The Funeral Bureau regulates the business of funeral directing and embalming by licensing practitioners, inspecting funeral homes, investigating consumer complaints, and providing education. It also promotes advance planning and advocates for consumer rights.
Some funeral providers enter into arrangements with government agencies to provide package funerals for indigent persons or others eligible for a government benefit. When qualifying persons inquire about these arrangements, the provider must offer them a GPL with itemized prices and disclosures.
They offer a variety of services
A funeral home is a licensed establishment that provides for the burial or cremation of bodies. It is a complex business that requires many skills and responsibilities. Its employees must meet high standards and be aware of state regulations. Funeral homes also offer preplanning services, which allow families to make arrangements for their loved ones before they die. This service helps families take some of the burden off their relatives and allows them to save money.
Some funeral providers enter into agreements with government agencies or persons to provide for arrangements for indigent people or those who are eligible to receive a government benefit. When this occurs, the provider must follow Rule requirements, including providing a General Price List, Casket Price List, Outer Burial Container Price List, and an itemized Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected.
Some funeral homes may present their outer burial container options in a book that contains photographs of the containers available for sale. This method may be used as an alternative to the required GPL, but it is still required to provide a GPL to all consumers at their arrangement conference.
They are regulated
People are at their most vulnerable after the death of a loved one, and funeral arrangements can add to their anxiety. This insight was the basis for the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, which protects consumers from being taken advantage of during moments of grief. The Rule requires that funeral homes provide a written General Price List (GPL) and Casket Price List to consumers, so they can make informed decisions.
The GPL must include identifying information and prices for all goods and services offered by the funeral provider. It must also contain at least the retail prices of all outer burial container offerings that do not require special ordering and enough information to identify each container. The funeral provider may use other formats to present the GPL, but they must offer it upon request and free of charge.
The Rule also requires that you give out a GPL for at-need situations. This requirement applies even if you are discussing prices or making arrangements in the family’s home or while removing a body from a hospital or nursing home.
They offer competitive prices
Funeral planning can be a stressful process, and consumers are at their most vulnerable when making arrangements. It is important for consumers to compare prices from several providers in order to get the best value for their money. This was the insight behind the Funeral Rule, first implemented in 1984.
Some funeral providers enter into agreements with government agencies to provide special arrangements for indigent persons or others entitled to a government benefit. When these arrangements are made, you must still comply with the Rule’s price disclosure requirements, including giving a general price list to any person who inquires. You may include these items in your regular offerings or prepare separate price lists.
You are not required to give a GPL to consumers who call or visit after hours to make at-need arrangements, but you must give them information if they request it. This includes a caller who has previously signed a pre-need contract but wants to change the casket or add visitation hours.
They offer cremation
The death of a loved one is undoubtedly the most traumatic experience any of us will ever have to face. In the aftermath, consumers are confronted with dozens of decisions to be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. These include where to hold a service, what kind of casket to buy, and whether the body should be buried or cremated.
The TFSC regulates the funeral industry through impartial enforcement, licensing, and education of professionals. It also promotes advance planning for funeral services and a consumer’s right to a meaningful, dignified, and affordable funeral.
When you visit a licensed funeral establishment, they are required by law to give you a General Price List and an itemized Statement of Goods and Services Selected before you sign any contracts. In addition, if state or local laws require the purchase of a casket, they must tell you about this requirement. In addition, funeral homes that offer direct cremation must make an alternative container available for use in lieu of a casket.