The Bureau licenses funeral establishments; funeral directors, apprentice embalmers and mortuary students; preneed funeral planners; cemetery brokers and salespersons; cremation service providers; and investigates complaints about them. It also promotes advance funeral planning and administers the Funeral Service National Board Examination.
You can name someone to carry out your funeral wishes by making a New York health care proxy, under Public Health Law SS 4201(3).
Working in a funeral home requires a certain level of compassion and empathy, but it also involves a lot of work. Keeping up with the schedules of clients and ensuring that arrangements are carried out as they wish is often a full-time job. As a result, some people struggle to find a balance between their personal and professional lives.
Funeral arrangements are complex and can involve a variety of fees. Consumers should shop around and compare prices before choosing a funeral home or cemetery. Preneed trust contracts enable consumers to decide on services and merchandise they wish to buy in advance, usually paying a set amount into a trust administered by the funeral establishment or cemetery. These contracts are regulated by state laws.
Memorial societies and funeral consumer groups or organizations, which are not businesses, can provide information on making advance funeral arrangements. The Funeral Consumers Alliance is a nonprofit organization that has promoted advance planning and the consumer’s right to choose a funeral since 1963.
Some funeral homes offer special packages that can help consumers with the costs of a funeral. This is a convenient way for a consumer to buy a complete service, while also potentially saving money.
If you include a non-declinable basic services fee, you must list it on your GPL, together with a list of the principal services provided for that price and the required disclosures. You cannot charge other, non-declinable fees for services or facilities unless they are part of the basic services fee or one of the items listed on your GPL.
If a family inquires by telephone about prices for your services or arrangements during or after hours, you must provide them with any accurate information from your price lists that is readily available. This applies to preneed arrangements as well as at-need arrangements. Many funeral providers enter into agreements with religious groups or burial societies to arrange funerals for members at discounted prices. You may add the pricing for these arrangements to your regular prices, or prepare a separate Outer Burial Container (OBC) Price List.
Pre-planning is a good way for an individual to make decisions about cemetery, burial and memorial goods and services before his or her death. Preplanning can be done either by arranging an appointment for an arrangement conference or by providing the funeral home with written pre-arrangement selections.
The Rule requires you to give price and other information to consumers who inquire about at-need arrangements, regardless of whether you are in the middle of an arrangements conference or not. This also applies to consumers who call after business hours to ask about your at-need prices.
Some funeral providers enter into agreements with religious groups, burial societies and memorial societies to arrange funerals for their members at special prices. If you do so, you must comply with the Rule’s requirements to give those individuals your General Price List, show them your merchandise and provide an Itemized Statement of the goods and services selected. Pre-payment is not required for pre-need arrangements.
There are a number of payment options for funeral expenses. Some families choose to fund their loved one’s funeral with a personal loan from their bank or credit union, while others use charitable donations. Still, others may be able to obtain a funeral expense loan from a lending company that specifically specializes in this type of financing. Such loans usually offer a promotional period where interest is not charged on the principal balance if the loan is paid off within six months.
When considering paying for a funeral, it is important to know all of your options before committing to anything. Some funeral establishments sell packages to lower prices, but be sure to get a detailed itemized statement listing all items and their costs. Also, never be afraid to ask questions and negotiate prices with a funeral director before agreeing to their terms. Checking rates for a funeral expense loan online is easy and doesn’t impact your credit score.