funeral director

What Does a Funeral Director Do?

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    Funeral directors are the people who are there to lend assistance to bereaved families when the time comes. They put in a lot of effort to make sure that the funeral service is a respectful and dignified event for everyone who is involved in it. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide religious and traditional funeral services.

    What Is a Funeral Director?

    A funeral director is responsible for managing a funeral home and arranging the details of a funeral. In the past, this position was known as a mortician or undertaker.

    Most commonly, funeral directors are employed in funeral homes as well as crematories. The funeral business is not an industry that lends itself well to straightforward career paths. On the other hand, it has the potential to be very satisfying and rewarding.

    The rituals and customs associated with funerals are significantly different in each culture and religion.

    The removal of the deceased to a mortuary, the preparation of the remains, the performance of a ceremony that honours the dead, the addressing of the family's spiritual needs, and the carrying out of the deceased's final disposition are however typically components that are shared by most funeral practises.

    Funeral directors take great pride in their ability to comfort bereaved families and friends of the deceased as well as in providing appropriate services. They organise and direct the tasks necessary to carry out these responsibilities on behalf of grieving families.

    The wishes of the deceased and members of the family are taken into consideration by funeral directors as they plan the particulars and handle the logistics of funerals. Funeral directors are also referred to as morticians and undertakers.

    The location, dates, and times of the wakes, memorial services, and burials are all determined by the funeral director in conjunction with the family.

    They make preparations for the body to be transported in a hearse to the funeral home or mortuary.

    Funeral directors are responsible for writing obituary notices and seeing to it that they are published in newspapers. They also make arrangements for pallbearers and clergy, coordinate the opening and closing of a grave with a representative of the cemetery, decorate and prepare the locations of all services, and transport the deceased, mourners, and flowers between locations.

    They are also in charge of ensuring that the bodies of those who were interred outside of the state are properly prepared and transported.

    The majority of funeral directors also have training as embalmers and are licenced to practise the profession. The body is prepared for burial through a process called embalming, which is simultaneously a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative procedure.

    If there is a delay of more than twenty-four hours between the time of death and the time of burial, the laws of most states require that the remains be preserved by either refrigeration or embalming.

    In the process of embalming a body, funeral directors disinfect the body with germicidal soap and remove the blood from the body, replacing it with embalming fluid. This helps to preserve the tissues.

    Clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax are just some of the materials that they might use to reshape and reconstruct bodies.

    They may also dress the body and place it in a casket before finishing the process by applying cosmetics to give it a natural appearance.

    Records are kept by funeral directors, including reports on the embalming process and itemised lists of clothing and valuables that were transported with the deceased.

    In larger funeral homes, there may be an embalming staff of two or more, in addition to several apprentices. This is not uncommon.

    It is possible to hold funeral services at the deceased's residence, place of worship, funeral home, gravesite, or crematory.

    Although some services do not have a religious component, the majority of them do. It is necessary for funeral directors to have knowledge of the funeral and burial practises of a wide variety of religions, ethnic groups, and fraternal organisations.

    For instance, members of certain religions do not typically have the deceased person embalmed or cremated after death.

    The human remains are typically disposed of in the United States through the practise of burial in a casket; however, entombment is also a valid option.

    Cremation, which involves the process of burning a deceased person's body in a specialised furnace, is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional burial because it can be more cost-effective and enables the memorial service to be held at a later, more convenient time when the deceased person's friends and family can all be present.

    It is not necessary for there to be any distinction between a funeral service followed by cremation and a funeral service followed by burial.

    Before being interred in a cemetery or other final resting place, the cremated remains of a person are traditionally placed in an urn or another container that is designed to be permanent.

    You have the option of burying the urn, placing it in an indoor or outdoor mauseoleum or columbarium, or placing it in a special urn garden, which is something that many cemeteries offer for the interment of cremated remains.

    Funeral directors are responsible for handling the paperwork associated with a person's passing, including the submission of documents to state authorities in order to obtain an official death certificate and copies of the certificate for the deceased person's heirs.

    They could provide assistance to family members who are applying for veterans' burial benefits or inform the Social Security Administration of the passing of a loved one. It is also possible for funeral directors to use it in order to transfer any pensions, insurance policies, or annuities on behalf of the survivors.

    The individuals who wish to make arrangements for their own funerals are another clientele for funeral directors. This ensures that the customer's requirements will be met to their complete contentment regardless of what they request.

    The majority of funeral homes are run as small businesses by families, and many funeral directors either own and operate their own businesses or are employees with managerial responsibilities.

    Therefore, directors of funeral homes are the ones who are accountable for the success and profitability of their respective businesses.

