When faced with the difficult task of arranging a funeral, one of the important decisions to make is choosing the right funeral home. In Australia, there are two main types of funeral homes available: independent and family-owned establishments, and corporate-managed companies. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two options to help you make an informed choice during such a challenging time.
Independent Family Owned Funeral Homes
Independent and family-owned funeral homes are local businesses that have been established without the assistance of large corporations. These establishments are often passed down through generations and have deep roots within the community. This familial connection can offer a unique and personalized approach to funeral services, as these businesses are driven by a genuine sense of care and compassion.
Benefits of Choosing an Independent Family Owned Funeral Home
1. Personalized Attention: Independent family-owned funeral homes often have a smaller staff, resulting in a more personalized experience for grieving families with a strong sense of customer service. The dedicated staff members take the time to understand the specific needs and wishes of each family, ensuring that the funeral service reflects the individuality and personality of the deceased, creating a more meaningful and personalised farewell for your loved one.
2. Community Involvement: Being deeply rooted in the local community, independent funeral homes have a strong connection with local religious organizations, cemetery providers, and other service providers. This enables them to offer valuable guidance and recommendations to families when making arrangements.
3. Flexibility and Customization: Independent funeral homes are more inclined to accommodate unique requests and tailor their services to meet the specific cultural, religious, or personal preferences of the family. They understand that every individual and family is different, and they strive to honor those differences.
Corporate Owned Funeral Homes
On the other hand, corporate-owned funeral homes are managed by large companies that often operate on a national or even international scale. These establishments are typically part of a network of funeral homes, offering standardized services across multiple locations.
They can sometimes offer more services than independent funeral homes, but are also usually more expensive. You'll still be able to liaise with the operators of the funeral home, though you might find yourself having to deal with more bureaucratic processes and less flexibility than if you'd chosen an independent establishment.
Corporate-owned funeral homes are owned by large corporations, for example those that are publicly listed like Invocare which operates 250 funeral locations and 14 cemeteries and crematoria, in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA. In Australia alone, Invocare has 3 national funeral brands in Australia (White Lady Funerals; Simplicity Funerals; Value Funerals)
Advantages of Choosing a Corporate Owned Funeral Home
1. Extensive Resources: Corporate-owned funeral homes sometimes have access to a wider range of resources, with some business having exclusive rights to certain ceremony locations due to exclusive ownership. More frequently now however, these facilities are available for independent business to utilise for a fee.
2. Standard Operational Practices: Corporate-managed funeral homes adhere to standardized practices and protocols, ensuring a certain level of consistency across all their locations. This can provide a sense of reassurance for families who prioritize uniformity and require strict scheduling.
Choosing the Right Funeral Home
Ultimately, the decision between an independent family-owned funeral home and a corporate-owned establishment depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Consider factors such as the level of personalization, community involvement, flexibility, available resources, and financial stability when making this important choice. It is essential to evaluate your specific needs and the values that matter most to you and your family during this challenging time.
Selecting a funeral home is a deeply personal decision that should be made with careful consideration. Independent family-owned funeral homes offer a personalized and community-oriented approach, while corporate-owned establishments provide extensive resources and professional standards. By understanding the differences between these two options, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your values and best serves the memory of your loved one.