Trying to find the right funeral home to take care of the service arrangements for a recently deceased loved one can be stressful. You want to choose a funeral service provider that is reputable while also being aware of your rights as consumer. Helpful tips and suggestions are included in this guide that highlight ways to select a provider and what to consider while managing funeral costs and expenses.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers through mandated regulations and laws that govern the practices of funeral service providers. Businesses that offer funeral arrangements to the community must operate following strict guidelines. Known as the FTC Funeral Rule, the standards cover consumers in a variety of ways by giving them the power to choose what they want. A few examples of consumers’ rights under the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Funeral service providers must not force consumers to purchase a package plan if it includes arrangements they do not want.
Consumers have the right to select only those services and arrangements that meet their needs.
When a consumer visits a funeral home provider to inquire about services and their costs, the provider must give the consumer a General Price List (GPL) to keep and take with them for reference.
Consumers have the option to refuse embalming. Under the standards of the FTC Funeral Rule, state laws do not require embalming for every situation. Refrigeration is an alternative in cases where there is no immediate burial or cremation.
The Digital Memorial network has an online national listing service to make it easier for consumers to find a funeral service provider in their area. The site has a search tool that features listings for 50 funeral homes and cemeteries in the Los Angeles area. Examples include the Pierce Brothers Turner & Stevens Mortuary and the Calvary Mortuary. Both providers list details about the services they offer and helpful suggestions on how to select and make funeral arrangements.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers consumers some guidance on how to find the right funeral home. The FTC’s Funeral Planning Tip page advises consumers to shop wisely and to avoid purchasing unnecessary services. Do not let funeral service providers pressure you into spending money on features that you really do not need.
Most consumers are aware that funeral expenses can be expensive. If you are on a budget and need to watch how much money you spend, there are ways to save on the costs of funeral arrangements. You can still maintain the dignity of a loved one that has passed without the need to purchase an overly expensive casket. Funeral service providers are required to give you the costs for all of their caskets for every price range.
You may find it helpful to print out the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) funeral pricing checklist. The resource is an excellent tool that is similar to a shopping list, which many consumers on a budget find helpful to use during the process of making funeral arrangements. The checklist outlines many of the common types of funeral services and features, so you can narrow down your choices and get only what you need.
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