This handy funeral guide features a variety of informative resources to help you find and choose a reputable service provider. Features include some tips on how to budget and preplan for the expense of funeral services along with a selection of online tools you can use when comparison-shopping to save money and get the best price. Additional highlights include ways in which the FTC Funeral Rule protects consumers.
Consumers assigned with the task of having to find a funeral service provider will find some comfort in knowing that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects their rights under the FTC Funeral Rule. The laws passed by the FTC in 1984 effectively govern the business practices of funeral homes and similar providers so that they must treat consumers in a fair and ethical manner. Featured highlights of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Consumers have the right to select only those separate funeral service items that meet their needs without any obligation to pay for more expensive package plans.
Funeral homes must provide consumers with information about their services, and how much they cost over the telephone when requested.
Consumers that visit a funeral home onsite to get information must receive a General Price List (GPL) to keep that includes descriptions of available services and their prices.
Consumers must receive a written statement from a funeral service provider that outlines the selected arrangements before making payment.
A variety of excellent resources is available online to help consumers find a reputable funeral home or similar service provider. One such resource is Dignity Memorial, which maintains a nationwide network of more than 2,000 listings for funeral homes, cemeteries, mortuaries, and related providers. Their online search tool is helpful when searching for funeral providers within the Sarasota area, which includes the Palms-Robarts Funeral Home & Memorial Park and Wiegand Brothers Funeral Home.
The Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO) maintains a state-by-state listing of resources including one for Florida residents. Helpful information includes a discussion of funeral topics such as your options for choosing a casket or vault along with suggestions for consumers that may be considering organ, body, and tissue donation of the deceased. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is yet another excellent resource that offers a searchable online directory of funeral service providers in the Sarasota area.
Affording the costs associated with funeral service arrangements can be manageable with some preparation. If you have the resources, one of the best ways to pay for final service arrangements is to have a life insurance policy in place. Other options include having a trust fund or opening a special savings account where you can put aside the necessary funds, so the money is available when the time arrives.
Another suggestion is to print out the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) funeral-pricing checklist and have it handy before you start shopping around for a funeral service provider. The checklist is a very effective tool that you can use when comparison-shopping to help you save money. The list outlines many types of funeral service features, which makes it easier to narrow down your choices and select only those items that you need and can afford.
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