The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule refers to a set of guidelines that funeral providers must follow to inform consumers and ensure accurate documentation. The Funeral Rule requires funeral providers to give multiple pieces of information, particularly the General Price List of services, caskets, and other products sold, and this list must be available to consumers before they are shown caskets or other storage containers. The funeral home must provide a detailed statement for the services and products chosen before the consumer is required to pay. All of these requirements apply for pre-need contracts as well.
Funeral providers must also inform consumers on the general price list of their right to choose which services and products they want to purchase, and the rule forbids requiring the bundling of services. If a state or local law has a specific requirement regarding funeral services and products, the price list must include this and cite to the specific law referenced. A funeral provider may be able to require embalming to receive their services, but the consumer must be informed of whether the state or local law requires embalming and must give permission before any embalming occurs.
The Funeral Rule also includes other rights funeral providers must follow including that consumers can use a casket, urn, or other burial or storage container besides those offered by the funeral provider. Funeral providers also cannot charge a fee for handling third-party purchased products. See: 16 CFR § 453.4
For more detailed information on the requirements in the Funeral Rule, see this FTC guide.
[Last updated in September of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]