Most of us will, at some time in our lives, make or assist in making funeral arrangements for a loved one or friend. This could mean being required to make decisions during a very difficult and emotional period.

The role of a funeral director is to assist and guide individuals and families during this time. While the funeral director is a source of advice and support, you will be asked to make choices about the funeral. To follow are a number of things you should know to help you make decisions at this time:

Be an informed consumer. Don’t be reluctant to ask questions.

Discuss and consider all the options available and choose one that best meets your financial needs and personal wishes.

When selecting a funeral director, choose someone who has a good reputation in the community and who abides by the Funeral Director’s Association’s Code of Ethics.

Be prepared. Avoid the burden of making decisions while under emotional stress by organizing details with your funeral director ahead of time. Remember – ‘pre-planning’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘pre-paying’. Christian Funerals of Sydney has an obligation free booklet called “Making Your Wishes Known” which may be of assistance to you in your preparation.

Plan a personalised ceremony or service to help you begin the healing process. Getting through grief is never easy but having a meaningful funeral or tribute will help.