A variety of handy resources and tools are included in this funeral guide to ease the passing of a loved one and to help you make final arrangements. Features include suggestions on how to choose a funeral home or similar provider along with helpful tips for ways to save money and cover the costs of funeral services. An overview of the FTC Funeral Rule and how it protects consumers is another featured highlight.
The laws outlined within the FTC Funeral Rule protect consumers so they can make an informed choice when shopping for and selecting a funeral service provider. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed the laws in 1984, which outline the regulations that govern the business practices of funeral homes and similar providers. The stipulations require funeral service providers to treat consumers in a fair and ethical manner when marketing and selling their services. Features of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Funeral homes must give consumers information about their services and costs directly over the telephone when requested without any obligation.
Funeral homes must provide onsite visitors seeking information with a General Price List (GPL) they can keep that details all services and their costs.
Consumers have the right to select and pay for only those separate services they want without the need to choose a package plan.
Consumers have the right to provide a funeral home with an alternative burial container purchased elsewhere without paying additional fees to use it.
Dignity Memorial offers an extensive nationwide network of provider listings for funeral homes, cemeteries, and similar providers located in the United States and Canada. Their website has an online search tool that can be used based on zip code or city name to search through the more than 2,000 listings. Local providers for the Buffalo area include Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home and Wood Funeral Home.
Another excellent resource is the state-by-state listings maintained by the Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO). Consumers can get helpful tips and suggestions and read about funeral arrangements, burials, cremation, embalming, and more for all 50 states including New York. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has an accredited online directory of funeral homes and similar providers that have multiple listings for the Buffalo area. Many of the listings such as the Buszka Funeral Home feature top A+ BBB ratings.
Shopping and paying for funeral services can be affordable if you follow the same basic guidelines suggested when making other types of purchases—only buy what you need. You can save money by doing without extra expensive features that are unnecessary. Honoring the memory of a loved one is still possible if you choose a less expensive casket model. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests that you ask to see a price list for all casket models when visiting a funeral home before viewing them.
Another creative idea to help you save money is to consider taking care of some of the arrangements such as catering yourself or with the help of close friends. Have the post-funeral reception at a friend’s home and ask several people to volunteer to bring food items and serve guests buffet-style. You will save several hundred dollars with this type of arrangement, and the atmosphere will be less formal and more comforting than having the reception onsite at the funeral home.
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