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The FTC's Funeral Rule: What Funeral Homes Need To Tell You

This article on funeral planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

In an effort to protect consumers, the Federal Trade Commission enforces a law known as the Funeral Rule, which ensures your right to the funeral arrangements you want and your right to decline any arrangements you do not want.

General Price List (GPL)

The Funeral Rule ensures your right to a clearly itemized price list of services and products that the funeral home offers, which is known as a General Price List (GPL). The GPL that you request is yours to keep. If you ask for price information over the telephone, funeral homes are legally obligated to provide you with that information.

Goods And Services

Most funeral homes offer combined goods and services, or “packages.” (Goods refer to burial products or cremation products, like a casket or an urn; services refer to work that the funeral home does for you, such as preparing the body or arranging transportation on your behalf.) You have the right to accept a “package,” or to accept only some of the goods and services offered in a package and reject others. If a funeral home offers you a package of goods and services with a single price, rather than an itemized list with each service and product individually itemized, know that you legally have the right to request an itemized list.

You are also entitled to purchase goods and services separately; that is, you may purchase products from the retailer of your choice and the funeral home must use those products without additional charge. The level of transparency offered by a funeral home in these dealings is generally a good indicator of the ethics and professionalism of that company.

The FTC's Consumer Guide For Funerals

The FTC has put together a consumer guide for funerals that explains your rights, lists considerations when choosing a provider, and offers questions to ask when making arrangements and comparing products, services, and costs. For helpful tips from the FTC click here. For the full "Shopping for Funeral Services" guide click here.

State-By-State Health, Legal, And End-Of-Life Resources

Funeral Planning

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