This handy guide provides an abundance of informative resources and online tools to help you choose a funeral service provider and make arrangements. Highlights include an overview of the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule and the ways in which it protects consumers. Creative ways to budget and save money when making funeral arrangements are additional features.
The federal government protects consumers shopping for funeral service arrangements in several ways with the FTC Funeral Rule. Under the guidelines stipulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the laws outlined in the FTC Funeral Rule effectively govern the business practices of funeral homes and similar providers by monitoring the ways in which they must offer services to the public. Highlights of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Funeral homes and similar service providers may not force consumers to select package bundle arrangement plans.
Consumers have the right to refuse offered funeral service features and to choose and pay for only those items they want and need.
When a consumer selects their choice of funeral arrangement service features, the provider must give the consumer a written statement that details all costs before payment.
Funeral service arrangements do not require embalming. Alternative options for preservation of the body before burial or cremation include refrigeration.
We have collected some of the top online resources to help make it easier for you to find a funeral service provider and make arrangements. Our favorites include Dignity Memorial, which maintains a nationwide network of more than 2,000 funeral homes, cemeteries, and similar service providers. Listings within the Nashville area include Forest Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens along with Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home & Memorial Park.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers another excellent resource with their online directory of funeral homes for the Nashville area and surrounding towns. Many of the businesses listed on the BBB site are accredited and have an A+ rating based on excellent levels of customer satisfaction. Helpful tips and suggestions when making funeral arrangements for all 50 states including Tennessee are available on the site of the Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO).
If you are looking for ways to budget and afford the expense of funeral service arrangements, there are some creative alternatives available to consider. If you do not have a lot of money to spend on the traditional service features, and can do without the fancy extras, you may want to think about cremation. You can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by forgoing the casket, burial, and reception and choosing this option.
One of the least expensive ways to bypass the typical costs of funeral arrangements is to donate the deceased's body for science and medical research. The costs associated with this option would be minimal and may include transportation of the deceased’s body although the organization may pick up the cost. The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) offers additional suggestions and ways for consumers to help manage the costs of funeral services.
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