It was created to protect consumers and ensure that they have certain rights and protections when making arrangements. The Funeral Rule applies to all Funeral Homes in the United States and outlines what they must provide to consumers.
The Funeral Rule is designed to empower consumers during a vulnerable and emotional time, and ensures transparency in the Deathcare industry. It gives Surviving Families information and options needed to make choices that are in line with their preferences and budgets when arranging a Burial or Cremation.
For example, the Funeral Rule requires that a funeral home offer a list prices for all products and services before discussing arrangements, or showing merchandise. Consumers have a right to view prices on the individual items they may need to purchase and not be forced to purchase "packages" with items they do not want.
Other important provisions of the Funeral Rule include but are not limited to:
Itemized Price Lists: Funeral providers are required to provide a written, itemized price list to consumers upon request, known as the General Price List (GPL). This list must include the cost of all goods and services, allowing consumers to compare prices and make informed decisions.
Package Pricing: Funeral homes must provide pricing information for all their available services. They are not allowed to require consumers to purchase a package that includes unwanted services if they prefer to select services individually.
Casket Price Information: Funeral homes are required to provide pricing information for caskets and alternative containers that they offer, both in writing and on display in their showroom.
Right to Receive Goods: Consumers have the right to use caskets or other containers purchased elsewhere without being charged additional fees by the funeral provider.
Embalming Disclosure: Funeral providers must disclose that Embalming is not required by law (except in certain circumstances) and that consumers have the right to choose other options, such as refrigeration.
Cremation Disclosure: If a funeral home offers Cremation services, they must disclose that alternative containers (other than traditional caskets) are available for cremation and must provide pricing for these containers.
No Embalming Without Consent: Funeral providers must obtain written permission from the family or legal representative before embalming is performed if it is not required by law or if the family has not chosen embalming.
No Misrepresentation: Funeral providers are prohibited from making false or misleading statements about funeral goods or services.
Written Statement of Goods and Services: Funeral homes must provide consumers with a written statement of the goods and services they have selected before the funeral takes place. This helps prevent unexpected charges.
Prepayment Rules: When consumers choose to Pre-Pay for funeral services or merchandise, funeral providers must provide clear disclosures about their prepayment policies and the protections in place for prepaid funds, including possible refunds.