The Role of the Funeral Director

Making funeral arrangements is often one of the most emotional experiences and decisions a person will ever make. Helping you to cope with the emotional devastation a major loss brings is the funeral professional’s most important duty. They comfort and they listen to your wishes, and then combine their training and experience along with practical needs and legal requirements to provide a funeral service that is appropriate for you and your family.
Some of the duties that a funeral director performs are:

  • Removal and transferring the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home
  • Care of the deceased which may include sanitary cleansing, embalming, restorative art, dressing, hairdressing, casketing and cosmetology
  • Consultation with the family to obtain information and discuss specific arrangements for the funeral service
  • File death certificates and obtain copies for family members
  • Create obituaries
  • Make arrangements with the family’s clergy, church, cemetery, crematory, etc.
  • Provide a register book, prayer cards, acknowledgements
  • Assist with social security, veterans insurance, grief counseling and other related matters

Online Resources

There are also a variety of online resources that offer advice and information relative to planning a funeral. Here are a couple websites that might be helpful as you consider your plans.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) offers a variety of information for consumers on their site,, including Trends in Funeral Service. This link offers information on personalization, advance funeral planning, cremation, technology available for funeral services, green funerals, and more.

The NFDA also offers a variety of resources with information for funeral service from pre-planning, grief issues, cremation and more. Their online links can help you with healing after the loss of a loved one, helping children through grief, planning a funeral in advance, and even pet loss. Visit the NFDA Consumer Resources page for more information.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also provides tips on shopping for funeral services. Visit FTC: Shopping for Funeral Services for the FTC Funeral Rule, funeral costs and pricing checklist, types of funerals, and more to help you plan your own funeral.

The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland site provides families with information regarding organ and tissue donation, including upcoming events, resources, and stories of life and hope from those who have been touched by donation.

Visit Consumer Affairs for additional information as you prepare and pre-plan your funeral or your loved one’s funeral.

How do you want to be remembered?

More and more people are asking this question of themselves. Everyone has their own life’s story – so memorialize it for your loved ones. This helpful video, Have the Talk of a Lifetime, is a great tool to get the “wheels” turning on how you would like to have your life remembered.

Locate a Funeral Director

Visit our Funeral Home Finder page to find a member funeral home in your area.