Funeral Home Planning Rules & Regulations For Consumers By Casket Emporium
Protect Yourself and Know Your Rights:
You will be shocked to know that they are many helpful regulations that have been established to help consumers who are on the market for funeral home services and products.
Known all these consumer-friendly rules and regulations will help you better navigate funeral planning and ensure that no one takes advantage of you.
What is the Funeral Rule?
The Funeral Rule was established by the FTC in the year 1984 to ensure that consumers have the right to purchase the services they deem appropriate. These rules apply whether you are shopping in advance or after a loved one has passed away.
The funeral rule only applies to funeral homes. It doesn’t apply to online vendors or third-party suppliers such as online websites and local stores.
The Cost of a funeral:
The National Funeral Directors Association is continually gathering information on funeral spending, stating that the median expenditure for a funeral with viewing and burial is around $8900 back in 2017, since 2014 you would generally pay around $8300 for a funeral, which means the prices are on the rise. More and more people are now choosing cremation over burial, cutting down the cost to around $1500.
You should know what to expect in terms of prices when it comes down to funerals. You can find caskets in our stores ranging from $2000 to $10,000 plus. We offer a wide selection of caskets at great at affordable prices to help you during this difficult time.
Even if the FTC still offers consumer information on funeral spending, you won’t know for sure how much you’ll spend until you’re 100% done with everything.
Here are a few things you must keep in mind when you are shopping for funeral services/ products.
The Ultimate State-By-State Guide & Your Rights with The Funeral Home and How to Abide by Them
Introduction: We LOVE all funeral home directors:
Nearly all of the funeral home directors we are referred to are knowledgeable, experienced, and are very professional who go above and beyond for their clients. We just can’t get enough of funeral directors, and we love our clients. However, like any industry, there are bad players in the industry who unfortunately take advantage of their clients and their families and make a profit during an emotional time. At Casket Emporium, our #1 mission is to help educate our clients on the state-by-state rules and regulations, their rights as a customer and to fight for our clients if they are pressured or wronged in any way and get rid of any misbehavior in the industry.
Below is a helpful guide to your funeral rights and law. If you feel your funeral director is breaking any of the following rules, please reach out to us right away: we will help you immediately, and you can also make complaints to Federal, State, Local government agencies on your behalf.
What is “The Funeral Law”?
Federal Law covering Funeral Directors is also known as “The Funeral Law” gives you the right to:
- Obtain pricing over the phone: When you call a funeral home to get prices, they are required to disclose their prices. Furthermore, you do not have to give them any of your personal information, or address. Basically, if you ask them for their prices, they must comply, and they must do so without asking any questions.
- Only purchase the funeral arrangements you desire: This rule gives you the right to buy individual services or goods. You are not required to buy items as part of a package. For example, a funeral home can’t require you to buy an all-inclusive package when all you really need is a casket or a coffin.
- General price list: Every funeral home must show you their general price list also known as (GPL). The price list is something you are entitled to as a consumer. It will outline all the services they offer and their prices.
- See a written state after you decide and before you make any purchase: After you decide what you want to purchase, the funeral home must provide you with an itemized price list that details all the times you have selected, the prices for each individual item, and the total cost.
- Use a casket from a different vendor: the funeral home must not refuse a casket or coffin that you have selected to buy from a third-party vendor such as Casket Emporium. The funeral home cannot require that you are present when the casket or coffin is delivered to the funeral home.
- Forgo embalming: No state requires embalming. Therefore, if you choose to, you may opt-out of this service. At the same time, some states do require refrigeration or embalming if the body is not buried or cremated within a certain amount of time. Some funeral homes may have an embalming requirement for public viewing of the body (they can’t require this for the burial). You can always ask if refrigeration is acceptable and could work for your situation.
- Use of alternative containers for cremation: There are no local or state laws that require a casket for cremation. Funeral homes that offer cremation must inform you that alternative containers are an option for you, and they must have them available for you to buy them.
- Outer burial price list: Although not required by law in any state, some cemeteries require them to prevent the grave from caving in. If the funeral home doesn’t show you the outer burial on their general price list, they need to show it to you on a separate price list.
- See casket prices before you see the actual casket: A funeral home must show you a casket price list before you decide to view the caskets. Some funeral homes may not lit all their caskets on their GPL.
What Does “The Funeral Law” Mean For you?
- Buying a casket on any website and arranging delivery to your funeral home of choice is 100% legal in any of the 50 states.
- Funeral providers cannot refuse to use a casket or coffin that you purchase on your website of choice or put unreasonable or onerous restrictions on when it must be delivered or who must receive the delivery.
- You cannot be charged any additional fees if you supply your own casket – Federal laws prohibit funeral directors from charging “casket – handling” or other types of fees associated with purchasing your casket on the internet.
- You cannot be required to purchase any goods or services that you do not want. Funeral homes are allowed to charge one non-declinable “basic” fee, but only one, and this should be for basic or required goods or services.
- The funeral home may not lie about or misrepresent funeral or cemetery laws, rules or regulations. If you are told something is required by law, ask for a copy of the law so you can see it for yourself.
- Other kinds of misrepresentations such as the quality of caskets or coffins bought online, or the likelihood of damages in transit, are also 100% illegal. Customer protection laws in most states also prohibit such deceptive practices. State licensing Boards in all 50 states have the right to (and do) discipline Funeral Home Directors for dishonesty and lying to their customers, and Federal law also prohibits and punishes those who break the law.
