Finding a reputable funeral home to honor the memory of a loved one can be stressful and overwhelming. We have included a variety of helpful resources in this funeral guide to help consumers with the process of choosing a provider and making final arrangements. Highlights include a discussion of consumers’ rights and how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides protection when dealing with potential providers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed a law in 1984 with the goal of protecting the funeral rights of consumers. Under the guidelines of the FTC Funeral Rule, service providers such as funeral homes, cemeteries, and similar businesses must comply with regulations that require them to treat consumers in a fair and ethical manner. The law governs the way in which funeral providers market and sell their services to the public. Features of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Funeral homes do not have the right to force consumers to purchase package plans that include unwanted service features and arrangements.
Consumers have the right to choose individual funeral service items and features when making final arrangements.
Consumers have the choice to purchase a casket from an alternative source and have it delivered to the funeral home administering the services.
Consumers have the right to use an alternative burial container in place of casket when final arrangements include cremation.
Our favorite top consumer resources include the nationwide network of funeral service providers maintained by Dignity Memorial. Their website has a search tool that consumers can use to find providers within the United States and Canada. Local providers within the Rochester area include the Alvah Halloran & Son Funeral Home.
Other top picks include the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) online directory of funeral homes. The BBB listings include accredited businesses that have top A+ ratings based on high levels of customer satisfaction. Two local service providers in Rochester listed on the BBB site include the Anthony Funeral Chapel and the Crawford Funeral Home.
Helpful suggestions on ways to save money when making final arrangements include comparison shopping and only paying for those funeral features that you need. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an online funeral-pricing checklist that you can print off and have handy when you start contacting potential service providers. The checklist is similar to a traditional shopping list, and it works by keeping you focused on getting just the basics and doing without the expensive extras.
You can save a substantial amount of money by choosing less expensive caskets. Shop around and compare prices to get the best deal. Many consumers want to have a catered reception following the final funeral service arrangements and burial. Catered receptions can be expensive, so one option would be to have a close family friend provide the reception at their home. Several people can volunteer to bring buffet-style menu items to serve guests.
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