Each year, Americans grapple with many questions as they spend billions of dollars arranging funerals for family members and friends. The increasing trend toward pre-need planning – when people make funeral arrangements in advance – suggests that many consumers want to compare prices and services so that ultimately, the funeral reflects a wise and well-informed purchasing decision, as well as a meaningful one.
Many funeral providers offer various “packages” of commonly selected goods and services that make up a funeral. But when you arrange for a funeral, you have the right to buy individual goods and services. That is, you do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want.
According to the Federal Trade Commission:
- You have the right to choose only the funeral goods and services you want.
- The funeral provider may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
- The funeral provider must provide you with a general price list.
- If state or local law requires you to buy any particular item, the funeral provider must disclose it on the price list, with a reference to the specific law.
- A funeral provider that offers cremations must make alternative containers available.