What Is the Purpose of the Funeral Rule?

February 5, 2020 10:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces what’s known as the “Funeral Rule.” Under this rule, you are able to choose only the goods and services you want or need, and pay for only those you select when making your funeral arrangements in advance or on behalf of a loved one who has recently died. You have the right under this rule to compare prices across various funeral homes in Chicago, IL and select the arrangements you want at the funeral home you wish to use.

Here’s a quick overview of the full set of rights afforded to you under the Funeral Rule:

  • Purchasing the arrangements you want: You are under no pressure or obligation to purchase a package of funeral or burial items that includes items you do not want or need. Instead, you can purchase these items and services individually to form your own package. Funeral homes are allowed to offer package deals, but you do not have to be limited to those packages.
  • Itemized price lists: When you visit a funeral home, you have the write to get a written and itemized price list that you can take with you as part of your cost comparisons. This list will provide an overview of all items and services offered at the funeral home and their individual costs.
  • Phone information: You also have the right to get price information over the telephone if you ask for it. You are under no obligation to give your name or contact information first. Funeral homes may also mail their price lists to your home or post them online, but they are not required to do so under the Funeral Rule.
  • Specific written prices: In addition to getting general itemized price lists, you are also entitled to see written casket price lists and outer burial container price lists before you purchase them. Detailed casket information may be included on that general pricing list, but usually it will be in a separate document. Outer burial containers are not required under any state laws in the United States, but some cemeteries require their use to keep gravesites in good condition. You have the right to look at lists of those separate outer burial container prices before you decide to make a purchase.
  • Alternative containers: You have the right to use alternative containers instead of caskets for cremation. In fact, you are under no obligation to use a casket at all. Your alternative containers can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, cardboard or fiberboard. The funeral home must make alternative containers available. You can also provide your own containers.
  • No embalming: There are no state laws that require embalming, and you are allowed to make funeral arrangements without embalming services.
  • Your own casket or urn: You have the right to provide the funeral service with your own casket or urn you purchased elsewhere, or one you or a family member have made yourself.

For more information about your rights under the Funeral Rule, or to learn more about our funeral service expertise in Chicago, IL, reach out to Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. today.

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