The Funeral Rule
Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission
Most funeral providers and professionals strive to serve their clients’ needs and best interests. However, as with any profession, there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed. For example, to prohibit the ability for funeral professionals to take advantage of their clients through inflated prices, overcharges, double charges or unnecessary services, a federal law was created called The Funeral Rule. This Rule, created and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, makes it easier for you to choose only the funeral home services you choose. The Funeral Rule also helps to make sure that you are only paying for the merchandise and services you selected, whether your funeral planning arrangements are on a Pre Need or at-need basis.
The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires Funeral Directors to give you itemized prices in person and, if you ask, over the phone. The Funeral Rule also requires Funeral Directors to give you other information about their goods and services. For example, if you ask about memorial services or funeral planning arrangements in person, the Funeral Home must give you a written price list to keep that shows the goods and services the home offers. If you want to buy a casket or outer burial container, the funeral provider must show you descriptions of the available selections and the prices before actually showing you the caskets.
Many funeral providers offer various “packages” of commonly selected goods and services that make up a funeral plan. But if you choose to do your own funeral planning, you have the right to buy individual goods and services. That is, you do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want.
According to The Funeral Rule:
- You have the right to choose the funeral home services you want (with some exceptions).
- The funeral provider must state this right in writing on The General Price List.
- If state or local law requires you to buy any particular item, the funeral provider must disclose it on The General Price List, with a reference to the specific law.
- The funeral provider may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
- A funeral provider that offers cremations must make alternative containers available.