Did you know that the fu­neral busi­ness is not reg­u­lated? Rachael Bar­ber, Anglia north area man­ager of Gor­don Bar­ber Fu­neral Homes, ex­plains more.

Let's Talk - - CONTENT - Write with your ques­tions about funer­als to Rachael Bar­ber, Let’s Talk, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Nor­wich, Nor­folk NR1 1RE.

Mak­ing the best fu­neral de­ci­sions

The­o­ret­i­cally, any­one can open their own fu­neral di­rec­tors and start trad­ing with­out any sort of li­cence or proof of ex­cel­lence.

When you con­sider the ar­ray of knowl­edge that is re­quired and the com­plex­ity of car­ry­ing out a fu­neral, it is quite as­ton­ish­ing that this could be the case.

All fu­neral di­rec­tors are dif­fer­ent there­fore and the ser­vice that they de­liver is also very dif­fer­ent too. The dif­fi­culty for the pub­lic is that, thank­fully, they haven’t of­ten got any­thing to com­pare it to. That is, if we are lucky enough not to have to ar­range a fu­neral too many times in our life­time, then how can we com­pare a good from bad ser­vice?

A good place to start is to see if the peo­ple in the busi­ness are kind, con­sid­er­ate and knowl­edge­able. You should ideally be seen straight away. How­ever busy they may be, they should put their other de­mands aside while they give you their time.

Take a look at the sur­round­ings and get a feel for how well kept the fu­neral home is. You should be of­fered re­fresh­ments and some­where com­fort­able to sit where there is pri­vacy for pri­vate dis­cus­sion.

You should never feel that any­thing is too much trou­ble or that what you are ask­ing for is an in­con­ve­nience. Most fu­neral di­rec­tors will be happy to visit you in your own home if that is your pre­ferred choice.

The fu­neral di­rec­tor should pro­vide clear in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to cost, and tailor a fu­neral ser­vice that suits not only your wishes but also your fi­nances. They should be able to pro­vide up to date in­for­ma­tion on ben­e­fits and help that can be ac­cessed by some to­wards the cost of the fu­neral.

If you feel it nec­es­sary, don’t be afraid to ask to see be­hind the scenes where your loved one will be rest­ing. Ask your fu­neral di­rec­tor if they have a chapel of rest and when is it avail­able for vis­it­ing should you wish to.

It is of­ten the case that a lot of peo­ple choose the fu­neral di­rec­tor which has been used by the fam­ily pre­vi­ously, as they know what to ex­pect and the level of ser­vice they will re­ceive. Oth­ers pre­fer to be rec­om­mended by some­one that they trust.

I think it is im­por­tant that who­ever you choose to carry out this most sig­nif­i­cant of tasks, you must be con­fi­dent that you are deal­ing with some­one who gen­uinely cares and will be there for you through­out.

No mat­ter how busy the fu­neral di­rec­tor may be, they must never show it, and they should take care of you as though you were the only fam­ily they have ever had to look af­ter.

You must be con­fi­dent that you are deal­ing with some­one who gen­uinely cares

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