Funerals Law and Legal Definition
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for enforcing compliance with funeral regulations that protect your right to choose only the funeral goods and services you want. If a funeral director follows all these rules and the price still seems too high, then you have a right to change funeral homes, even if you have to move the body. Funeral directors must abide by FTC regulations, which together are called the Funeral Rule.
- You must be given an itemized price list of general services BEFORE you decide on the services you want.
- You must be given a casket price list BEFORE selecting a casket.
- You must be given an outer burial container price list BEFORE picking out a vault.
- You must be given an itemized total for everything you've selected PRIOR to services being provided.
- You cannot be required to purchase any goods or services that are not required by law. You usually have the right to refuse embalming. (Funeral homes are allowed to charge one nondeclinable "basic" fee, but only one.)
- You cannot be charged an additional fee if you supply the casket or other goods and services.
- The funeral home may not lie about or misrepresent funeral or cemetery laws. If you are told something is required by law, ask for a copy of the law.
Many states have additional laws and regulations that may affect your complaint. For example, in some states it's legal for the funeral director to hold a body until the bill is paid. In other states it is not, and some state laws simply don't deal with this issue. Some states may have a clear and detailed list of unprofessional conduct, others may not. Nearly all states have a funeral board or agency that regulates funeral directors. About half the states have some sort of cemetery regulation.