Q1: Do I have to buy a casket from the funeral home?
A1: No, you don’t have to. Federal law requires funeral homes to accept caskets for sale that consumers have purchased from their shop of choice or the web like our company at Casket Emporium.
Q2: Are funeral directors allowed to put conditions and restrictions on accepting a casket that was ordered from a third-party source such as Casket Emporium, such as delivery timing restrictions (when the casket must be delivered) and who has to accept the casket and sign for the delivery of the order?
A2: NO. Feral law requires that deliveries of your goods are treated equitably to all other deliveries, including that the funeral home buys for themselves.
Q3: Are funeral homes allowed to charge for handling fees and other miscellaneous fees for you using a casket that wasn’t purchased from them?
A3; NO. This is 100% illegal in all 50 states. It is illegal for funeral establishments to charge you any fees if you purchase your coffin elsewhere, including ordering from our company at Casket Emporium.
Q4: Can funeral homes, cemeteries, or crematories, reject a casket not purchased from them due to particular size or materials specifications or restrictions?
A4: NO. Third-party caskets must meet the cemetery’s or crematory’s standards and must take into consideration the size of the person’s body, but all Casket Emporium conform to statutory size and materials rule and regulations to all 50 states, as well as all the recommendations of all state and funeral, cemetery, and crematory industry organizations. A standard casket at Casket Emporium is about 80 inches long and 24 inches wide and can generally fit a person up to 6’10 and 350 pounds, but confirm dimensions with your funeral director. Extra-large caskets are also available for larger adults, as well as smaller caskets for children and small pets.
Section 2: How to find a complaint against the funeral director
Q: How to file a complaint against the funeral director?
You can file a complaint very easy and all you need to do is file a complaint directly with your state’s funeral board or agency or you can let us handle that for you. Here at Casket Emporium, we are all about helping our customers in any way we can.
All states, except the state of Colorado and Hawaii, have a funeral or agency that handles all the funeral directors. About half of the states have some sort of cemetery regulation. In general, complaints should be addressed to the regulatory board when you want to find a complaint. In addition, if there’s a possibility of criminal activity, it would be a good idea for you to file a complaint with your local Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Normally, a funeral board of the state has a number of options available for you. It can order the funeral director to give you a refund or reduction of the total bill, it can impose a fine, it can order an apology, or required additional education. I might also give them a warning, place the offender on probation or it can even revoke their license.
Taking a funeral director’s license is rarely done, however, and then only for the most outrageous behaviors such as embezzling and stealing from their customers. Furthermore, once the complaint has been filed against the funeral home director, you may never be informed of the outcome of the complaint. Usually, these types of hearings are done in private and away from customers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file but just keep that in mind.
As well as cc’ing the FTC, make sure you send a copy of your complaint to the person or company you are complaining about.
Q: How do I prepare for my funeral home visit?
- Before you visit, have a draft ready with all your preferences for the services you want.
- Ask for a general price list of all the items you want to buy. Do not mention that you plan to purchase your casket, coffin, or other items from the internet.
- Select the list of goods and services of your choice. You are the client and in charge of the entire process. Remember that!
- Do not leave without a statement of Funeral Good and Services, outlining your funeral plan.
- Contact Casket Emporium right away and let us provide you with the best caskets for your funeral.
More details and advice on your upcoming visit to the funeral home:
Casket Emporium recommends that you visit your funeral provider with some knowledge about your preferences and services for the burial. This will allow you to focus on the services and things you really need.
General Price List:
Before talking or agreeing to any specific arrangements, ask your provider for a general price list. This general price list should outline all the goods and services they offer to their clients and give you an idea of their prices and services. The Funeral Rule requires that funeral providers offer a general price list prior to any discussion of funeral arrangements or pricing.
If You are interested in supplying your own casket or coffin, we recommend that you have a general price list in hand before discussing it with your funeral provider.
Statement of funeral goods and services:
At the end of the discussion of the funeral arrangements, the funeral provider must give the customer a complete Statement of Funeral Goods and services. This is an itemized list of all the goods and services that the customer has selected. The statement allows consumers to carefully evaluate their selection and make any changes if needed.
Do Not Tell the Funeral Home about purchasing our casket before you get their itemized funeral price list.
Call Us at 800-618-4642 before talking to ANY funeral home. Everything you tell the funeral home affects your funeral pricing. We will tell you exactly what to say.
Do you have any more questions regarding the funeral laws or anything to do with funeral services? Casket Emporium is here to assist you with anything you need.
Casket Emporium offers a wide selection of funeral home products that you can choose from. Our selection of funeral products is designed to offer you the widest array of ways to pay tribute to your loved one.
Whether you’re in need of a burial or cremation casket, an urn, burial vault, or even custom, personalized items, we invited you to browse our website and shop our online products.
And you should have any concerns about the security of the shopping online with us, please contact us right away to learn about how we protect both your financial and personal information. Of course, if you have any questions, we are here to assist you with anything you need.
We offer professional guidance and personal attention before, during, and after the loss of a loved one. Our reputation for honesty and integrity is very well known, and it is our most valuable asset.
For more information about casket prices please visit: CasketEmporium.com