The work of a funeral director is unknown to many. The things that are done visibly to many people are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the responsibilities of a funeral director.
Of course, people see funeral directors meeting with families, conducting funerals, ushering, parking cars, handing out service folders, etc. But most of what a funeral director does is done behind the scenes.
Funeral directors are on-call at all times. When a death occurs, it is their responsibility to respond. The initial response may include getting up in the middle of the night to take the deceased person into our care.
Depending on the selected method of disposition, it is the funeral director’s responsibility to prepare the body. This may include embalming, washing, disinfecting the body, dressing it or preparing it to take to the crematory.
Once the funeral director has met with the family to make funeral arrangements, it is the funeral director’s responsibility to follow up on the arrangements which have been made. This includes ordering merchandise, such as a casket, vault or urn. It includes scheduling things with the clergy and cemetery. It may also mean placing an obituary with a newspaper or placing it on our website. It includes preparing all the printed material a family may have selected, such as a register book, service folders and acknowledgement cards.
But there are things which need to be done that most individuals never even think about. These things include preparing a death certificate and getting it to the signing physician for a cause of death and signature. It also means getting the final approval on this document before filing it with the county clerk.
In the event cremation has been selected, it means securing a cremation permit from the local medical examiner. In this instance it also means securing signatures authorizing cremation and verifying with the crematory that cremation has been approved by the family.
So, you see there are several responsibilities and tasks that funeral directors have. And in this brief article we have only scratched the surface.
The funeral service professionals at Joldersma & Klein are truly honored to serve every family that calls us. These responsibilities are like sacred callings to us. Funeral directors who are successful have a servanthood attitude and looking to be of help to families.
Please let us know how we can help you.