Aren’t All Funeral Homes the Same?

Sponsored By: McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation

Sponsored By: McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation

Though we might not like to think about it, we will all need the assistance of a funeral home at some point in our lives. Whether you’re planning ahead for yourself or making arrangements for someone else, the experience will differ depending on which funeral home you select.

While all funeral homes will offer a basic level of service – such as caskets, memorial services and cremation – the personal touches for each customer can vary widely.

So what should you look for in a funeral home?

1.Find an established provider.

A locally owned funeral home that’s been in business a long time will be experienced and connected to the community.

McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation has been serving families in the Charleston area since 1886. Company founder John McAlister placed significant emphasis on the importance of family, which remains a core value of the business today.

2.Ensure your family will receive individualized attention.

Every life is unique and so are the needs of each family. This type of meeting shouldn’t be rushed, and you should never feel pressured to buy a service you don’t want or need.

McAlister-Smith distinguishes itself by taking the time to provide individual attention for a personalized service. Their staff recognizes that each service is a unique opportunity to celebrate and reflect upon an individual’s life, so it’s important to get it right.

“We serve one family at a time,” says Dana Madanski, Director of Marketing. “We believe every life deserves to be celebrated and shared. So, when a family uses our building for their service, they have the entire building to themselves.”

For example, their Goose Creek location recently served a family whose loved one was a wagon-maker. To ensure that he was remembered for his outstanding works, the staff arranged for an actual wagon created by him to be brought inside the funeral home as a focal piece during the service. It sparked many memories and much conversation.

Another way families can personalize a service is through food. Each McAlister-Smith location has a hospitality room where families have the option of bringing in their favorite dish or using the company’s in-house catering staff to plan a menu and prepare the food.

3.Do they make arranging the service details as easy as possible?

At a time when so many tasks need to be done and contacts to be made in a short time, will the burden be lifted from you?

“When people plan their own funerals in advance, we try to help people understand that it’s not just about you. Your funeral is about providing your family with a safe place to begin healing. We are here to take care, not only of the decedent, but also the family. The service created can be a final gift to them,” she says.

4.Choose a funeral home that is a part of your local community.

A funeral home is a place you can look to for grief support. Whether they served your family or not, McAlister-Smith provides support groups, counselor referrals and information to anyone hurting through a loss.

McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation has four convenient locations to serve you. They build relationships, utilize local providers and volunteer with various non-profit boards and organizations at each location.

“Fostering professional relationships in the community helps us ensure the families we serve are completely taken care of before, during and after the service,” says Madanski.

5.Are they sensitive to your budget?

Because McAlister-Smith knows that value and cost are important, they are very sensitive to helping you create something special while staying in your budget.
Each service item is broken down individually so that you only pay for services and items that you select as appropriate and meaningful. With a wide variety of options, from simple to elaborate, traditional to contemporary, McAlister-Smith helps tailor services to your preferences and price point.

To learn more about what to expect from a funeral home, visit or call (843) 722-8371.

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