The funeral bureau is an independent organization that helps consumers understand the options for funeral services. The organization promotes advance planning and the right of consumers to a meaningful, dignified, and affordable funeral. The Bureau works with state and local agencies to promote consumer rights and ensure that funeral service providers follow the Funeral Rule. It also offers resources for consumers.
The Bureau oversees all aspects of the funeral industry in California, including cemetery operations and funeral directors. It also investigates complaints filed against cemetery operators and funeral directors. It also publishes a general price list that funeral service providers must follow. In addition to this, only the Funeral Bureau is authorized to issue burial certificates, which are vital documents that are used to identify the deceased.
The Bureau issues licenses to qualified professionals to practice funeral directing. It also sets standards for professional conduct and continuing competency. Licensees who fail to meet these standards are subject to disciplinary action. It also conducts inspections of funeral homes and crematories to ensure that they follow industry regulations. A licensed funeral home will have a certificate of inspection issued by the Bureau.
Before choosing a funeral home, consumers are entitled to view their General Price List. This price list itemizes the cost of services and merchandise. By comparing prices, consumers can determine the lowest price. Prices may vary by a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the type of service and goods. Direct cremation or burial is generally less expensive than a funeral service with visitation or embalming. Alternatively, some funeral homes offer package pricing.