    Directors are required to maintain records of expenses, purchases, and services rendered, as well as prepare and send out invoices for services rendered, and file all required state and federal employment reports and tax forms.

    The use of computers in billing, bookkeeping, and marketing by funeral directors is becoming increasingly common.

    Some companies are beginning to use the Internet as a means of communicating with customers who are planning their funerals or assisting customers who need assistance by developing electronic obituaries and guest books.

    Directors work hard to cultivate a spirit of collaboration and friendliness among workers, as well as a compassionate demeanour towards the families of those who are employed there. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals provides professional burial services in Melbourne. We understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time, and our team is here to help you through every step of the process.

    Aftercare services and support groups are two of the many ways that funeral directors are assisting individuals in adjusting to the changes that have occurred in their lives as a result of a death.

    FAQs About Funerals

    If you can't afford to pay for a funeral, you may be able to claim a Funeral Expenses Payment from the government. Other options include using the bank account of the person who died and arranging a Public Health Funeral.

    Whoever pays for the funeral – family, friends or the council – can look to recover the costs from the estate of the person who died. Sometimes, their estate isn't large enough to cover this. If the person who died had other debts, funeral costs are usually paid first.

    Closing a bank account after someone dies

    The bank will freeze the account. The executor or administrator will need to ask for the funds to be released – the time it takes to do this will vary depending on the amount of money in the account.

    When to divide ashes? Cremated remains are usually collected by either the funeral director or the person who arranged for the ceremony the day after the cremation. After receiving the ashes, you can decide when and how to divide them up.

    Can a Letter of Wishes be ignored by an executor? Do you have to follow a Letter of Wishes? As a Letter of Wishes is not legally-binding, it does not have to be followed. You should choose executors/trustees that you trust to follow your wishes as closely as possible.

    The Role of a Funeral Director

    how to plan a funeral (2)

    It is not uncommon for people to have little to no prior experience in the organisation of funerals, which makes selecting a funeral director a challenging and emotional process.

    Knowing what to look for in a funeral director can be helpful as you navigate these uncharted waters and find your way through the process.

    Things to Look for in a Funeral Director

    Make use of the list that is provided below as a guide to ensure that the funeral home that you select is suitable for your family.

    They Should Help You Realise Any Know Wishes

    If the deceased person had expressed their wishes in the past, then your funeral director has a responsibility to do everything in their power to assist you in turning those wishes into a reality.

    Their job is to make it possible for anything to happen (within reason, of course). If they are unable to assist you, they should be able to point you in the direction of someone who can.

    They Should Guide You Through the Process

    In the event that the funeral of the deceased has not been planned in advance, your funeral director will be able to walk you through the various steps involved in organising a funeral.

    They will assist you in making all of the decisions, no matter how big or how small, including the ones that you were unaware you were required to make.

    These choices may include the following:

    • The question of whether or not to have a burial or a cremation
    • The time, date, and location of the memorial service
    • Who should preside over the ceremony? This could be a celebrant, a member of the family, a close friend, or even a person of the same faith as you.
    • The location of the ceremony is up to you; it could take place in a church, a park, on the beach, or any other place you choose.

    Your funeral director ought to offer you whatever level of support or direction you require in this time of need.

    They are able to make arrangements on your behalf if that is required, and they are able to assist you in coordinating the cremation or burial with a memorial park or cemetery if that is required.

    They Should Help You Personalise the Ceremony

    A person's funeral service has the potential to be a celebration of the extraordinary life that was lived. Your funeral director should collaborate with you to ensure that the service is a fitting reflection of the life of your loved one and honours the memory of your departed family member or friend.

    They might ask you questions about the deceased person's prefered genres of music, hobbies, and books, among other things, and then offer to assist you in incorporating these interests into a moving memorial service.

    It could be a sombre, traditional funeral that is held at a nearby church, or it could be a lively and colourful event in which everyone wears the colours of their favourite sports team.

    Almost anything is doable, and it is the responsibility of your funeral director to assist you in realising your vision. In the event that you require assistance or direction in writing eulogies, your funeral director is available to provide both.

    They Can Help You Arrange an Event After the Service

    The "awake" event that takes place after the service is something that funeral directors can assist you in planning.

    They are able to either organise everything in accordance with your instructions or provide assistance in establishing connections with caterers, locations, and other professionals who can ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.

    A number of funeral homes also come equipped to handle hosting a wake on your behalf. They are able to organise everything, so there is no need for you to worry about a thing.

    In the event that cremation takes place, your funeral director can get in touch with a memorial park or crematorium in order to set up an appropriate memorial in a lovely park or garden.

