© 2013 Robert L. Shepard, Professional Law Corporation
What is the Funeral Rule?
The Funeral Rule, 16 CFR 453, enacted in 1984, is designed to protect consumers by requiring funeral providers to provide adequate information concerning the goods and services they offer. The Funeral Rule 1) provides a definition of a General Price List, 2) requires specific disclosures regarding embalming, alternative containers for direct cremation, the basic service fee, the casket price list and the outer burial container price list, and 3) defines specific misrepresentations in six areas: embalming, casket for direct cremation, outer burial container, legal and cemetery requirements, preservative and protective vault claims, and cash advance items. This bit of legislation was made in response to an industry wherein consumers were sometimes told they had to pay for higher priced services as a matter of law. You do not need to know all the details, but trust your instincts. If a funeral provider is telling you that something is required, or something just doesn’t seem right, talk to your local attorney. Funeral providers, just like almost every industry these days, are subject to specialized regulations (in this case the Funeral Rule) that attempts to redress problems historically associated with their industry. A complete copy of The Funeral Rule can be accessed here.