Advisory Opinions

Our staff issue advisory opinions to help clarify FTC rules and decisions regarding either competition or consumer protection issues, often in response to requests from businesses and industry groups. To find a specific opinion, use the filters on this page. Parties may request advice from our staff concerning proposed conduct.

Funeral Rule

The Division of Marketing Practices periodically issues informal staff advisory opinions in response to requests for interpretation of the Funeral Rule. Staff opinions are issued, pursuant to Rules 1.1-1.4 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, 16 C.F.R. §§ 1.1-1.4, in response to questions of general public interest.

Opinion 16-2

Provides compliance guidance to funeral directors prohibited by D.C. law from removals to a funeral home until a death from natural causes is pronounced by a physician.

Opinion 16-1

Confirms Opinion 15-1 requirement that Casket Price List must be provided before consumers view caskets, and addresses how funeral provider locations in storefronts, malls and mall kiosks may comply.

Opinion 15-1

Addresses why placing a consumer in the casket display room to wait to speak with a funeral director violates the funeral rule unless the consumer first has been shown a casket price list.

Opinion 13-1

Clarifies how funeral providers should disclose additional charges for atypical services on the GPL and Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected.

Opinion 12-1

Clarifies that all caskets that do not require special ordering must be listed on the casket price list, even if offered temporarily or only to a select group of customers.

Opinion 11-1

Determines that funeral providers may not charge a non-declinable fee for disinfecting, washing and dressing remains for an identification viewing prior to direct cremation or immediate burial unless applicable law or the crematory or cemetery requires an identification viewing.

Opinion 09-6

Addresses whether a funeral provider may include a reduced basic services fee in its prices for direct cremation, immediate burial and forwarding and receiving remains.

Opinion 09-4

Discusses the circumstances under which funeral providers should include the overhead cost of the use of a vehicle to obtain death certificates and permits in their basic services fee.

Opinion 09-5

Confirms that cemeteries generally are not covered by the Funeral Rule unless they offer both funeral services and funeral goods.

Opinion 09-2

Confirms that funeral providers must provide accurate price information by telephone to anyone who inquires about offerings or prices, including a business that will use the information for its own profit.

Opinion 09-1

Discusses whether funeral providers may offer discount packages conditioned on the purchase of a casket, and whether such packages may discount the basic services fee.

Opinion 07-10

Discusses the circumstances under which the Rule requires funeral providers to list "direct cremation" on their price lists, including whether the disclosure must be made if the provider offers only cremation packages, not direct cremation as defined by the Rule.

Opinion 07-9

Discusses the use of computerized displays of casket prices to comply with the Funeral Rule's casket price list requirement.

Opinion 07-6

Discusses whether the Rule requires that the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services include an itemization of the goods and services provided in direct cremations, immediate burials, forwarding of remains and receiving remains.