What are Funeral Concierge Services?
Even with the recent popularity of pre-arranged funerals and so many people taking steps to ensure that funeral costs are covered years in advance, few individuals know exactly how to plan a funeral. The actual details of the process, including things like selecting a casket, comparing funeral homes, negotiating a memorial service time—those can be a real challenge for someone facing this crisis for the first time.
Enter the concept of funeral concierge services. Fairly new to the industry and only offered by select providers, funeral concierge services are part of a personalized program designed to help guide you through the funeral planning process. The goal is to provide a support network and resource center that you can turn to make informed decisions—and to do it even when you only have a few days to plan the entire funeral.
Who Provides Funeral Concierge Services?
In most cases, these types of services are offered one of three places: through a funeral home, by a life insurance provider, or through a private company specializing in this type of thing.
Funeral homes that provide this service typically do so in order to help you make decisions about their particular products. This is less about comparing prices and options and more about walking you through the steps of funeral planning. In most cases, it’s overseen by a funeral director.
Life insurance providers who provide this service usually have your bottom line in mind. As part of an incentive package to get you to choose them as a provider—and because they want you to plan a funeral using the funds you have available through your policy—life insurance companies are beginning to offer this type of concierge services. Some of the perks include:
- 24-hour assistance
- Price comparison reports for your area
- Online planning tools
- Communication with the funeral home via an unbiased third party (including negotiations made on your behalf)
- Faster insurance claim processing
When funeral concierge services are offered through a private company, they typically provide an “alternative” funeral planning option. For a fee, users can access the 24-hour resource center, which puts them in touch with local funeral homes and comparison price lists. Depending on the company and your budget, you might also be able to hire them to plan all the details of the funeral, including specialty services like live music, limousine transport, dove releases, and even hotel and restaurant accommodations for out-of-town visitors.
When You Need Additional Funeral Planning Support
For some people, the process of planning a funeral is cathartic and helps them move through the beginning stages of their grief. For others, the thought of making decisions, shopping around for a good deal on a burial plot, or even figuring out who to call for help is too much. Funeral concierge services aren’t yet available everywhere, but as they grow in popularity, you might be able to find assistance in your area.