A funeral bureau is a company that makes arrangements for the funeral of a deceased person. These companies are nonprofit organizations that offer information on preplanning a funeral and other services. They are not regulated by the Funeral Bureau but by federal and state nonprofit laws. Funeral consumers can find a funeral bureau in their community by checking with friends, requesting referrals, or searching Yellow Pages for listings. If a funeral consumer is not satisfied with a particular bureau’s services, they may consider filing a challenge.
In most cases, allegations of violations begin as consumer complaints, which may be followed by enforcement action by the CFB. Once the bureau receives a complaint, it may take action by sanctioning a funeral director or stripping them of their license. Applicants have 15 days to respond to the allegations, but if they fail to respond in time, they may be subject to a default judgment stripping them of their license. It is very important to comply with any legal requirements if they plan to stay in business for a long time.
Another option is to use a life insurance policy. A policy can cover the cost of a funeral. A beneficiary may choose a funeral establishment to handle the arrangements. These companies will preselect services for the deceased. The insurance company will guarantee the cost and cannot charge relatives more than the contract stipulates. The funeral establishment can also keep any remaining funds. It is best to contact a funeral home before a death so that there are no questions or problems during a funeral.
When planning a funeral, it is important to check out the prices offered by different funeral establishments. When selecting a funeral bureau, make sure to compare the service options offered and the restrictions and rules. If you are not comfortable with the costs and the fees, go elsewhere. There are other options that might fit your needs better. It is best to compare services and costs from different funeral establishments and decide how much you want to spend. Generally, a funeral bureau will have an itemized statement that lists all the goods and services offered by the funeral home. The final bill will include the obituary, taxes, insurance, and unallocated overhead.
Licensed funeral directors and embalmers are subject to regulation by the Funeral Bureau of California. Licensed funeral service providers must obtain a medical examiner’s certificate from a physician or a medical examiner before they can provide services. The bureau also requires certified copies of death certificates issued by the registrar. These certificates are required by the bureau and are used to confirm that the deceased person’s death certificate was filed with the appropriate authorities.
The California Funeral Board has the authority to suspend the license of certain individuals. It may also investigate complaints against individuals. The CFB employs investigators who investigate complaints and determine whether a formal complaint is warranted. If the CFB does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, the case may be taken to the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings. If the complaints are still unresolved, the complaint may be pursued in Small Claims Court or by private legal counsel.
Cemetery services include opening and closing graves, setting markers, and vaults. A cemetery may also be required to follow certain maintenance standards. These rules will stipulate what must be done to ensure the endowment care of the cemetery. Cemetery maintenance standards include the minimum number of items that must be present for natural-condition sections. The rules must also be provided to consumers upon request. A funeral bureau may also provide a columbarium, a structure with small niches for placing cremated remains. The burial space may be an outdoor grave or a part of a mausoleum.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs has the authority to investigate complaints filed by funeral homes. These agencies can provide information about administrative citations and disciplinary actions against a funeral home. This information is deemed reliable but may be delayed by the cemetery or funeral bureau. The information posted by the California Department of Consumer Affairs is subject to error, and does not necessarily represent a comprehensive view of a funeral home’s operations. Therefore, the Bureau cannot guarantee its currency, accuracy, or timeliness.
Consumers can also obtain a copy of the General Price List, which details all costs for the funeral home. Generally, the price of funeral services and merchandise can vary by several hundred dollars. Direct burial and cremation can be much cheaper than a traditional funeral service. There are even some funeral homes that offer package pricing. A funeral home can provide a general price list and a casket price list. A funeral establishment must also provide information on the cost of outer burial containers.