|The Funeral Rule
The Funeral Rule requires funeral homes
to provide price lists of available options (general services, caskets, outer
burial containers). Homes must disclose prices by telephone and offer lists for
review at each facility. You should call or visit at least three funeral homes
and cemeteries to compare prices. With three lists, you can more accurately
assess the total costs and be able to compare.
What is on the Price List?
* Funeral director
services for initial conference, consultations, paperwork, and overhead. This
fee is added to all bills.
* Transportation of the body to the funeral home
and to the place of final disposition.
* Care of the body, including
embalming and "casketing," or dressing the body.
* Use of facilities for a
viewing, wake, or visitation, and the funeral or memorial ceremony at the
* Other options: purchasing flowers, preparing obituary
notices, or providing music.
Alternative arrangements: cremation or
immediate burial where the body is interred without embalming, usually in a
simple container and no viewing or ceremony with the body present.
Caskets and Outer Burial
A casket is the single most expensive item
in a traditional funeral. Traditionally, caskets were sold only by funeral
homes, but now cemeteries and third parties sell caskets, even on the Internet.
Available in many styles and prices, caskets may be made from metal, wood,
fiberglass, or plastic.
Under the federal Funeral Rule, a funeral home
cannot charge extra if you provide your own casket from an outside source. No
casket is required for a direct cremation, immediate burial, or when donating
one's body to science.
Most cemeteries require the use of a grave liner
or vault. These outer burial containers surround the casket in the grave to
prevent the ground from sinking as settling occurs over time. In some
locations, both funeral homes and cemeteries sell vaults and liners. In some
areas, it is possible, and less expensive, to purchase an outer burial
container from a third party.
If the deceased was a veteran, the U.S. Department
of Veterans Affairs provides small burial allowances. All veterans can receive
a burial flag and burial in national cemeteries. Burial at no charge may be
possible in an area where a national Veterans Cemetery is located. Call
800-555-1212 for the toll-free number of your Regional Veterans Affairs office
or visit their Web site.
you don't need a costly funeral to show your love or respect. Make arrangements
that are best for you and your family.