find more information. It also signals that the company is serious about its business.
Is there proof of past services provided?
The best way to assess whether they have experience undertaking funeral services in Singapore is to look through photos or videos on their website. They might also have social accounts like Facebook pages or Google reviews (or both) with verified customer testimonials. Companies with visible and active social media indicates they actively uphold a credible brand presence.
Questions to ask to qualify a funeral service company
The prices of most funeral service providers in Singapore are relatively competitive. However, one should not look at price only to determine your choice. It’d be better to select an experienced, reputable funeral service company that can coordinate the entire funeral ritual sombrely and thoughtfully. Here are some questions you can ask when you’re choosing a funeral service company:
- Do you have an in-house undertaker team? How many members are there?
- Who would be the funeral director in charge of my family’s requirements?
- How many cases have you handled in the past year?
- Do you provide any packages? What are the items included?
- What items are not included in the packages required for a complete funeral service?
- Do you provide post-funeral services?
Do you have an in-house undertaker team? How many members are there?
This question will help you assess whether the company is familiar with the trade and can handle funeral logistics with adequate staff. It’s a vital question because funeral service providers with an in-house undertaker team ensure that the level of service is consistently high throughout the proceeding.
Who would be the funeral director in charge of my family’s requirements?
A funeral director is essential as the director can advise the family on things to do to fulfil regulatory requirements, funeral planning and rites, and various logistical matters. In addition, when people are grieving, they might struggle to cope with deciding or figuring out what to do. An experienced director can guide the family through the entire process.
How many cases have you handled in the past year?
Years of existence is not a reliable indicator – a funeral company can be rather dormant. Looking at the provider’s experience through the number of funerals they assist in a year would be a better gauge. It’s proof of their calibre and capability.
Do you provide any packages? What are the items included?
The availability of funeral packages helps ease selection, so there’s one fewer thing the family of the deceased need to be stressed over. It would also be less likely something essential would be missed out.
What items are not included in the packages required for a complete funeral service?
Many funeral service providers in Singapore provide packages. However, not many provide truly comprehensive ones. This is why when evaluating the pricing of packages, always ask if there are mandatory add-ons.
Do you provide post-funeral services?
Some religions may require a post-funeral service, so you ought to find a funeral service provider in Singapore who is knowledgeable about post-funeral processes. For instance, Chinese Buddhist and Taoist rituals usually require a 49-day rites, although there are differences in the rite processes between the religions. The Christian faith also needs memorial ceremonies.
Because of the nuances of different religions, it’s not enough to find a funeral service provider that can support the performance of rites during a funeral. Preferably, the company should continue to provide support after the funeral is done.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when planning a funeral. Still, here are vital things that can help make the process easier:
- Pick a reputable funeral service provider that will handle everything with care and respect. Use our checklist above to decide if they’re credible.
- Find out if the funeral service provider can offer packages (including post-funeral services) and if they have an experienced funeral director that can coordinate and ensure everything runs smoothly. Use our questions above to decide if the provider is a suitable choice.
- Post-funeral rites may be required for the deceased. Enquire if the funeral company renders such services.