In Ireland there are ~800 funeral directors of which ~100 are full time and just over 300 are members of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD). Whilst funeral directors are not regulated, the IAFD has an established Code of Practice, and it is consulted on matters relevant to funerals.
Research would show that after family and friends the Funeral Director offers the most support to individuals and families at their time of loss1. Trust is particularly important as following death consumers may be extremely vulnerable and this can impact on their ability to make decisions that have financial implications in a rational manner.
The two most important factors in Ireland when choosing a funeral director2 are
- Prior experience with the Funeral Director
The funeral market is rapidly catching up and expanding into Digital channels, but it can still be difficult to fully understand the services offered and the costs without talking to or meeting a funeral director.
If a Wishes document has been completed by the deceased, then this will greatly help you and the Funeral Director. If not, then would still suggest its completion between the closest surviving relatives to aid the discussion with your funeral director. However, for liaising with the Funeral Director we would suggest that there be a single point of contact from the family.
However for any of the required tasks that are not directed by the funeral director these can and should be allocated to family and friend to lighten the burden.
1 Is there a role for the funeral service provider in bereavement support within the context of compassionate communities? September 2018, Death Studies 43(1):1-10 DOI:10.1080/07481187.2018.1506835
2 Joseph Halpenny – An Exploration of Consumer Decision Making Processes in the Funeral Industry, Master of Science in Marketing. School of Business, National College of Ireland, September 2013