Role of a funeral director

The funeral director’s role can’t be understated. First and foremost, their role is one of providing compassionate support and advice on all aspects of arranging a funeral while, behind the scenes, ensuring everything is managed on your behalf to the highest professional standards you would expect.

At the same time, funeral directors can guide you on how best to plan for your own funeral or that of a loved one, including options for spreading the cost of a funeral with a pre-paid plan and making a record of all your wishes.

All SAIF member funeral directors will explain and discuss all the choices available to you in arranging a funeral, including being 100% clear about the costs involved upfront.

Depending on your wishes, the role of the funeral director may include the following:

Prior to the funeral

  • Transferring the deceased to a mortuary or assisting if you prefer the deceased to remain at home or liaising with a repatriation company for deaths abroad
  • Organising the deceased to be held at a chapel of rest to allow friends and relatives to view prior to the funeral
  • Placing any notices of death in local or national newspapers or on websites
  • Managing and advising on the necessary legal documentation
  • Advising on all aspects of the funeral including types of service and the options available to you including choices of coffins and caskets, venues and catering, priests or non-religious celebrant, vehicles, music and flowers, Order of Service sheet, donations and types of memorial

On the day

  • Ensuring everything goes smoothly on the day according to your wishes and those of the deceased
  • Attending to every detail during the day from arranging transport for family and close friends to overseeing the funeral service and procedures at the cemetery or crematorium
  • Arranging for the deceased ashes to be provided to you, helping arrange for you to scatter them or preserve them
  • Collecting ‘obituary’ or attendance cards so you know who attended

Following the funeral

  • Where required, arranging the deceased or their ashes to be transferred to another location, whether within the UK or overseas
  • Arranging for funeral flowers and donations to be forwarded to the relevant people, organisation or charity
  • Organising graves and headstones to be put in place at a suitable time after a burial or ashes placed

Find a SAIF Member