Below is a list of frequently asked questions:
Q: Who are Funeral Providers?
A:Funeral Providers are funeral homes that sell or offer to sell both funeral goods and funeral services to the public.
Q: Are funeral homes regulated?
A: All funeral home activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule. The Funeral Rule was revised July 19, 1994 and continues to require the industry to provide information and disclosures that help consumers when shopping and when purchasing funeral goods and services. As well, Kansas funeral homes and mortuaries are regulated and inspected by the Kansas Board of Mortuary Arts, www.kansas.gov/ksbma.
Q: What is a General Price List?
A: Funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission-Funeral Rule to provide three price lists: The General Price List, The Casket Price List, and the Outer Burial Container Price List. The General Price List must be given to anyone who asks, in person, about funeral goods, funeral services, or the prices of such goods or services. They must give a General Price List to all persons including consumers, competitors, journalists, and representatives of businesses, religious societies, and government agencies.
Q: Does law require embalming of a dead body?
A: Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial. Embalming is also not required when refrigeration is available and the consumer wants a closed-casket funeral with no formal viewing or visitation.
Q: What is required by the Federal Trade Commission-Funeral Rule to be included in a funeral home’s charge for embalming?
A: The stated price for embalming must include the use of the preparation room, as well as the professional services, equipment, and materials involved in performing embalming.
Q: What is required by the Federal Trade Commission-Funeral Rule to be included in a funeral home’s charge for “other preparation of the body”?
A: This charge must include such services as cosmetic work to prepare the deceased for viewing. The category can also show a price for washing and disinfecting when that procedure is used instead of embalming.
Q: Is a casket required for cremation?
A: If you want to arrange a direct cremation, you can use an alternative container. Alternative containers encase the body and can be made of materials like fiberboard or composition materials (with or without an outside covering).
Q: Does the law require Vaults or Grave Liners?
A: In most areas of the country, state or local law does not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the grave will not sink in. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.
Q: Which items of service can I expect to see from every funeral provider so that I can compare?
A: Funeral providers are required to itemize sixteen specific prices so that the consumers can comparison shop:
- Forwarding of remains to another funeral home
- Receiving remains from another funeral home
- Transfer of remains to the funeral home
- Direct cremation
- Immediate burial
- Other preparation of the body
- Hearse Limousine
- Use of facility and staff for viewing
- Use of facility and staff for funeral ceremony
- Use of facility and staff for memorial service
- Use of equipment and staff for graveside ceremony
- Individual casket prices or their price range
- Individual outer burial container prices or their range
- Basic services of funeral director and staff, and overhead
Q: What is required by the Federal Trade Commission-Funeral Rule to be included on a Casket Price List?
A: Funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission to provide three price lists: The General Price List, The Casket Price List, and the Outer Burial Price List. The Casket Price List must include the name of the funeral home, the effective date for the list, and the retail price of each casket and alternative container. The list must also give enough descriptive information about each casket to enable consumers to identify the specific casket and understand what they are buying.
Q: What is required by the Federal Trade Commission-Funeral Rule to be included on an Outer Burial Container Price List?
A: Funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission to provide three price lists: The General Price List, The Casket Price List, and the Outer Burial Price List. The Outer Burial Price List must include the name of the funeral provider, the effective date for the list, and the retail prices of each outer burial container. The list must also give enough descriptive information about each outer burial container to enable consumers to identify the specific container.
Q: What is the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected?
A: This “statement” is an itemized list of the goods and services that the consumer has selected during the arrangement conference and must be given to each consumer at the end of the arrangement discussion.
Q: What is required by the Federal Trade Commission for the funeral home to give over the telephone?
A: The funeral home must give accurate information from the General Price List, Casket Price List, and Outer Burial Container Price List. They must also answer any other question about their offerings and prices. Funeral homes cannot require callers to give their names, addresses, or phone numbers, and they cannot require consumers to come to the funeral home in person to get price information.