The average person deals with death once every 10 years. Because of this, you may be unaware of the many options available when planning a funeral. Being informed about funeral options will help you be prepared for the inevitable.
The Funeral Rule, passed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1994, allows you to choose and pay for only the goods and services you want or need. The FTC booklet, Funerals: A Consumers Guide, explains some of your rights:
• You have the right to choose the funeral goods and services you want (with some exceptions).
• The funeral provider must state this right in writing on the 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.
• The funeral provider may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
• A funeral provider that offers cremations must make alternative containers available.
When a loved one dies, arranging the funeral usually falls to the grieving family members, who can easily be taken advantage of. To relieve family members of this burden, some people make arrangements for their funerals in advance, also referred to as pre-needs.
When preplanning your funeral, you can choose the services you want and compare prices with different funeral providers. Prepaying for your funeral services is an option, but you’re not required to pay for anything in advance. When making any funeral arrangements, it’s important to inform your family of the plans you’ve made and if you’ve paid for any services or merchandise and with whom.
For more information about the FTC Funeral Rule, visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/shop/funeral.shtm. You can also contact Abbey Caskets at 800-987-7380 with any questions.