    They Should Take Care of All the Logistics on Your Behalf

    Your funeral director will not only be able to assist you in creating the ideal funeral service, but they will also be able to handle all of the minute details, relieving you of the burden of worrying about them. The amount of responsibility that your funeral director takes on is entirely up to you.

    There are certain services that are considered industry standards and are handled by every funeral director, including the following:

    • The transportation of the deceased to the funeral parlour
    • The Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages must be notified of a person's death before it can be officially recorded.
      obtaining death certificates and conducting the collection of medical records

    Then, you have the option of getting your funeral director to help with the following services, too:

    • coordinating with the funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries of your choice
    • Making arrangements with the church, chapel, or other location of your choice Consulting with the officiant or clergy member
    • Help with the wording and placement of death notices would be appreciated.
    • I need assistance writing a eulogy.
    • Making arrangements for and getting ready for a viewing of the deceased
    • The provision of a hearse as well as other vehicles for funerals
    • Putting together flower arrangements and bouquets
    • Organising music
    • Embalming performed by trained professionals (if required)
    • Stationery for funerals and wakes, including thank-you cards and orders of service
    • Those who are unable to attend should have access to a recording or live stream of the event.
    • Referral to grief support

    This list demonstrates that your funeral director can assist you with as much (or as little) as you require during this difficult time.

    They are more prepared than the majority of us, who have never been responsible for arranging a funeral before, and they are aware of what must be done.

    They are there to help you in a caring and compassionate manner while imparting the expert knowledge that they possess.

    Funeral Director Responsibilities

    Those who are interested in pursuing a career as a funeral director will be responsible for coordinating and carrying out the fundamental requirements that are associated with a funeral.

    They collaborate with the family of the departed to make all of the arrangements for the funeral, from the beginning to the very end.

    These responsibilities include organising the funeral service, choosing an officiant (who may be a member of the clergy or another designated individual), and determining how and where the deceased person's remains will ultimately be placed.

    There are situations in which the deceased person may have left behind specific directives for the funeral arrangements.

    These requests will be taken into consideration by the funeral director, who will also organise any other necessary logistics, such as the transportation of the body, the scheduling of times and dates, and the performance of the rites.

    In addition, funeral directors are responsible for a wide variety of other tasks, such as writing obituary notices and delivering them to various media outlets in accordance with the family's instructions.

    In addition to this, they will make arrangements for clergy and pallbearers, coordinate the opening and closing of a grave with a representative of the cemetery, prepare and decorate the locations of all services, and ensure that the remains, mourners, and flowers are transported between the various locations.

    The preparation of the deceased for interment in another state, as well as the transportation of their remains to the new location, are additional duties that fall under the supervision of funeral directors. Visit Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals to know more about our prepaid funeral service and find the best funeral option for your unique situation.

    Funeral Service Director Tasks

    how to plan a funeral

    Among the funeral service director's key task areas:

    • When arranging funeral details such as the wording for obituary notices, choosing caskets, or making plans for services, it is important to consult with the families of the deceased as well as friends of the deceased.
    • Embalmers, funeral attendants, clerks who process death certificates, cosmetologists, and other staff members may fall under your direction and supervision.
    • Maintain vigilance over the operations of the funeral service to ensure that it complies with all policies, regulations, and laws in effect.
    • Discuss the terms of the prearranged contracts for funeral services.
    • Provide the bereaved family and friends with advice and solace in their time of need.
    • Prepare and carry out modifications to the funeral home's service offerings in order to better meet the requirements of the local community and boost revenue.
    • Funeral home operations can benefit from having sales promotions, as well as other marketing strategies and activities, planned out and put into action.
    • Make arrangements for the funeral, as well as the burial or cremation.
    • Clients should be sold funeral services, funeral products, and funeral merchandise.
    • Documents required by the state, tracking documents, and product inventories are some examples of records that need to be filled out and maintained.
    • Identify skill development needs for funeral home staff.

    Funeral Director Services Provided

    • Embalming\sCremation
    • Taking into Account Preferences and Traditions
    • Administrative Duties Related to Providers of Customer Service


    The majority of embalming is typically handled by funeral directors, the vast majority of whom are trained, licenced, and active embalmers.

    In larger funeral homes, there will typically be not one but two or more embalmers working alongside a number of apprentices.

    Embalming is a process that, similar to refrigeration, preserves a body and gets it ready for burial. It is required by most states if more than 24 hours pass between the time of death and the funeral.

    The first thing that embalmers do is wash the body with germicidal soap and then replace the blood with embalming fluid in order to keep the tissues from decomposing.

    Clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax are some of the materials that an embalmer may use to reshape or reconstruct the body when there has been disfigurement or maiming.

