The loss of a loved one is a hard situation to be placed in, especially if you’re the one who has to make the funeral plans, and the death was unexpected. The funeral is a big financial undertaking, so you should be prepared to have to sort through a host of charges when you’re the one handling this task.
One thing to remember is that funeral homes have to give you an itemized estimate of what a service will cost. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Funeral Rule, which sets specific standards for the funeral home and provides you with rights to invoke when you’re planning a funeral.
The Funeral Rule doesn’t apply to everyone you’ll encounter as you plan the funeral. It only covers the funeral home, but there isn’t any application of the rule for monument dealers, casket sellers or cemeteries that don’t have their own funeral home.
When you’re trying to find a funeral home that’s within your budget, you can likely do this in the comfort of your own home. The Funeral Rule requires that the director give you information over the phone for pricing. You don’t have to provide them with any personal information, so you can contact several options to see which one provides you with the pricing you can afford.
If you do visit the funeral home, they have to provide you with a written copy of their general price list. This is yours to keep. It may include the price of caskets, but you may need to ask for a separate casket price list.
Funeral homes can’t force you to accept services you don’t want, so you have a lot of leeway in what you do for your loved one’s final service. Remember to keep track of these costs if you’re planning on seeking compensation as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.