Everything you need to know about the funeral rule. If you are looking to purchase burial insurance this would be a good reference when visiting a funeral home to buy a casket urn or other items. This rule was enacted on April 30, 1984, and amended effective 1994. This was put in place by the Federal Trade Commission that makes it possible for you to choose only those goods and services you want and only those you select, whether you’re making arrangements death occurs or in advance. The rule allows you to compare funeral homes, and makes it possible for you to select funeral arrangements you want at the moment to use. The rule does not apply to off-site buildings. Such as casket and monument dealers, or to cemeteries that lack an on-site funeral home. For a reference, see the FTC funeral rules and violations and funeral rules and regulations.
Hi, this is Mitch Winstead from Allstar Senior Benefits and Advanced Mutual Group. If you are interested in low-cost burial insurance or need to compare prices, we will shop the market for you and solve your problems of getting a great price on burial insurance. There are also different types of burial insurance. If you have any questions about this blog, please let us know. If you would like a quote with no obligations to buy, please call our office at our toll-free number 866-598-8170 or 910-538-4547. Or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our policies are state-regulated and approved by the Insurance Commissioner. Everyone qualifies for coverage no matter their health status.
Under the funeral rule
You have the right to purchase any funeral arrangements you want. You have the right to buy separate goods such as caskets and services such as embalming services, crematorium services. You do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want. This happened with my mother’s crematorium service. One of the fuel marketing organizations I work with to ask me if I knew about this funeral rule. And I have not. It came in handy whenever we were at the funeral home and they were showing us all these different cremation boxes containers, displays. They were all priced high. So knowing what I knew about the funeral rule, we decided not to purchase anything from this particular funeral home. So if you ever get in a situation and you’re being told you need to buy this package or you need to buy this item seen in this package, you do not have to purchase from that location we actually went on to Amazon and purchased a few containers for our family for her ashes.
Here’s the deal. They must give you an itemized price list when you visit a funeral home. The funeral home must give you a general price list that is your key to all articles services offers in the cost of each one
In these days of the Internet and Internet shopping and being able to look at various places across the country to purchase funeral items, it makes the competition if you want to call that as for as pricing better for the consumer if he or she knows about the funeral rule. I can imagine some people just walk into the funeral home they may even know the funeral director and he points to a price point to a product and they just go ahead and buy it right then. That’s okay if you want to do that. Keep in mind though you’re probably going to pay 30 to 40% more.
They must let you see the casket price list before you see the actual caskets. Sometimes, a detailed casket price information is included on the funeral casket itself however it’s probably provided in a separate casket price list you should get the price information before you see the caskets so that you are aware of price products that might not be on display.
They must provide you an outer burial container price list. However burial container is not required by the state law anywhere in the US but may require them to prevent the grave from caving in the funeral home sells containers, but does not list the prices in the general price list, you should look at a separate container price list before you see the containers. If you don’t see the lower-priced containers listed ask where they are.
Want to know the best part? I have been told that if the funeral home does not comply with the funeral rule that we are learning about the FTC can charge a fine of $17,000. I have also heard that the FTC does make inspections to places like funeral homes to check and see if everyone is following this particular rule
The funeral rule states that you should receive a written statement you decide what you want before you pay. It should show exactly what you are purchasing at the cost of each item. This statement listing should show every good and service you have selected, the price of each and the total cost immediately after you make the arrangements
They should offer you an alternative container instead of a casket for cremation no state or local law requires the use of the casket for cremation funeral homes that offer cremation containers are available and must make them available they might be made one finish wood, Presswood, Harwood, or cardboard
The funeral home should let you know that you have a right to purchase a casket war and urn elsewhere. The funeral provider cannot refuse to handle casket or urn that you bought off-line such as what we did at Amazon, or at a local casket store and they cannot charge a fee to do this the funeral home cannot require you to be there when the casket or the urn is delivered to them.
