Making final arrangements can be overwhelming after a loved one has passed. We created this handy guide to provide consumers with a variety of helpful resources and tools that they can use to find a reputable funeral service provider. Included are suggestions and tips on how to budget and afford the costs of funeral services. Other highlights include a discussion of consumers’ rights and how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects them.
Consumers are in control and have the power of choice when shopping for funeral service providers thanks to the FTC Funeral Rule. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed the law in 1984, which stipulates the manner in which funeral homes and similar providers must deal with the public. The regulations monitor and govern the business practices of providers to protect consumers from unfair treatment. Highlights of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Funeral service providers must give consumers information about services and prices over the telephone without any further obligation.
Funeral homes must provide consumers with a General Price List (GPL) detailing all features and costs during an onsite visit to their business.
Funeral homes must inform consumers about potential legal issues or requirements in a written statement when using the services of a cemetery or crematory.
Funeral homes must provide consumers with a written statement that outlines the costs of their selected service features and arrangements before required payment.
Our top favorite resources include Dignity Memorial, which offers consumers access to more than 2,000 providers across their nationwide network of listings. Dignity Memorial has an online search tool that you can use to locate providers in the Indianapolis area. Two local listings include Little & Sons Funeral Home and Feeney-Hornak Shadeland Mortuary.
Other sites that offer helpful resources include the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which has an online directory of funeral homes and service providers for the Indianapolis area. The BBB listings include several businesses that have earned a top A+ rating based on customer satisfaction levels. Another good resource to explore is the Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO) that offers helpful information about funeral arrangements, burials, cremation, embalming, and more for all 50 states including Indiana.
You can budget and save money when making funeral arrangements by being a savvy shopper. Start your search by comparison-shopping among local service providers to find out how much each one charges for select features and items. It is one of the best ways to cut costs as not all funeral homes charge the same rate.
Another way to save money is by not buying the most expensive casket. The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) suggests that consumers purchase a casket from a source other than the funeral home to save money. Print out the funeral-pricing checklist available on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and keep it handy when you start shopping for a service provider. The list will help you narrow down your choices and ultimately save money when making final arrangements.
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