Planning a funeral is not something most of us do very often – and when we do, it’s almost always on a tight time frame and under emotional duress. So it’s perfectly understandable if we feel unprepared in terms of knowing what to expect, hope for, and demand in the process.
When you go to a funeral home, the director will offer you a range of products and services, and you may purchase an entire burial “package” if you so choose. But you should know that the Federal Trade Commission has specific rules in this area to protect consumers.
The Funeral Rule, in part, stipulates that you have the right to buy funeral goods and services separately.
In other words, you do not have to buy a funeral package. You can buy only the portions you want, and you may purchase goods and services from other providers – such as a casket or cremation urn from Abbey Caskets. The funeral home must use them and cannot charge a fee for doing so.
There are also rules that require itemized price lists upon request, embalming options, and much more. All were created to protect the consumer at a time of emotional vulnerability.
If you’d like to read more, the FTC provides detailed information on their web site, at this link.