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What is the Funeral Rule?

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

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. 
In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put the "Funeral Rule" into effect to enable consumers to obtain information about funeral arrangements. This rule requires that, if you meet with them in person, the funeral home staff must provide you a written and itemized price list that shows the goods and services the funeral provider offers, without any commitment on your part.

The Funeral Rule also requires that the funeral home:
  • Provide you with information about any state law that requires a purchase of specific goods or services.
  • Provide a list of your legal rights.
  • Allow you to purchase and use a casket or urn from a source other than the funeral home (no extra fees can be charged by the funeral home for doing so).
  • Make alternative containers available if the funeral home offers cremations.
The Funeral Rule does not cover cemeteries and mausoleums unless they sell both funeral items and funeral services, so be careful when making purchases to ensure that you receive all relevant price lists and other information.

If you believe that a funeral home has violated the Funeral Law, contact the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA). The FCA will help you determine if the law has been violated and, if so, how to file a complaint.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.