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The Funeral Rule

The Funeral Rule

In all my years in the life insurance business and providing final expense policies to my clients, I’ve never heard anyone say they want the most expensive funeral possible.

But why do funerals end up costing so much? I think it’s for two reasons: first, funerals are for the living, not the deceased and emotions get the best of us in a time of severe grief. Second, consumers do not know their rights when planning a funeral. The “Funeral Rule” can help us with number two.

The Funeral Rule as enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gives you the right to pick and choose only those services from a funeral home that you want and need, and pay for only those services you select.

This applies whether you are making the arrangements in advance or after a death occurs. This can result in literally thousands of dollars in savings for you and/or your loved ones.

Here are the some of the main items the Funeral Rule can help with:

  1. Buy only the funeral arrangements you want – You do not have to purchase a package. You can choose a la carte.
  2. Get Price Information on the telephone – Every salesman wants you to be in front of them. But you can ask for and receive prices without visiting in person. This allows easier comparison of costs.
  3. Get written, itemized prices lists – You can see all products and services with prices that the funeral home offers.
  4. Receive a written statement – All services with explanation are required to be available in written form.

The Big Ones:

  1. Use an Alternative Container for cremation
  2. No state of local law requires the use of a casket for cremation. Alternative containers must be made available.
  3. You can provide the funeral home with a casket you buy elsewhere

A while back my wife said she saw caskets for sale at COSTCO for under $1000. She asked me who in the world would buy a casket? The funeral homes cannot refuse to handle a casket you bought elsewhere, or charge you a fee to use the outside casket. They cannot require you to be there when the casket is delivered.

Funerals without embalming

No state law requires routine embalming for every death. If burial is quick or immediate, embalming might be an unnecessary cost.

If you are pre-planning your funeral, utilizing the above rights should not be hard to do. When you are planning for the unexpected loss of a loved one, it’s impossible in some cases to take emotion out of the burial process. It might be wise in those instances to have someone else negotiate for you.

Call today at (615) 376-8899  or complete the form below for more information on a Final Expense Life Insurance which can help offset the cost of your funeral.


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