Federal Regulations of Funeral Homes
While most funeral homes look out for the best interests of consumers, unfortunately not all providers are ethically sound. In 1982, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandated Funeral Industry Practices, Part 453 of the Code of Federal Regulations, to protect consumer interests. This commonly is referred to as the "Funeral Rule." The FTC also has developed consumer guidelines so you can know your rights.
The rights afforded consumers through the FTC Funeral Rule include:
- The right to choose the funeral goods and services.
- The right to receive information, in writing, about funeral services and merchandise before any decisions and purchases are made. This information should come in the form of a General Price List.
- The right to receive information concerning the purchase of any items that are required by law.
- The right to use a casket purchased from someone other than the funeral home.
- The right to have alternative containers available from funeral providers that perform cremations.
Selected's Role in the FTC Rule
Selected Independent Funeral Homes monitors its members to ensure they abide by the FTC Rule and our stricter Code of Good Practice. In fact, our Code existed long before the Funeral Rule and provided the foundations for the FTC guidelines. Selected Independent Funeral Homes (then National Selected Morticians) acted as a key participant in the original Funeral Rule proceedings and has been involved with every amendment hearing since.
Who does the Funeral Rule apply to?
It is important to note that the Funeral Rule currently applies only to actual funeral homes and funeral directors. Other service providers such as crematories and cemeteries are not subject to the Funeral Rule.