Prearranging & Prepaying for Final Expenses? Know Your Rights!
It’s not a topic we like to think and talk about, but you will be doing a great service to your loved ones if you prearrange and prepay your final expenses. There are so many different options, though, that it can be overwhelming. To make the process easier, your BBB® wants to make sure consumers know about their rights under the Funeral Rule.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has two publications that spell out consumers’ rights under the rule: Shopping for Funeral Services and Paying Final Respects. According to these booklets, consumers have the right to
- buy only the funeral goods and services they want. They don’t have to buy a package deal with items they don’t want.
- get price information by telephone. Funeral directors must give consumers price information over the phone if they ask for it, and they don’t have to give their name, address, or phone number first.
- get a written itemized price list when they visit a funeral home, called a General Price List (GPL). The GPL must contain 16 specific items and may include others.
- see a written price list for caskets before they see the actual caskets.. Funeral homes don’t always show the lower priced caskets, but if consumers have a price list before they look at caskets, they can ask the funeral home to show them the lower priced caskets.
- see a written price list for outer burial containers
- receive a written statement after they decide what they want but before they pay.
- use an alternative container instead of a casket for cremation.
- provide the funeral home with a casket or urn they purchased elsewhere. The funeral provider can’t charge consumers an extra fee to use their own casket or urn.
- make funeral arrangements without embalming