FTC Funeral Rule
The Funeral Rule mandates that a funeral home must accept any third-party purchased Casket or Urn for the funeral or other personal needs and the funeral home may not charge any fees for acceptance.
The Federal Trade Commission, established in 1914, is a government agency designed to investigate and eliminate unfair and deceptive practices in business. The FTC enacted the Funeral Rule on April 30, 1984, and later amended it effective in 1994. The Funeral Rule was designed to protect consumers by requiring that they receive adequate information concerning the goods and services they may purchase from a funeral provider. All funeral providers must comply with The Funeral Rule. The Funeral Rule defines such terms as, among others, funeral provider, funeral goods and funeral services and specifies various consumer rights, as well as specific parameters in which funeral industry goods and service providers must respect consumer rights and conduct their business.
Caskets are typically metal, wood, fiberglass, fiberboard or plastic. The Funeral Rule states that customers must be provided a written description of each casket offered and the associated Casket Price List before viewing of any physical caskets. The Funeral Rule also mandates that a funeral home must accept any third-party purchased casket or urn for the funeral and may not charge any fees for acceptance.
Some caskets include features such as “gasketed”, “protective” or includes a “sealer”. These terms generally mean the casket has a rubber gasket or other feature designed to delay water seepage and prevent rust. According to The Funeral Rule, these features may delay the decomposition of the remains, but they will not prevent it forever. Some caskets come with warranties, but the warranty is for the durability of the casket, not for protection from eventual decomposition of the remains. Under The Funeral Rule, no person selling any casket may claim that caskets with these features will prevent decomposition of the remains forever, because that is not possible.