This handy guide provides a variety of helpful resources and tools to help guide you through the process of choosing a funeral service provider. An overview of consumers’ funeral rights as outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is included. Additional highlights focus on creative ways to plan in advance to budget for funeral expenses and save money.
Shopping for a funeral service provider can be stressful after a loved one passes. It is comforting to know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laws in place that monitor the business practices of funeral homes and similar services. Under the guidelines of the FTC Funeral Rule, regulations protect consumers by preventing providers from engaging in questionable practices when serving the public. Examples of the FTC Rule include:
When consumers arrange funeral services with a provider, they must receive a detailed written statement that outlines all costs and expenses before making payment.
Consumers are not required to purchase a casket or urn from the funeral home that is managing the services. Options include buying the container from another provider.
Funeral service providers must inform consumers about any possible legal issues arising from the use of a cemetery or crematory in writing.
Embalming is not required when making funeral arrangements. Alternative options include refrigeration for the purpose of preservation until burial.
Having access to a variety of shopping tools will help to make it easier to find a funeral service provider in your area. Dignity Memorial maintains an online nationwide network of resources on their website to help consumers through the process of making funeral arrangements. The search tool provided by Dignity Memorial comes in handy as it helps consumers find providers in the Wichita area, examples of which include Lakeview Funeral Home and Resthaven Gardens of Memory.
Other informative online resources include the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “choosing a funeral provider” that offers some suggestions to help you make the right choice. Consumers that want to check out reviews and ratings for a potential funeral service provider can do so on the site of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which maintains an online directory of funeral homes for the Wichita area.
Prior planning when it comes to covering the costs of a funeral is a wise investment if you have the financial means to manage the expenses in advance. Purchasing a life insurance policy and letting it build in savings over the years is one option to consider. Alternative ways to budget ahead include setting aside a trust fund several years to cover the costs when the time arrives.
Another way to pay for funeral arrangements, as suggested by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is to purchase a contract with a funeral service provider. The FTC outlines its suggestions for this option and offers some helpful tips on ways that consumers can plan their funerals in advance by prepaying with an arranged agreement. If you decide to explore this option, be aware of the possible issues that may arise such as the closure of a business and what to do if you decide to move out of state.
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