7 questions to ask your funeral home director

Here are seven questions everyone should ask their Funeral Director when planning a funeral or burial arrangements. 

In what ways can we personalize the service?

Many people don’t realize funeral homes are open to working closely with the family to make services as individual as your loved one.

Personalizing a visitation or funeral service can mean adding small accents and details to a traditional event or planning a more elaborate arrangement. It’s often helpful to write out memories, family stories and ideas as you put together a special celebration of life. 

So what makes a person special or unique? It’s different for each individual, and there are equally as many ways to honor a loved one. Displaying items from hobbies, sports and leisure activities, awards, mementos, even favorite foods and drinks are popular ways to share parts of a person’s life.

Photo boards are especially popular as they allow visitors to see the recently departed in all different stages of their life’s journey. Creating a customized music playlist is also a wonderful way to share another part of your loved one’s world. 

We’re here to help with other ideas and ensure the service for your loved one is unique and goes smoothly.

What clothes are appropriate when hosting and attending a viewing?

Viewings and visitations are generally formal events, so formal, modest attire is encouraged from all attendees. Black is no longer required, but muted colors are traditionally worn. Business casual is a good starting point – think dresses, long pants and blouses for women; dress pants and collared shirts for men, with dress shoes for all. Avoid jeans, casual clothing and athletic wear. That said, dress for comfort if you’ll be receiving visitors. Shoes are particularly important, as members of the receiving line can expect to spend a lot of time on their feet. Layering, including sweaters or jackets, can be helpful to deal with temperature changes. 

When do we pay? What methods of payment do you accept?

At Codey & Mackey Funeral Home we want to help reduce stress at every step of the process. Prepaying for your own funeral is a popular option and reduces anxiety and the financial burden on loved ones after your passing. We can coordinate a payment plan that suits your needs, from a single payment to monthly bank account withdrawals. Depending on your region, if your funeral costs less than the amount you have put aside, those funds will be refunded to your beneficiaries. 

For more information on what is applicable in your region, simply speak to your funeral director. If you decide to pay at the time of services, we accept checks.

What are current trends in viewing times?

While some families continue to follow the time-tested 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. split viewing times, most families now are cognizant of their own mental health needs and schedule just one viewing. The most popular time frame is 4-7p.m.

What does the funeral home handle, and what do we do ourselves?

Codey & Mackey Funeral Home will make the arrangements with the religious officiant, if there is one, and final resting place, whether that’s a cemetery, crematory or both. The family meets with the florist and handles floral selections directly with them. If there is to be a repast, the family arranges that, though we are happy to provide suggestions.  

Do you offer recommendations for florists, restaurants for repasts and lodging for out-of-town guests?

We are happy to provide a list of community services for trusted florists, restaurants and lodging for out-of-town guests upon request. Codey & Mackey Funeral Home has been a proud member of the Morris County community for more than 100 years, since our founding in 1914. We’re deeply engaged with our community and our goal is to make the difficult, emotional job of planning visitation and burial services as seamless as possible. Please lean on us for full-service concierge recommendations.

How many death certificates should we order, and why?

A Certified Death Certificate – which can be obtained through a funeral director – is necessary before anything can be done with the assets of a deceased loved one. Families are encouraged to obtain multiple certificates because most agencies require a certified certificate, not a photocopy. If you are filing the will with the Surrogate’s Office, you will need to present a certified death certificate to start the process. To take a name off a joint bank account, banks require a certified certificate. The contents of a safety deposit box in a bank can be sealed after death and a certified death certificate will be required to gain access to the contents. Any financial instrument in the deceased’s name – a car, house, insurance policy, retirement account – will need a certified death certificate. The death certificates are not expensive, so it’s easier to just order as many as you estimate you’ll need. This is one of the many services Codey & Mackey Funeral Home provides for our families.