The funeral industry is tightly regulated and is subject to numerous rules and regulations. Many of these are aimed at promoting consumer protection and safety.
The Rule requires you to give consumers your General Price List (GPL) and other important disclosures. You also must offer a non-declinable basic services fee that covers the principal professional services of your staff and funeral directors.
The Division establishes qualifications for professions and occupations in the death care industry, oversees licensed funeral directors and embalmers, regulates preneed sales and other death care-related activities, and conducts investigations of consumer/provider complaints. It also provides licensure and registration to funeral firms, licenses cemeteries and their grounds, and inspects mortuary schools and their facilities.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state, and can also differ for funeral directors and embalmers. These requirements include education, training, and experience. Some states also require specific courses, and some may even require an apprenticeship to be a funeral director or embalmer.
Funeral providers are defined as any person who markets both funeral goods and services. The Rule requires that all funeral providers give out a General Price List to any consumer who requests it. This is required whether you discuss prices and arrangements face-to-face or over the telephone or through mail. Some funeral providers enter into agreements with government agencies to offer special package funeral arrangements to indigent persons (or other persons entitled to a government benefit). You must still follow the Rule and provide a GPL to these qualifying consumers, however.
In order to become a funeral director, an individual must complete a mortuary college course. This requires two years of academic work and a one-year internship with a funeral home. A person must also pass a state exam to become licensed.
In addition to mortuary science courses, many programs require general education classes that help prepare students for the responsibilities of running a business and communicating with the bereaved. Some colleges also offer scholarships to high school students who are interested in becoming morticians.
The requirements for obtaining a license as a mortician vary from state to state, but the minimum requirement is an associate degree in mortuary science or funeral service. A program accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education is a good option, and the organization offers scholarships to students in its programs. Other sources of financial assistance include local, state and national funeral director associations. In addition, a student can apply for the federally funded Pell Grant to help cover tuition costs.
The funeral service profession is not for everyone. However, it can be a rewarding career for those who enjoy helping people through difficult times. High school students who are interested in a career as morticians or funeral directors should consider gaining experience by working at a local mortuary or completing an apprenticeship. These opportunities can help prepare them for the National Board Examination and give them the hands-on training they need to succeed in their careers.
A funeral director must have business acumen and be able to handle multiple tasks at once. They also must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to handle stressful situations with grace. In addition, they must be able to provide their clients with a variety of options and answer questions about costs and funeral planning.
In order to become a licensed funeral director in New Jersey, you must meet the following requirements: Complete an American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accredited mortuary college program and pass a state and national board exam. You must also complete an apprenticeship and have a minimum of one year of experience in a licensed funeral establishment.
A funeral is a stressful time for families, and the costs associated with a funeral can add up quickly. By understanding the fees associated with funerals, you can make informed decisions that align with your budget and wishes.
The Funeral Rule requires that you offer a General Price List to consumers who request it, whether they are making pre-need or at-need arrangements. This includes people who call or write to inquire about your services or visit your facility.
This fee should cover services that are common to virtually all forms of disposition or arrangement that you offer, such as conducting an arrangements conference, acquiring necessary permits and death certificates, preparing notices, sheltering the remains, and coordinating the funeral ceremony with a cemetery or crematory. It does not include charges for optional goods or services such as a casket, outer burial container, or memorial service.
The Rule requires that you inform consumers of the cost of a casket or other containers and whether embalming is required. You must also disclose if cash advance items are refundable, discounted, or rebated by the supplier.