When choosing a funeral bureau, consumers should be aware of the legal requirements for pricing and quality of funeral services. It is important to get an itemized bill that outlines all costs associated with the funeral service, including unknown or unforeseen charges. In addition, funeral homes cannot charge for protective clothing, contagious disease, or preneed services. Moreover, funeral bureaus must disclose all prices of merchandise, including caskets and outer burial containers, to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are paying for.
In California, the funeral industry is regulated by the Funeral Bureau. They are authorized by the state to register cemetery businesses, and they investigate complaints against funeral directors and cemeteries. A funeral bureau can provide a general price list, as well as an official burial certificate issued by the bureau. Burial businesses must get a license from the Funeral Bureau in order to conduct business. Furthermore, the Bureau’s licensed funeral home establishments must follow all state laws.
A cemetery service provider must provide services related to opening and closing graves, laying grave liners, and setting markers. Cemetery maintenance standards set minimum standards for endowment care cemeteries. In addition to burial space, these rules must include a minimum list of items for natural condition sections. Consumers should be provided with these standards on request. A columbarium is a structure that has niches for placing cremated remains. The columbarium may be an outdoor structure or a separate section of a mausoleum.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection receives inquiries regarding funeral services from consumers throughout the United States. This agency does not regulate cemeteries operated by Native American tribes, religious organizations, or cities. However, consumers can file complaints about funeral services to the FTC. The Bureau also investigates complaints that other state regulators have made against funeral homes. The Bureau of Consumer Protection receives complaints from consumers in every state, and receives inquiries regarding the practice of funeral home regulation.
As a national accreditation agency for funeral service programs, ABFSE provides education for students. The organization has roots in the 1940s and became an independent agency in 1962. In 2016, the organization sponsored an ABFSE Curriculum Review Workshop. The onset of Covid-19 prevented the traditional in-person workshop, but ABFSE was able to continue the session via Zoom. The curriculum review included Embalming, Funeral Directing, and Professional Business Communications.
The Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers issues licenses to qualified professionals. This organization sets minimum standards for professional conduct and continued competency. They take action against licensees who fail to meet the standards. They inspect funeral homes and crematories and issue certificates of inspection. However, these certifications do not provide legal or ethical liability. However, if you are a funeral director, it is important to contact your state licensing agency to ensure your business is legally compliant.
Although the funeral industry is perennially sustainable, it is essential to differentiate itself from competitors to retain clients. With funerals becoming increasingly expensive and elaborate, funeral companies must offer the most comprehensive services possible to meet the needs of their clients. In this competitive environment, this is no easy feat. To keep their clients, funeral service operators must continually innovate to remain relevant and successful. Moreover, they must provide the highest level of service in a dignified manner.