While COVID-19 reminds the most vulnerable of our population of the need for funeral planning, safety concerns may preclude following advice given by both the Death Care industry and the Federal Trade Commission: visit multiple funeral homes and request their general price lists. The FTC mandated ‘general price list’ provides an itemized description of the services provided by the funeral home. (Funeral homes will also have separate prices lists for merchandise such as caskets, burial container and urns.) The FTC’s “Funeral Rule” requires funeral homes to provide the general price list to consumers who request it in person. While the Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to respond to telephone requests for prices, the Rule does not require the funeral home to provide the general price list when the request is made by phone. The Funeral Rule predates the email and requests made electronically.
It is too soon to tell whether COVID-19 will permanently alter consumers’ shopping habits, but funeral homes should provide general price lists pursuant to any method of request until a vaccine is developed for the coronavirus.