We created this handy guide to help consumers through the process of finding and choosing a reputable funeral service provider following the passing of a loved one. Included are a variety of informative resources along with some suggestions and tips on how to manage the costs of funeral services. An overview of consumers’ funeral rights as outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also included.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed a law known as the FTC Funeral Rule in 1984 to protect consumers against unfair and unethical practices by funeral service providers. The regulations govern the way in which funeral homes and similar providers market and sell their services to the public. Consumers have more choices because of the FTC Funeral Rule, highlights of which include:
The law protects consumers and gives them the right to select separate funeral service items without the requirement to pay for full package plans.
Consumers do not have to pay funeral homes an additional fee when they provide their own alternative burial container instead of using one offered by the funeral home.
Consumers have the right to select their own type of container for cremation service – a casket is not required.
Embalming is not required when making funeral service arrangements. Alternative options to preserve a body until burial or cremation include refrigeration.
We have selected a variety of informative resources to help consumers find and choose a reputable funeral service provider. Our favorites include the nationwide network of provider listings maintained by Dignity Memorial. Their site provides consumers with access to more than 2,000 funeral homes, cemeteries, and similar service providers within the United States and Canada. Local listings for the Riverside area include Green Acres Memorial Park and Mortuary.
California residents will appreciate the helpful online state-by-state resource listings provided by the Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO). Their website covers several topics including funeral arrangements, requirements for preserving the body prior to burial or cremation, and your options for organ, tissue, or body donation. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is yet another good resource for consumers to explore. The BBB’s online directory includes funeral service providers for the Riverside area.
When you start shopping for a potential funeral service provider, make sure that you receive itemized price lists that outline all service options with their costs. Having access to the actual costs will help make it easier to see where all the money is going as you narrow down your choices. Having a funeral-pricing checklist handy, such as the one provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), will help you as you comparison shop to get the best prices.
As you go through your options, consider which features you deem to be necessary and which ones are optional that you can do without. You can save money by selecting a less expensive casket and purchasing it from a source other than the funeral home that will be administering the final arrangements.
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