    Additionally, they might use cosmetics in order to achieve a more natural look for the body. At this point, the process is complete, and they dress the body before placing it in a casket.

    Reports on the embalming process, itemised lists of clothing and valuables that were found with the body, and any other pertinent records are maintained by funeral directors and embalmers.


    The majority of people choose to bury their loved ones in caskets, despite the fact that entombment is a common funeral practise.

    In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of people opting to cremate their deceased loved ones rather than burying them. This trend can be attributed, in part, to the fact that cremation is less expensive overall and offers more convenience.

    When a body is cremated, the funeral service can take place at any location, at any time, and even several months after the cremation. All of the deceased person's friends and family are welcome to attend.

    Many families still choose to hold memorial services after the cremation of a loved one even though the body has been destroyed. There is no difference between a funeral service that is held prior to a cremation and one that is held before a traditional burial.

    Cremated remains are typically placed in an urn, which is a permanent receptacle similar to a vase, before being laid to rest in their final location.

    The family has the option of either burying the container in a cemetery or garden, placing it in a mauseoleum or columbarium, or being interred in a columbarium.

    Respecting Customs and Requests

    The wishes of the deceased person's family or loved ones will be strictly adhered to when determining the location of the funeral services. Home, places of worship, funeral homes, cemeteries, or crematories are the typical settings for funeral services.

    Even though there are some services that are not religious in nature, many people still choose to incorporate their family's beliefs into the ceremony.

    A wide variety of religions, ethnic groups, and fraternal organisations each have unique funeral and burial practises that funeral directors are expected to be familiar with.

    A growing number of people are opting to have their funerals prearranged. During this time, there are a lot of people who want to be left alone to grieve and have some peace of mind.

    It is the responsibility of funeral directors to make arrangements for every facet of the services in a manner that will honour not only the deceased person but also the living members of their family and friends who are still alive.

    In addition to these services, funeral directors are responsible for handling the administrative tasks associated with a person's passing.

    It is the responsibility of funeral directors to file the necessary paperwork so that states can issue official death certificates.

    In certain circumstances, funeral directors provide assistance to members of the family in the completion of additional administrative tasks. These tasks may include submitting a claim for burial benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, informing the Social Security Administration of the death, or applying for the transfer of any pensions, insurance policies, or annuities on behalf of survivors.

    Customer Service

    The vast majority of funeral homes are run as modest, family-owned enterprises, and the role of funeral director is typically filled by either an owner-operator or an employee.

    As a consequence of this, the prosperity of the businesses is directly dependent on funeral directors.

    Customer service that is both effective and efficient is essential to the operation of a prosperous funeral home. The best funeral directors do everything they can to foster a warm and welcoming atmosphere for their staff members and a compassionate attitude towards the families they serve.

    Funeral directors are increasingly going beyond their traditional responsibilities by providing aftercare services and activities for support groups in order to assist individuals in readjusting to life after the loss of a loved one.

    Grieving the loss of a loved one? Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers cremation services for those who wish to have their loved ones remains disposed in a respectful and dignified manner. 

    Administrative Responsibilities

    The following is a list of the administrative tasks that funeral directors are responsible for:

    preserving accurate records of expenditures, acquisitions, and services rendered.

    putting together and sending out invoices.

    Reports for the unemployment insurance programme are currently being compiled and sent in by our team.

    • Forms for federal, state, and local taxes need to be prepared.
    • Putting together itemised bills for individual customers.

    Additionally, funeral directors are obligated to keep any electronic files related to the funeral, including online obituaries and guest books, in good working order.

    In terms of the physical facilities, the majority of funeral homes feature a chapel, at least one viewing room, a room dedicated to casket selection, and a room that is used for the preparation of the deceased.

    Caskets and urns are typically among the items that families have the option to buy or rent when working with funeral homes. As a general rule, hearses, flower cars, limousines, and various other types of cars are all readily available.

    What Is the Workplace of a Funeral Director Like?

    Most commonly, funeral directors are employed in funeral homes as well as crematories.

    The atmosphere at a funeral director's place of business can be demanding not only physically but also emotionally, and it can also be stressful at times.

    Within the first 24 to 72 hours after a death, they are responsible for making all of the necessary arrangements for the funeral.

    Additionally, it is possible for them to be in charge of more than one funeral on the same day. Even though they work with dead bodies, funeral directors don't put themselves in any significant danger.

    Nonetheless, they are obligated to comply with all of the safety and health regulations. The hours that funeral directors work are not consistent and can include nights and weekends. Let Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals help you select the type of funeral service that best fits your needs.

    They are often on call and need to be available when their clients need them. 

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