Your rights with the funeral home
Planning a funeral is not an everyday occurrence and most are distraught when it comes time to make decisions and plan the final good-bye to your loved one. As a consumer purchasing a good, it is important to know and exercise your rights when it comes to purchasing a package or services from any funeral home. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has set limits and rights for consumers in order to protect those that are in need of services from any funeral home. These rules and regulations were established not only to protect the funeral home but also to protect consumers that are making a very personal and often times grief filled decision.
When you are preparing a funeral service for your loved one most funeral homes will offer you a variety of packages that are deemed to make your decisions quick and efficient. Where these offers and services can be a good buy, some families may find that the packages either include more than what they need or not all that they were anticipating. You are not bound to accept a package deal and in fact funeral homes are obligated to give you individual casket, urn and other service prices over the phone should you request the information. Funeral homes must also give you a general price list that lists each item individually that is yours to keep.
After you have decided on the services and goods that you are in need of including but not limited to casket, cremation urn, cremation jewelry, wake services and others, you are entitled a written statement that clearly outlines your choices and the cost of each before you pay. If you choose a casket or urn from a retailer other than the funeral home, the funeral home cannot refuse to use it nor can they charge you a fee for using an alternative cremation urn that you have purchased elsewhere. Caskets and urns purchased from a funeral home are typically higher priced than what you find elsewhere and in most cases you can have an urn shipped overnight or two day air. Also, it is important to note that if a state requires you to purchase a certain good or service your funeral home is required to disclose the information to you in your written statement with a reference to that particular law.
Planning and creating the funeral for your loved one is generally a time filled with grief and sorrow but knowing your rights as a consumer before you meet with the funeral home is essential. There are a variety of costs of goods and services that are to be expected with every funeral service however you have the right to pick only the goods and services that you want unless they are required by state law. You are not obligated to buy your cremation urn or casket from the funeral home and the funeral home is required to give you a written statement of services purchased before you pay.