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FUNERAL RULE

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

You do not have to purchase a casket from your funeral home.

On April 30, 1984, the Federal Trade Commission enacted a series of federal regulations meant to protect consumers from being taken advantage of during the funeral planning process.  Known as the "Funeral Rule," these regulations limited the goods and services that funeral providers may require that their customers purchase.

One of the most significant freedoms that the Funeral Rule grants to consumers is their right to provide their own casket.  A funeral home must accept the casket that is provided, and cannot impose any related fees or penalties.  

The ability to purchase a casket from an outside source can result in enormous cost savings.  It also grants consumers a wider range of options with regard to quality, materials, and customization.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FUNERAL HOME VISIT

Titan Casket recommends that you visit your funeral provider with a sense of your preferences for the service and burial.  This will help to narrow your focus amidst the vast range of available choices.

General Price List

Before discussing or agreeing to any specific arrangements, ask your provider for a General Price List.  This "GPL" itemizes the various goods and services the provider offers, and how much they cost, so consumers may choose only those elements of a funeral that they want.  The Funeral Rule requires that funeral providers offer a GPL prior to any discussion of funeral arrangements or pricing.

If you are interested in supplying your own casket, we recommend that you have a GPL in hand before discussing it with your funeral provider.

Consumers' Rights under the Funeral Rule

Funeral providers must disclose six rights of funeral consumers, including:

  1. Right of Selection - Consumers may select only the items they want to buy, not including a charge for basic services and overhead. 
  2. Embalming - The law requires embalming only in certain special cases, which can be explained by the funeral provider upon request.  
  3. Alternative Containers - Funeral providers must specify which alternative containers (such as those made of fiberboard or composition materials) they offer in cases of direct cremation. 
  4. Basic Services Fee - The funeral consumer has the right to know how much the non-declinable fee for basic services and overhead will be. The consumer does not have the option to decline this charge. 
  5. Casket Price List - The funeral provider must disclose that a Casket Price List is available. If it is not listed as part of the General Price List, it must be provided before beginning discussion of casket prices. 
  6. Outer Burial Container Price List - The funeral provider must disclose that a Outer Burial Container Price List is available. If it is not listed as part of the General Price List, it must be provided before beginning discussion of outer burial container prices.  

Statement of Funeral Goods and Services

At the end of discussion of funeral arrangements, the funeral provider must give the consumer a completed Statement of Funeral Goods and Services. This is an itemized list of the goods and services that the consumer has selected. The statement allows consumers to evaluate their selections and make any desired changes. 

SUPPLEMENTAL PROVIDERS OF FUNERAL GOODS AND SERVICES

If you choose to obtain funeral goods or services such as your casket elsewhere, the funeral provider may not charge another non declinable fee, such as a "casket handling fee" or "basic facilities fee". Caskets, vaults, transportation of the remains, embalming, cremation, outer burial containers, and urns are examples of funeral goods or services that can be provided elsewhere. 

NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Titan Casket is here to help.  Contact us with any questions you may have about your rights and providing your own casket.
Federal Trade Commission Publications
 



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Source: Complying with the Funeral Rule, A business guide produced by the Federal Trade Commission.

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