The Funeral Bureau

funeral bureau

When a loved one dies, grieving family members must make dozens of decisions under great emotional duress. They must decide whether to bury or cremate the body, where to have the funeral and how much it will cost.

This board licenses embalmers, registers funeral establishments and investigates consumer/provider complaints. It also oversees private cemeteries and crematories.

The Funeral Bureau

The funeral bureau enforces the laws that regulate funeral homes, crematoriums, cemetery sales, and preneed contracts. Its services include complaint processing from consumers and licensees, licensing funeral directors, embalmers, and apprentice embalmers; inspection of funeral homes and crematories; educating the public about advance planning for a funeral; and holding hearings on disciplinary matters.

Under the Funeral Rule, you must give price and other information to any consumer who inquires by telephone or in writing for at-need arrangements. However, you don’t have to provide the General Price List (GPL) in response to a request from anyone who is not a prospective consumer who wants to make funeral arrangements.

Some funeral establishments enter into agreements with government agencies to make funeral arrangements for indigent persons. These arrangements may require special considerations and you should follow all requirements in the Funeral Rule. You should also provide a written statement to a prospective client that includes an itemized list of goods and services selected, the prices for each, and any other applicable fees or charges.

The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

The Bureau licenses and investigates complaints against funeral establishments; funeral directors, embalmers and apprentice embalmers; cemetery brokers, salespersons, and managers; and crematories. It also promotes advance funeral planning and protects a consumer’s right to choose a meaningful, dignified, and affordable funeral.

The office is staffed by an executive director, an audit program director, an administrative assistant and field representatives. Field representatives conduct inspections of funeral and cemetery establishments to verify that they comply with state statutes and regulations concerning price lists, disclosures and other issues.

Before making arrangements with a funeral establishment, consumers should visit Web sites and several cemeteries to compare services, restrictions, rules, prices and endowment care funds. Ask for an itemized statement that includes all goods and services selected (not just a bundled “funeral package”). If the funeral home sells caskets, it must include prices for outer burial containers as part of its General Price List or on a separate Casket Price List.

The Funeral Consumers Alliance

When faced with the death of a loved one, families often do not understand their rights and options for an affordable, dignified good-bye. They make hasty decisions that result in unnecessary costs.

Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) affiliates educate consumers to help them save money by maximizing their choices. These local nonprofit groups, which are also known as memorial societies, offer clear and objective facts so that people can shop for a funeral home and arrange a service that fits their values and budget.

The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau licenses and investigates complaints against funeral establishments, funeral directors, embalmers and apprentice embalmers, preneed funeral planners, mortuary science schools, and cemetery brokers, salespersons and managers; and it promotes advance funeral planning and protects consumers’ right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral. It also publishes a bi-yearly comparison of funeral home prices. This data is extracted from price lists that are submitted to the Bureau. Important footnotes follow the tables of price data.


ICCFA is the international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, funeral service, cremation and memorialization profession. Members include cemeteries, funeral homes, crematoriums, urn dealers, monument companies, suppliers and related businesses.

The ICCFA’s mission is to provide exceptional education, networking and legislative guidance and support to progressive cemetery, funeral home and cremation professionals worldwide. ICCFA members enjoy access to top-notch training and conferences, the industry’s most comprehensive business insurance program and other benefits that help them manage their operations and build successful businesses.

Poul Lemasters uses his unique background in deathcare and law to provide counsel to members regarding risk management, daily operational conflicts, form and contract review, valuations and other regulatory matters. In addition, he is available to answer members’ questions via the ICCFA Member Call Center. ICCFA also offers members the Cremation Central website, which provides training and resources in cremation operations, legal issues and arranging. In addition, ICCFA has partnered with Answering Service for Directors to offer the first-ever cremation hotline for members.

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