This helpful guide offers an abundance of suggestions and tips along with informative resources to guide you through the process of choosing a funeral service provider. Included is a discussion of consumers’ funeral rights outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Additional highlights discuss creative ways to manage the expenses associated with funeral arrangements as well as offering tips on how to budget and cover the costs.
Shopping for the services provided by funeral homes and similar providers can be overwhelming and stressful. The Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule protects consumers by governing the manner in which funeral service providers conduct their businesses. The laws as outlined in the FTC Funeral Rule restrict providers from engaging in questionable practices when selling services to the public. Some examples of the way in which the FTC laws protect consumers include:
Funeral homes must provide consumers that visit their business with a General Price List (GPL) that details all services and their associated costs including itemized expenses.
Consumers have the option of getting information about available services and costs from a funeral home over the telephone. Consumers do not have to share personal information such as their names and address to acquire this information.
Funeral homes must not force consumers to purchase bundled funeral arrangement services that come in a package deal and include items and features that they do not want.
Funeral homes must provide consumers with price lists that outline the costs of caskets when not posted on the General Price List (GPL).
The nationwide listing of funeral service providers maintained by Digital Memorial is a helpful resource the offers a network of features to consumers. More than 2,000 service providers including funeral homes and cemeteries list their services with Digital Memorial. You can use the search tool based on city name or zip code to locate funeral service providers in the San Antonio area. Consumers can review potential providers and their available funeral service arrangement features with Digital Memorial.
An additional resource that is helpful includes the online directory maintained by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Consumers can review the listings of funeral service providers in the San Antonio area on the BBB site while searching for a potential provider. Many of the listings include BBB accredited businesses that have ratings and reviews. Two San Antonio area funeral service providers that have an A+ rating from the BBB include the Castillo Mission Funeral Home and the Lewis Funeral Home.
Funeral arrangements are expensive, but you can manage the costs associated with the services through proper planning and a budget. You have several options available including the purchase a life insurance policy to guard against future expenses or putting money aside in a trust fund. Alternative options include prepaying for funeral arrangements several years in advance by signing a contract with a potential funeral service provider.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers suggestions for ways that consumers can plan for the future and prepay for funeral arrangements on their “planning your own funeral” webpage. Helpful tips and suggestions posted on the FTC website include being aware of potential issues that may arise. Examples include the cancellation of an agreement or what your options are should you decide to move to another state.
Find assisted living in San Antonio near you.