Federal Trade Commission – Funeral Rule


Many people ask the question, can I buy a casket online and have it delivered to the funeral home without it being denied?  The short answer is, yes!  The Funeral Home of your choosing cannot deny you to buy anything outside of their facility and have it brought to their facility.  You have the right to do so.

In April 1984, the Federal Trade Commission created a rule, The Funeral Rule, that stipulates many rights that you as a consumer has despite what you have heard from any other source:

  1. Buy only the funeral arrangements you want – When you go to the funeral home to talk to them about doing a service, first ask them for a price list.  From that price list you have the right to pick and choose what goods and services you would like from them i.e., casket, flowers, limo service, embalming, sign-in book, etc.  The funeral director may tell you that you have to buy a package.  You do not have to.  You can buy only what you want from them and the other items you can do elsewhere and have it delivered to the funeral home.
  2. Pricing – You can get pricing right on the phone if you ask for it.  You don’t have to tell them your name, address or telephone number if you don’t want to.  You may also go into their facility and request a general price list.  This is yours to take and keep.  It should list all items you need and may want to add to your service with the prices on them.
  3. You do not have to embalm your loved one – NO state law requires routine embalming for every death.  Some states require embalming or refrigeration if the body is not buried or cremated within a certain time; some states don’t require it at all. In most cases refrigeration is an acceptable alternative.  You may choose services like direct cremation and immediate burial which do not require it at all.  Be sure to ask if the funeral home offers private family viewing without embalming.  Many funeral homes have a policy requiring embalming if the body is to be publicly viewed but it is not required by law.
  4. You do not have to be at the funeral home at the time of arrival of any merchandise you purchase outside of their facility.


The link below is a printable PDF file.  It is a list of items to talk to the funeral director about that way you can ensure what your costs will be on your service.  It would be wise to compare multiple funeral homes to get the best possible rate.

Funeral Pricing Checklist

*All information is published by The FTC – Funeral Rule at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0300-ftc-funeral-rule

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