There are many decisions to consider during the process of making funeral arrangements for a loved one that has recently passed. Being aware of your rights as a consumer is important when comparison-shopping for funeral service providers. This guide will help you with the process as it provides tips and suggestions on what you should look for and what to expect along with creative ways to budget for funeral expenses.
As a consumer, you have numerous rights that protect you when using the services of a funeral home service provider. Many people are not aware of regulations outlined with the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule. The guidelines provide consumers with a listing of the stipulations that govern how funeral homes conduct their business and sell services to the community. Your rights as a consumer include the following:
Consumers have the right to receive a written statement that outlines specific requirements of a cemetery or crematory when using their services.
Consumers have the choice of selecting an alternative container for cremation as opposed to the traditional casket. Funeral homes that provide this service must inform consumers of this option.
Get a detailed listing for the price of outer burial containers if your selected cemetery requires them. Funeral homes that offer this service must provide consumers with a price listing.
Understand your rights to have a funeral service without embalming. Alternative options include refrigeration when burial does not take place within a specified period.
There is a variety of excellent tools available online to help consumers search for a reputable funeral home. Digital Memorial is one resource that offers an extensive nationwide listing of providers. Their search feature allows you pull up relevant results for your area that includes an overview of available services and featured arrangement options. Funeral home service providers within the St. Louis area include Berger Memorial Chapel and Hoffmeister South County Chapel.
If you want to check out the background of a potential funeral home, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) maintains an online BBB Accredited Business Directory of providers within the St. Louis area. The BBB directory includes customer review ratings and lists any complaints that filed against the provider. Another helpful resource is the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Funeral Planning Tip page that offers suggestions for choosing a funeral home and making arrangements.
One creative way to plan for future funeral costs is to purchase an inexpensive life insurance policy during your younger years. Life insurance generally tends to cost less than other types of policies as they build up in savings over the years. If you have a policy in place well before you need it, you will have one important aspect of the planning process already completed.
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) funeral pricing checklist provides consumers with an array of suggestions in which they can save money. The checklist gives a detailed overview of many service features funeral homes offer to consumers. If you focus on only those items that you need, you will be able to save money in the long run and budget for the costs when the time comes to make arrangements.
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