No one likes to think about death, but it is a part of life. It’s essential to plan out your final wishes to eliminate guesswork among your loved ones. In the same vein, if you’re taking care of someone’s final resting place, you want to be able to honor their wishes if they’re made known.
In these challenging times, you will often feel pressure to get the funeral done quickly, whether internally or externally. And because of this, many people get taken advantage of by funeral homes. There are some things to be aware of that you’re entitled to; rights that you have even if you may have been told otherwise. Some laws are unique to each state regarding funeral planning, and you should familiarize yourself with the ones relevant to where you or your loved ones live.
Keep reading to learn more about how things like the funeral rule can affect your arrangements.
The Funeral Rule Gives You More Leeway
The scene from movies or TV shows depicting the bereaved parties in a funeral home picking out caskets doesn’t necessarily reflect real life. Under the funeral rule, you can purchase a casket or coffin anywhere, even online, and have it shipped to the funeral home of choice. Funeral homes cannot put unnecessary restrictions on the casket shipment or refuse to use your purchase. They also can’t charge you additional fees or make-up services that you don’t need as a cash grab.
Above all else, this means you have choices when funeral planning. If you have to make arrangements for a loved one, you’re likely already feeling vulnerable, sad, and lost. When making necessary financial transactions, you don’t need to worry about being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people.
The funeral rule gives you breathing room to take more time and make the right choice for you.
State by State Law Comparison
Each state has its funeral board or agency that regulates funeral directors, except Colorado and Hawaii. Additionally, about half of the states hold cemeteries.
If you suspect a funeral director has acted in an unethical manner, you should report them to the relevant advisory board. File an additional report with the state’s Attorney General’s office or the Department of Consumer Affairs if you suspect criminal activity was involved.
The funeral board may invoke a number of consequences, including a fine, a reduction from the bill, order an apology, require additional training, or revoke licenses in the most egregious of cases.
Most states have laws that match the federal laws adhering to the funeral rule described above. Even if state law differs, such as Louisiana’s statute that only licensed funeral directors can sell caskets, the federal law requiring funeral homes to accept caskets purchased from third-party retailers (such as an online source) prevails.
Funeral Planning Shouldn’t Be Difficult
You shouldn’t have to worry about inflated prices when funeral planning, no matter where you are. Remember that you have the freedom to choose where you purchase items like coffins or caskets, and if you encounter an evil person during the process, you do have recourse.