The funeral rule also states you can make funeral arrangements without embalming. As of this time of the writing, the state law does not require any routine embalming for every death. Some states require embalming or refrigeration if the body is not cremated or buried within a certain time. Some states do not require this at all. In most cases out there Refrigeration of the body is an acceptable alternative. So you may choose the services like direct cremation and immediate burial. This does not require any form of preservation. Most funeral homes have policies requiring embalming if the body is to be viewed publicly. Ask the funeral home, if it offers a private family viewing without embalming. If a type of some preservation is required or necessary, ask the funeral home if refrigeration is available at that particular location.
Here is a sample on what is supposed to be on the (GPL) Guaranteed Price List to comply with the funeral rule.
Required disclosures GPL
Right of selection
Casket price list
Professional service fees
Forwarding and receiving remains
Direct cremation and immediate burial
Outer burial container
Use of equipment and staff for graveside services
You spoke facilities and staff for Memorial services
Use of facilities and staff for viewing
Transfer of remains to the funeral home
Basic Services of the funeral director and staff
Alternative Price lists
Children and infants
Religious groups and Memorial Societies
This list goes on and has a casket price list telephone price disclosures
Misrepresentation prohibited by the rule
Casket for direct cremation
Outer burial container
Legal and Cemetery requirements
Preservative and protective value claims
Cash advance items
What consumers cannot be required to purchase under the rule
You cannot condition the Furnishing of any funeral good or service to a consumer on the purchase of any other funeral good or service except for the basic service and any required items by law. It also states you cannot refuse to serve a family because they do not purchase one particular item such as a casket or embalming or a combination of items or services that you may sell. You also cannot refuse to serve the family because they did not purchase one particular item. You cannot charge or include the charge for the optional item or service such as embalming in a non-decline of basic services fee. This would have an effect of making an optional item a required purchase for every customer. The rule prohibits you from charging any fee, as a condition of furnishing any funeral goods or service, other than the fees for
Basic services of a funeral director and staff, also the one non-decline of fees allowed by the rule.
Funeral goods and services selected by the consumer
Funeral goods and services required to be purchased by law or by the cemetery or crematory has identified and explained on the itemized statement
what this means is you cannot charge any additional fees for surcharges to consumers who purchase a casket elsewhere. Such fees would not fall within the three categories of allowable charges listed above. This extra “casket handling” fee is simply a hidden penalty for those consumers who exercise the right to purchase a casket from another seller. Also, you cannot alter your prices based on the particulars selections of each consumer. Such a practice like this also would defeat the purpose of the rule to give people accurate, itemize price information that would afford them the opportunity to select the arrangements that they want.
Exceptions-there are three exceptions to the consumers general right to choose only the goods and services wanted are:
The one non-decline of the basic service fee
Items required by law or by the cemetery or crematory
Impossible, impractical or excessively burdensome requests. You do not have to comply with such requests. However, you cannot refuse a request simply because you do not like it or don’t approve of it.
Here is an example during September, the family requests that a funeral occurs five days after death, but does not want to do any embalming. You do not have refrigerator facilities. Your state law does not require embalming under any circumstances. However, in this particular situation, you may refuse to provide these arrangements, unless the family buys embalming you can consider such a request impractical or excessively burdensome.
Note: if a customer requests items that you do not normally offer clients, you do not have to comply with this request. However, you are free to do so.
Free items: you cannot list any of the 16 items required to be separately itemized on the Guaranteed price list or no charge. Because you can recover the cost of the free item in your other prices on the generalized price list the consumer may not have the choice of rejecting the charge. However, you can offer items not required to be separately itemized on the Guaranteed price list such as acknowledgment cards at no charge as long as your state laws or local walls do not prohibit this practice.
Prior Approval for Embalming
You can charge a fee for embalming, only in one of the following three circumstances:
1. State or local law requires embalming under particular circumstances regardless of any wishes the family might have. If this is the case, you must note on the itemized Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected that embalming was performed because of a legal requirement and briefly explain that requirement.
Attention Federal law does not require embalming under any circumstances.
2. You have obtained prior approval for embalming from a family member or other authorized person. (The Rule does not address the issue of who is an “authorized person” to give such approval. That is a matter of state or local law.) You must get express permission to embalm; it cannot be implied.
For Example, A family states that they want a viewing before burial and asks you to “prepare” the deceased. You must specifically ask the family for permission to embalm and must receive their permission before you embalm the body.
