State law generally governs the funeral industry. But the laws could differ significantly from one state to another, which make state laws complicated and not readily enforceable. There is, however, one rule that all funeral homes should adhere to called the Funeral Rule, which is enforced by the FTC or Federal Trade Commission. It’s crucial that you fully understand this rule because it would help you when shopping around for funeral services and products. Generally speaking, below are your rights according to the FTC’s Funeral Rule:
- Only purchase funeral services and products that you want. However, you do need to pay the funeral home’s basic service charge. This service charge is non-declinable and covers the funeral home’s overhead, including maintenance costs for the facility, vehicles, etc.
- Obtain a detailed, written statement before paying anything. This statement must clearly show everything you’re purchasing and how much each item costs after you have made the funeral arrangements.
- The funeral provider must provide you with itemized prices. In particular, you should receive a comprehensive price list and related disclosures when you’re being offered various funeral services, products, and arrangements, notes an experienced funeral director in Clearfield. Funeral providers are likewise required to provide you written price lists for their offerings and accurate prices when you request them over the phone.
- You’re legally entitled to get the facts. Aside from requiring that funeral providers disclose all their prices, the Funeral Rule likewise include stipulations to prevent misrepresentations and dishonest practices to help make sure that you get specific facts including:
- For a cremation, you could opt for an alternative container rather than a typical casket.
- While state law doesn’t require embalming, it might be necessary for funeral plans that come with viewing. You do need to give your permission for embalming though.
- Although state law doesn’t require the use of outer burial containers, most cemeteries require them to prevent graves from sinking.
Put simply, the FTC’s Funeral Rule helps you in picking out only the services and products you need to, or want for a funeral, whether you’re doing planning for your funeral or when making arrangements for someone else.