For licensed funeral directors and embalmers, there are a variety of potential issues that could occur within the profession, both industry-specific and even license-specific issues that could affect the individual’s ability to practice their profession.
Making sure the families of the decedent understand the process, the cost, the options, and other related conditions is integral to both the quality of the client’s experience, and the ability to avoid potential complaints placed against their license. If funeral directors communicate properly about the real costs of the services they provide, and genuinely attempt to provide the most appropriate funeral package to the individual instead of simply pushing the most expensive option regardless of the fit, clients are going to feel comfortable with their decision and feel supported during a very difficult time. Hiding costs/fees or purposefully pushing a specific package with a hidden agenda is not in best practice and could even create a licensing issue if the client decides to pursue a case against the funeral director for these behaviors.
It is also important to explain the options for the body of the decedent. Generally speaking, a few funeral directors may push for the embalming/funeral/casket route because it brings in more money. Although some clients will naturally go this route regardless of cost, the option to cremate is sometimes not even shared or touched upon with the client likely due to the fact that it is a much cheaper option and will generate less revenue. However, many clients would still prefer the full range of options provided to them, and if cremation is ignored, the individual could even file a complaint against them for failing to provide all possible options, or because the client feels like they were swindled by being led toward the more expensive and intensive option.
Death is heavily stigmatized in culture, and it is still often taboo to discuss matters pertaining to death anywhere except a medical facility or funeral home. If the funeral director does not have the appropriate demeanor with the client, who may be particularly sensitive to the subject, this can cause a variety of issues: the client will refuse to do business with them, will want to spend less money, or even the scenario of reporting the licensed funeral director to IDFPR for conduct issues. It takes finesse and an inherent understanding of the industry and culture to be able to properly communicate with the variety of clients that will come through the business. Empathy and compassion go a long way.
Williams & Nickl has represented thousands of licensed professionals and their licensed business entities who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.