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Funeral Planning: Don’t Be Rushed —

One life event we don’t want to think about having to do for a loved one is planning a funeral. But sometimes we must, and it can be stressful and loaded with the potential to be scammed in some way.

A small amount of help is coming. The Federal Trade Commission wants online funeral pricing. And it makes sense. When you need to organize a funeral, emotions are running high. You won’t be at your best when it comes to thinking about pricing and services.

Back in 1984, the FTC created the Funeral Rule, but it only requires funeral homes to show lists of the prices of caskets and any outer burial containers, such as a grave liner. And it was only required that a potential customer be given those prices in person, certainly not by phone. To make it worse, funeral homes only had to show pictures or the item itself after the prices were disclosed.

By then, of course, you were at the funeral home, unhappy and sad and stressed. The last thing you wanted to do is treat it like a car purchase and shop around. So you signed the paperwork on the spot, possibly paid too much and maybe didn’t get the items and services you wanted.

There are a few ways to ensure that your vulnerability at that time isn’t exploited.

Before you leave the house to organize a funeral, go online to check local funeral home websites. They might be among the very few to actually post pricing and services.

Take someone with you.

Get the price list (in writing) of what the funeral home offers.

Before you sign any paperwork, contact the Funeral Consumers Alliance ( and get their advice. There’s a group in every state. On their website, click on “Consumers” and scroll down to “Don’t Know Where To Begin? Start Here.”

Remember: Take your time.

(c) 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.

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