Flashcards in Mortuary Law- Chapter 14 Deck (35):
Funeral Rule Facts
-In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) out the Funeral Rule into effect.
- The Funeral Rule was reviewed and revised in 1994
Primary Purpose of the Funeral Rule:
1. To give consumers the right to select those funeral goods and services which they wish to purchase.
2. To provide consumers access to detailed, itemized price information prior to purchase decisions.
3. To prevent misrepresentations and other unfair and deceptive practices in the sale of funeral goods and services.
Who must abide by the Funeral Rule?
Any entity that offers to sell or that does sell funeral goods AND funeral services.
* The Rule covers only those who sell both goods and services*
General Price List:
- The cornerstone of the Funeral Rule
- Given to the consumer prior to the purchase
- Provides the consumer with a detailed itemized listing of the goods and services offered by the funeral home.
- The funeral home must place its name, address, phone number, the words "General Price List" and the effective date of the GPL.
- Must have the itemization of 16 Goods and Services
The 16 Goods and Services that must be separately itemized on the GPL:
1. Basic Services of Funeral Director and Staff
3. Other Preparations of the Body
4. Services and Facility for Viewing
5. Services and Facilities for Funeral Ceremony
6. Services and Facilities for Memorial Service
7. Service and Equipment for Graveside Service
8. Transfer of Remains to Funeral Home
11. Casket Price Range
12. Outer Burial Container Price Range
13. Forwarding of Remains
14. Receiving Remains
15. Direct Cremations
16. Immediate Burials
Rules for the Mandatory Disclosures on the GPL:
-Must appear on the GPL in the exact wording which is provided in the sample model.
-Must be printed in a clear and conspicuous manner
- Should not appear in smaller type than the other printed materials on the GPL.
Six Mandatory Disclosures on the GPL Include:
1. Choice of Goods and Services
2. Non-Declinable Service Fee
3. Embalming Disclosure
4. Availability of Casket Price Lists
5. Availability of Outer Burial Container Price Lists
6. Alternative Containers for Direct Cremation
-The funeral home is allowed to assemble packages of goods and services and assign one price to it.
-It should not reduce the amount of its basic services fee in arriving at the discounts.
-This must be offered IN ADDITION to itemized pricing
Distribution of GPL:
- Must be given for retention to individuals
- GPL distribution requirement is triggered whenever the face-to-face inquiry is made.
- GPL should be made to all PN consumers
Casket Price List
-Lists the retail prices of all of the caskets offered
- No mandatory disclosures
-Must have the name of the funeral home, the words, "Casket Price List" and the effective date.
-Does not have to be offered to consumers for their retention.
Distribution of CPL:
Must be presented to consumers upon the commencement of a face-to-face discussion about offerings on the CPL or the price of those offerings.
Outer Burial Container Price List
-Must have the name of the funeral home, the words, "Outer Burial Container Price List", and the effective date.
- Listing of all of the OBC that the funeral home regularly offers (if the FH does not offer it, they do not have to list it)
Mandatory Disclosure for OBCPL:
Informs consumers that the Outer Burial Containers are not generally required by law, although many cemeteries make them mandatory.
Distribution of OBCPL:
-Whenever there is a discussion of outer burial containers.
-Should be given to consumers prior to the funeral director showing any displays or models.
Purpose of the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected:
-To provide consumers with an itemized list of their purchases at the conclusion of their funeral arrangement.
-All separate goods and services which the consumer purchases off the GPL must be identified and listed on the Statement.
-Must list any cash advance items which the consumer purchased through the funeral home.
Mandatory Disclosures for the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services:
1. Listing of Legal and Other Requirements
2. Embalming Approval
3. Marked-Up Cash Advances
Distribution of the SFGS:
-The presentation of the Statement is to be made at the conclusion of the funeral arrangements.
- Should be completely filled out and show the total price of the funeral.
Telephone Price Disclosures:
- The funeral home must provide accurate information in response to those inquiries.
-Prohibited by the Rule from refusing to give price information over the phone.
2.Caskets for Direct Cremation
3.Outer Burial Containers
4. Legal and Cemetery Requirements
5. Preservative and Protective Claims
6. Cash Advance Items
The Rule prohibits any misrepresentations regarding the legal necessity of embalming; it is a violation if the FD fails to inform the consumer that embalming is not required by law, except in special circumstances.
Caskets for Direct Cremation Misrepresentation:
The Rule prohibits a FD from representing that state or local law requires a casket for direct cremation.
Outer Burial Containers Misrepresentation:
-The Rule prohibits a FD from representing that an outer burial container is required by law.
-It is a violation if the funeral home fails to affirmatively inform consumers that state law does not require outer burial containers.
Legal and Cemetery Requirements Misrepresentation:
-The Rule provides a catchall prohibition against any type pf misrepresentation concerning legal or cemetery requirements.
-FDs are required to list and describe on the SFGS any legal, cemetery, or crematory requirements that compel the consumer to purchase the funeral good or service.
Preservative and Protective Claims Misrepresentations:
-The Rule prohibits any claims that embalming (or any other goods or services) will preserve the body for a long or indefinite period of time.
-FD are prohibited from making misrepresentations regarding the protective features of caskets and vaults.
Cash Advanced Items Misrepresentations:
If the FD marks up cash advance items or receives a commission, rebate, or discount which is not passed on to the consumer, it is a violation of the Rule.
Exists where a seller requires a purchase of an unwanted item in order to obtain a desired good or service.
Tying Arrangement Misrepresentation Example:
The Rule prohibits a FD from only offering funeral services if the consumer agrees to purchase a casket from the funeral home- the seller has tied the provision of funeral services to the required purchase of a casket.
The Rule prohibits tying arrangements except:
1. Non-Declinable Basic Service Fee
2. Legal Requirements
3. Impossible, Impractical, or Excessively Burdensome
4. Third Party Merchandise
Tying Arrangements- Third Party Merchandise
- FHs must accept and service merchandise that consumers purchase from other vendors
-The Rule does not permit FHs to charge handling or delivery fees for third party merchandise- they may offer discounts to encourage consumers to purchase caskets and other merchandise from the FH
Prior Permission to Embalm
- Family must provide EXPRESS permission to embalm prior to embalming
- Permission to embalm must be expressly provided and cannot be implied
Exigent Circumstances- Permission to Embalm
1. The FD is unable to contact a family member or other authorized person after exercising due diligence
2. The FD has no reason to believe that the family does not want embalming
3. After embalming, if the family wants services that do not require embalming, no embalming fee will be charged, but a fee will be charged if they select a funeral that does require embalming.
Retention of Price Documents
- The Rule requires FDs to retain all price lists for a 1 year period from the date the price lists were last distributed.
-SFGS must be retained for a one year period from the date of the arrangement conference.
Current penalties for a Rule violation:
Fine of $16,000 per violation