A funeral home, funeral parlor, mortuary or cemetery, is an establishment that offers funeral and burial services for both the dead and their family members. These services can consist of a funeral and burial, as well as the provision of a funeral chapel for the funeral. The funeral home has funeral directors and employees who are licensed and paid to carry out this service. At one time, the funeral home was owned by a mortuary but this soon changed due to the regulations that were put in place by the Funeral Rule. Nowadays most funeral homes are privately owned and run by the families and individuals who pay for its services.
Different types of services are offered by funeral homes including the following: cremation, burial, interment and memorial services. Cremation is the process of burning the deceased remains in a bonfire. Burial services consist of the temporary burial, usually in a wood or metal hearth. Memorial services are the memorial service that occurs a day or two following the funeral and includes flowers, poems and other memorial tributes. Interment is the permanent burial of the remains at a cemetery or other location.
Some funeral homes offer a post-interment program which contains photos and other mementos left by the deceased. Some also offer pre-need services and referrals to local physicians and funeral directors for medical care, if needed. A funeral home will often take responsibility for all financial matters including insurance claims, merchandise orders and other items left in care by the deceased. It will also be up to these funeral directors to set up the arrangements for the funeral and any final details of the funeral service. Many times these agencies will handle all aspects of the planning, from requests for flowers to requests for flowers, caskets and hearths. This also includes death notices, obituary notices, funeral webcasting, funeral announcements and booklets.