FOR YOUR INFORMATION.............................AUGUST 19, 1992
After a loved one dies, decisions about the funeral arrange- ments, such as which casket to purchase or what type of ceremony to have, may be tougher to make under the strain of grief. To help consumers make the choices right for them, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a new brochure called, "Caskets and Burial Vaults." The brochure explains the difference between caskets and vaults, some of their protective claims and underscores the requirements of the FTC's Funeral Rule. It also lists names of funeral groups to contact concerning state laws and further information.
The Funeral Rule, among other things, prohibits funeral providers from saying that caskets or vaults will keep out water, dirt and other gravesite substances if such a claim would be false. It also prohibits claims that certain funeral items can indefinitely preserve a body in the grave. Such claims are untrue, the FTC says. Additionally, the rule requires funeral providers to itemize prices in a list and provide consumers with these price lists and give price information over the phone.
The brochure also guides consumers through the funeral pre- planning process by suggesting a checklist of questions to ask funeral directors. For example: Are you buying only the casket and vault, or are you purchasing the funeral services also? Are you protected if the firm with which you are doing business goes out of business? Can you get back any money you have already paid if you should change your mind about the pre-planned funeral and decide to cancel the contract?
For a free copy of "Caskets and Burial Vaults," write the FTC's Public Reference Branch, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY 202-326- 2502.
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MEDIA CONTACT: John Leslie III, Office of Public Affairs 202-326-2178
STAFF CONTACT: Colleen Tressler, Office of Consumer and Business Education, 202-326-2368