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To Tip Or Not To Tip? A Guide To Funeral Gratuities

Few things seem more awkward than discussing money while arranging for a funeral for a loved one. But as with many aspects of modern life, the financial aspects of funerals aren't something you can completely ignore either. To help you avoid unnecessarily uncomfortable conversations or faux pas, here's a short guide to gratuities for various funeral services.

1. Don't Tip Funeral Home Staff

In general, the work of the funeral director and their own staff members are included in the bill for the overall funeral services. This is their profession, and they provide services to several customers at the same time. This means that tipping them is generally unnecessary. However, families often greatly appreciate the help of the funeral home staff and director. If you want to show your gratitude for their efforts, a thank you note and/or a small gift is often welcomed. 

2. Do Tip Caterers and Florists

You may work with a range of vendors for additional services at the funeral, graveside service, wake, or memorial. While the funeral home staff will provide the majority of services needed for most funerals, florists and caterers are commonly needed as well. You may make your own contracts with these providers, in which case you should add a standard tip. 

3. Don't (Exactly) Tip Ministers

Religious and spiritual leaders who oversee the funeral (or certain traditions) have their own policies about asking for money to do so. Most ministers and others don't actually charge for their services. However, it's customary to give them what's known as an honorarium of your own volition. This isn't exactly a tip, but it's not a bill either. Talk with funeral home staff about customary amounts in your area if you don't know. 

4. Do Tip Outside Staff

Keep an eye out for people providing services who may not be employed by the funeral home. This might include delivery drivers, chauffeurs, musicians, or laborers. It would be nice to tip these other individuals. If you're not sure whether or not someone is part of the regular staff, feel free to ask your funeral director. 

Where to Learn More

Do you still have questions about tipping for funeral-related services? Contact a funeral home in your area to learn more about etiquette and expectations in the local community. By addressing these awkward subjects early, you can have a peaceful funeral and show everyone how you value their help.