When a loved one has passed, making final arrangements and selecting a funeral service provider can be stressful and overwhelming. We created this handy guide using a variety of excellent resources and tools to help make the process easier and more manageable. Included are suggestions and tips on how to budget and afford funeral services along with an overview of how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers’ rights when using the services of funeral homes and similar businesses.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitors the funeral service industry and governs the business practices of service providers. The FTC Funeral Rule protects consumers from unethical and unfair treatment by stipulating the way in which funeral homes and similar providers sell their services to the public. Featured highlights of the FTC Funeral Rule include:
Funeral homes do not have the right to tell consumers they must purchase bundled package plans or pay for certain features to obtain services.
Consumers have a choice when it comes to making final arrangements, which includes selecting individual funeral features and items separately.
Consumers have the right to request information about services and costs directly over the telephone without the need to reveal personal identifying information.
Consumers have the right to receive a detailed written statement with costs of all their selected funeral arrangement features before making payment.
Our list of top online resources for consumers includes Dignity Memorial, which maintains a nationwide network of more than 2,000 service providers. You can use Dignity Memorial’s search tool to access listings of funeral homes, cemeteries, and other similar providers within the United States and Canada. Local listings for the Tucson area include Desert Rose Heather Cremation & Burial and East Lawn Palms Mortuary and Cemetery.
Other top choices include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that offers suggestions and tips for how to choose a funeral provider along with a discussion of the different types of funerals that are available for consumers. The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) is yet another good resource where consumers can get helpful information to guide them through the process of finding and choosing a funeral home.
Shopping to save money on funeral arrangements follows the same principles as shopping for any other type of purchase. You need to prepare by having a preliminary checklist, such as the one provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A checklist will help you to narrow down your choices, so you do not spend money on unnecessary or unwanted service features and items that are more expensive.
Go over the wish list of the deceased to cover all requested items. Contact several funeral service providers so you can comparison shop and see what each business charges. Shopping around to get the lowest prices will save you a bundle of money, which is important if you are on a budget and need to watch your expenses.
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