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From the first phone call, your funeral director's role is to make the difficult task of saying goodbye to a loved one as easy as it can possibly be. The best funeral directors are those that not only listen to your wishes before the service, but also take care of everything on the day, when their experience and professionalism are most needed.

In the days before a funeral the family will have got to know the person responsible for making all the arrangements. At many independent family firms this will often be the same person that conducts the funeral. Having a familiar face present can help at a difficult time, but if the person making arrangements for you cannot be at the ceremony, a good funeral director will make sure you have been introduced to the person conducting your funeral before the day of the service.

The most important part of the funeral director's job is to make sure that the wishes of the deceased and their family are respected throughout the funeral. They can organise for a florist to prepare flowers and to transport them from the funeral home to the venue along with any other floral tributes that have been left. They can also arrange for music, from a church organist to the deceased's favourite CD.

Staff from the funeral director will be at the venue to welcome and seat mourners and distribute the order of service. Some funeral directors will also prepare a book of remembrance or attendance cards and accept donations on behalf of the deceased's favourite charity.

Having cared for the deceased and prepared them for the funeral, the funeral director will often travel in the hearse to the funeral, making sure that the deceased is carried carefully from the hearse into the ceremony. They may also arrange transport so that the family can get to the funeral venue together and on time.

After the funeral, friends and family normally get together to remember the deceased, celebrate their life and comfort their fellow mourners. Your funeral director can organise a suitable venue and catering local to the funeral venue and arrange transport there.

Guiding you through the most difficult of days, the funeral director has helped you organise and conduct a funeral service worthy of the memory of your loved one.  But although the ceremony is over, the role of the funeral director continues and tomorrow we'll look at the support and guidance you can expect after the funeral.

Golden Charter has the largest network of independent funeral directors in the UK, giving you the widest possible choice. Many of the independent funeral directors we work with are long-standing, family-run businesses, and all provide a compassionate and professional service, earning a trusted place in the local community. For more information on arranging a funeral plan with Golden Charter, allowing you to choose from more than 3,300 independent funeral directors across the country, visit our Compare or funeral plans page or call 0808 169 4534.

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Smart Planning for Later Life

Golden Charter has one of the largest networks of independent funeral directors in the UK. Many are long-standing, family-run businesses and all provide a compassionate and professional service.

Find out more about how you can plan for your funeral with one of the funeral directors in our network.