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Getting Information About Funeral Arrangements

01.01.2014 by Law Firm of Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth in Legal Updates

by Bridget Small, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

When you arrange a funeral, you have many decisions to make. Accurate information makes it easier to sort through your choices. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to give consumers certain information about their goods and services.

Every year, the FTC sends mystery shoppers into funeral homes to see whether they are complying with the Rule. After a recent inspection, the FTC sued a New York funeral home and its funeral director-owner for failing to give consumers the price lists that the Rule requires. The defendants agreed to pay a $32,000 civil penalty. They also are prohibited from violating the Rule.

You have the right to get an itemized general price list before you talk about funeral arrangements and to get a casket or outer burial price list before you discuss those items. You’re also entitled to:

    • get information by phone from a provider if you ask for it
    • buy goods (a casket) and services (a memorial service) separately
    • buy only the items you want and need, instead of a “package”

If you think a funeral provider hasn’t complied with the basic provisions of the Funeral Rule, you can file a complaint with the FTC.

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