Funeral Rule Up for Comment and Revision
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering possible revisions to the Funeral Rule, which
protects consumers by requiring funeral homes to follow standard practices and disclose prices. The rule
was first issued in 1984 and revised in 1994, before the introduction of the Internet and digital
telecommunications. It definitely needs updating now that the public is doing more and more shopping
It is important that you, as funeral consumers, take this opportunity to make your voices heard in this
process. The FTC needs to see your comments to show that there is broad public support for regulatory
change. Comments are being received until June 15, 2020.
There are three main reforms that our national organization, the Funeral Consumers Alliance, would like to
see made to the Funeral Rule. They are:
- Funeral homes that maintain websites should be required to post their General Price Lists (GPL) on them. This would make it much easier for consumers to shop and compare prices without having to call or visit funeral homes. We at FCASC believe also that funeral homes should be required to use a standard format for their GPLs, which also would facilitate comparisons.
- Funeral homes should be required to clearly state the price of a cremation on their General Price List if they use third-party crematories. Sometimes funeral homes will list a price for a direct cremation that does not include the cost of the cremation itself. If a separate fee is charged, it should either be added to the quoted price of the direct cremation or listed in conjunction with the quoted price. There should be no hidden fee.
- The Funeral Rule should be expanded to include cemeteries, which are not now included. Cemeteries also should be required to have written General Price Lists and to itemize prices. The current situation makes it much more difficult for consumers to deal with cemeteries than with funeral homes.
The People’s Memorial Association of Seattle, Washington, the oldest FCA affiliate, has provided
instructions for submitting your comments to the Federal Trade Commission. It is important that you
communicate with the FTC electronically using the link the PMA provides, since communication by regular
mail is slower and less reliable, owing to government security practices. Here is the link. Press your Ctrl
key and click on it.
Thank you for taking action on this important matter.