It’s OK to Talk About Death
The "American way of death" is more elaborate and costly than in most other countries. Competition in the usual sense is absent in the US funeral business. Yet, paradoxically, there are too many mortuaries, and their prices must be high to stay in business.
In the late 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission determined that "the emotional trauma of bereavement, the lack of information and time pressures place the consumer at an enormous disadvantage in making funeral arrangements." It was our national organization that prompted that survey and pressed for funeral consumer protection. The FTC Funeral Rule (1984) provides that funeral homes
- Must disclose in writing the prices for all goods and services and give prices over the phone
- Must disclose in writing certain consumer rights
- May not force a consumer to purchase more than is wanted, and
- May not lie to consumers about state laws or make preservative claims for embalming and caskets. ￼
Just like speed limit laws don't always slow drivers, the Funeral Rule isn't able to keep a consumer from making quick decisions and "being taken for a ride." Our goal is to help you understand your options and make wise decisions - preferably in advance.
We are a nation of planners. We spend hours and hours planning our investments, family weddings, vacations. Don't our final trips deserve our best thought? Someone will have to make these decisions. Shouldn't it be yours?