A recent addition to the funeral industry is the funeral planner. Much like a life coach or a wedding planner, these planners have experience in the funeral industry and can help you make funeral arrangements when you are coping with grief and can’t make all the decisions that need to be made. But you should know that a funeral planner is not the same as a funeral director. So what is the difference between the two and which one should you choose when making decisions about your loved one’s services?

Funeral Planner

Not licensed. A funeral planner is not something that you can get a degree or license for in school. It is a job title for someone who has decided to help grieving families organize a funeral to meet their desires while taking the burden of planning off their shoulders. Technically, they cannot arrange a funeral. They can only help you organize one and make critical decisions yourself.

Not affiliated with one funeral home. A funeral planner is a freelance planner and in many cases, does this in his or her free time. The benefit of a planner not being tied to one funeral home is that they have experience with many places and can recommend one that will work with you based upon your needs.

Much less costly. Many planners are members of the local retirement community and are doing this to help out while making a little extra income, so their fees will be much lower than a funeral director.

Choose a Funeral Planner: If you want to save money and are willing to take care of the logistics yourself. A funeral planner will do all of the research for you, but you will need to take care of making the phone calls yourself.


Funeral Director

Fully licensed and insured. Funeral directors must pass a test in order to be licensed and they have to be licensed in order to be insured, so you can feel confident that they have the credentials to professionally handle your funeral arrangements.

Employed by one funeral home. Once you make the decision to work with a particular funeral director, you must work with their affiliated funeral home. They will work with you to make sure you have affordable options, but there are no pricing regulations for funeral homes in most states, so you may find other businesses with drastically lower rates after the fact.

Familiar with the process from an industry perspective. A funeral director’s job revolves entirely with handling everything surrounding a funeral or memorial service. They know the ins and outs of the industry very well and can navigate them faster than you might be able to.

Choose a Funeral Director: If you are comfortable paying a little more to have your loved ones funeral arranged and handled by someone else, then have funeral planner manage the details of the funeral.