The Funeral Bureau

The Bureau licenses funeral establishments; funeral directors and embalmers; cemetery brokers, salespersons and managers; cremated remains disposers, crematories, and hydrolysis facilities; and investigates consumer complaints. The Bureau also promotes consumer protection and educates funeral consumers.

You may offer bundled funeral arrangements, but they must be offered in addition to and not in place of, your General Price List. You must still give consumers a GPL and provide the required disclosures.

How does a funeral bureau work?

The loss of a loved one is the most traumatic event in most people’s lives. When planning a funeral, family members are confronted with dozens of decisions under great emotional duress. They must decide whether to bury or cremate the body; what type of funeral service should be conducted; and how much everything will cost.

According to the FTC’s Funeral Rule, consumers have the right to get a general price list from a funeral establishment. This should include all goods and services they have selected, including any third party charges for flowers, obituary notices, transportation and certified death certificates. They also have the right to receive a total dollar amount in writing before they sign a contract. This should include any unknown costs and unallocated overhead.

Once you have completed your formal mortuary science program you will need to complete an apprenticeship at a licensed funeral home. This will provide hands-on experience in the industry and can help you obtain a job after graduation.

How do I find a funeral bureau?

The death of a loved one is a difficult time. It’s a good idea to ask for recommendations from people that know the deceased well. These might include friends, family members, church and community leaders, coworkers and neighbors.

Anyone who enjoys working with people and helping others through difficult times might find a career in funeral services rewarding. High school students who are interested in pursuing this field can gain relevant experience through part-time or summer jobs at local funeral homes.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau licenses thirteen different categories of funeral establishments; funeral directors; embalmers and apprentice embalmers; preneed funeral planners; cremation service providers; cemetery brokers, salespersons and managers; and more than two hundred licensed cemeteries in California. It also promotes advance funeral planning and protects a consumer’s right to choose a meaningful, dignified and affordable funeral. The bureau conducts regular inspections to ensure that licensees are following state laws and regulations.

What are the benefits of working with a funeral bureau?

Anyone who enjoys working with people in times of emotional need will find great rewards in a career in funeral service. As with most careers in the service industry, these jobs require a strong commitment to compassion and a willingness to work on an on-call basis. However, the average salary for funeral home workers is significantly higher than in many other occupations and benefits include medical, dental, and vision coverage; short- and long-term disability insurance; and a life insurance policy.

The Bureau licenses funeral directors, embalmers and funeral establishments; investigates complaints against cemetery operators and staff; and oversees funeral merchandise (which includes caskets, outer burial containers, clothing, monuments, urns, prayer cards and register books). The Bureau also regulates pre-need plans, which are prepaid contracts that help consumers avoid the stress of making arrangements after the death of a loved one.

Consumers have the right to a general price list from any funeral provider they contact, whether for at-need or pre-need services. The Bureau conducts undercover inspections of providers to ensure that they are complying with the Funeral Rule.

How do I find a funeral home?

When a loved one dies, family members are often faced with dozens of decisions to be made quickly, often under emotional duress. These decisions include what kind of funeral or memorial service to have, whether the deceased should be buried or cremated, and where to get help with funeral arrangements.

It’s important to comparison shop and choose a funeral home that offers services at a reasonable price. You can start your search by asking friends and family, checking online reviews and directories, and contacting religious or cultural groups that might be familiar with the kind of service you need.

Another good way to find a funeral home is to call the county coroner, which should be able to tell you which funeral homes took possession of the body and when. Also, check newspaper obituaries. If the person was a former resident of your area, call their school or college to see if they will be publishing an obituary.

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