Most people reckon a family funeral director is most likely to do the best job. All the guarantees seem to be in place. They’ve been at it for years, they are esteemed members of your local community. They’ll know what to do, they’ll do it in the time-honoured way, they’ll give you great personal service.
There’s no genetic logic to this. The skills and virtues of parents are not necessarily passed down to their children. A time-honoured way of doing things is not necessarily the best way of doing things now. And a family business of any age can get encumbered with family members who pay themselves more than they ought, preventing reinvestment. Some family firms are some of the most stick-in-the-mud, lazy and incompetent you could find.
By sheer genetic good luck, some of them are superb – as good as it gets. The important thing is that it’s well run now.
Some family businesses have got big over the years. For example, AW Lymn in Nottingham has 23 branches across the city and into Derby. It’s big but it’s brilliantly run. Arguably, it’s the best funeral director in Britain.