In order to obtain the family’s express consent to embalm, you must: 1) specifically ask for and obtain their permission, and 2) not misrepresent when embalming is required.
For Example, While making funeral arrangements, you tell a family that they will be charged for embalming, no matter what type of funeral arrangements they choose. If they agree to the funeral arrangements in general, this does not constitute express consent to embalm. In addition, if you charge a family for embalming here, you would be charging a second non-declinable fee that violates this Rule.
Attention: When an individual makes pre-need arrangements and gives express approval for embalming at that time, you do not need to get any additional approval to embalm at the time of death.
This Rule does not require you to get permission in writing, as long as it is express approval. Some states, however, may require written authorization.
On the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected, you must explain the reason that you charged a fee for embalming. The reason may be that the family requested this service. However, if you tell a consumer that embalming is required for a specific reason (e.g., viewing or legal requirement), then you should list this specific reason on the Statement. Simply noting “family consent” for embalming does not convey the reason for embalming, only that the family has consented.
3. All of the following apply:
- You are unable to contact a family member or other authorized person after exercising due diligence. In trying to contact the family, you must exhaust all means known, given the time constraints.
Attention: If refrigeration is available, you may be required to take more steps to contact the family and to obtain embalming authorization than if no refrigeration is available.
- You have no reason to believe that the family does not want embalming performed.
- After embalming the body, you obtain subsequent approval. In seeking approval, you must tell the family that if they select a funeral where embalming would be required (such as a funeral with formal viewing), you will charge a fee, but that you will not charge a fee if they select a funeral where embalming would not be necessary (such as a direct cremation with a memorial service). If the family then expressly approves embalming or chooses a funeral where embalming is required, you may charge them for the embalming you performed. But, if the family chooses a funeral where no embalming would be required, you cannot charge for the embalming.
Note: The required disclosure regarding embalming on the itemized Statement will let consumers know that they do not have to pay for embalming if you did not get their prior approval.
You must keep price lists for at least one year from the date you last distributed them to customers. You also must keep a copy of each completed Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected for at least one year from the date of the arrangements conference. You must make these documents available for inspection by FTC representatives upon request.
You must make all the required disclosures to consumers in a clear and conspicuous manner. Your goal should be to present the information in a reasonably understandable form. In addition, the disclosures must be legible. The print or type must be large and prominent enough that consumers can easily notice and read the information. Finally, your price lists cannot include any information that alters or contradicts the information the Rule requires you to give in those price lists. You can include other information on your price lists if you wish. But, this should not be done in such a way as to confuse or obscure the required
State agencies may apply to the Commission for a statewide exemption from the Funeral Rule. The Commission may grant an exemption if it finds that:
1. There is a state requirement in effect that applies to the same transactions that the Funeral Rule covers; and
2. The state requirement provides an overall level of protection that is as great as, or greater than, the protection provided by the Funeral Rule.
If granted, the exemption will be in effect, as specified by the Commission, for as long as the state administers and enforces effectively the state requirement. An application for state exemption can be filed only by a state government agency. Funeral providers and trade associations cannot file for a statewide exemption.
If your state has obtained such an exemption, you only need to comply with your state regulations. If the Commission has not granted your state an exemption, you must comply with all state regulations, as well as the FTC Funeral Rule. You must comply with your state regulations, even if they are more stringent than the Funeral Rule.
Sample Price Lists
The FTC staff provides these sample price lists to help you understand the Funeral Rule’s requirements. You do not have to adopt these sample price lists. They are only examples. In addition, the fact that the FTC staff has developed these price lists does not mean that this format is the only appropriate one. A variety of formats will satisfy the Rule’s requirements.
Sample 1 – General Price List
Sample 2 – Casket Price List
Sample 3 – Outer Burial Container Price List
Sample 4 – Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected
Call us today if you would like a free quote with no obligations to buy. For example, burial insurance for seniors of whole life insurance that builds cash value. Most companies offer burial insurance with no waiting period. You may also ask this question- Is burial insurance worth it? If you have questions about this blog please let us know also by calling our toll-free number 866-598-8170 or 910-538-4547. Or email us email@example.com