The process of making final arrangements following the passing of a loved one is often stressful and overwhelming. We created this guide to help consumers by providing them with a variety of informative resources and tools they can use to find a reputable funeral home or similar service provider. Included are helpful tips and suggestions to budget for the costs of funeral arrangements and an overview of how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers.
When consumers shop for and compare the services and prices of funeral providers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects them in several ways. The FTC Funeral Rule monitors and governs the manner in which funeral service providers engage in business practices when dealing with the public. Under the guidelines of the laws, funeral homes, cemeteries, and other similar businesses must treat customers in a fair and ethical manner. Featured highlights of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Consumers have the right to ask for and receive information from funeral service providers over the telephone without having to reveal personal information such as their names and addresses.
Funeral homes must provide consumers that visit their business in person with a General Price List (GPL) that includes details about available services and their costs.
Consumers have the right to select and pay for separate funeral services without any obligation to purchase package plans that have unwanted features.
Funeral homes must give consumers a written statement that outlines their selected service arrangements with all costs before making the required payment.
We collected some of the best resources available to help consumers with the process of finding a funeral service provider to meet their needs. Our top picks include Dignity Memorial, which offers a nationwide network of funeral homes, cemeteries, and similar providers located within the United States and Canada. Dignity Memorial has a search tool that consumers can use to find local providers within the Raleigh area, two of which include Mitchell Funeral Home and Raleigh Memorial Park.
Other excellent resources include the online directory of funeral homes maintained by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The listings on BBB include ratings and reviews for the businesses, some of which are accredited and have a top A+ rating based on customer satisfaction levels. The Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO) provides information about making funeral arrangements, burials, cremation, embalming, and more with specific guidelines that apply to each state including North Carolina.
Consumers that may be on a tight budget do have several options they can explore to help them save money when making final arrangements. The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) offers some alternative suggestions that include options that many consumers may have not considered. If you cannot afford the traditional funeral service arrangement features, you may want to think about cremation services to save money. You would save on the costs of paying for a casket as well as the expense of burial.
Other ways to budget include not choosing to embalm prior to burial. Refrigeration is an alternative method to preserve the deceased that is less expensive. You can also lower your expenses by eliminating a catered reception and having close friends plan a reception at one of their homes. People can volunteer to prepare and bring buffet-style food to serve guests that attend the reception.
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