It is the Law
The primary intention of the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule is to provide complete information on the cost of funerals to consumers to help them make more informed decisions.
- Funeral providers are required to give you a General Price List of products and services when you ask in person about funeral arrangements and you have the right to keep this list. Furthermore, funeral providers must make price information available over the telephone so you can more easily compare costs and services and select the arrangements you want.
- In New Hampshire, embalming is not required unless there will be public viewing after 24 hours has elapsed from the time of death, or when burial will be delayed, such as when the cemeteries are closed for the winter months.
- In New Hampshire, if the body is to be cremated, 48 hours must elapse from the time of death before cremation can occur. The law also requires that the New Hampshire Medical Examiner's office must review the cause and manner of death before authorizing cremation, and the body must be cremated in a suitable solid container.
- If you select direct cremation, you may consider using an alternative container which will be less costly than a casket. Any container you select will be destroyed during the cremation process.
- In New Hampshire, there are no state laws or regulations requiring the use of grave liners or vaults. Your local cemetery officials determine if grave liners or vaults are required for burial of either caskets or urns.
- In New Hampshire, the law requires a funeral provider to either deposit any money paid for preplanned funeral services in a New Hampshire bank; or put funds into a licensed insurance or trust company.
CLICK HERE to download an informative brochure from the Federal Trade Commission.
Things to Consider
- You may ask a friend or clergy person to assist you in making the arrangements and accompany you to the funeral home. This person should be someone you trust, and one who will be able to ask questions for you if you become distressed.
- Remember that a General Price List describing all of the funeral provider's charges must be given to you to help you plan a funeral; and you must be given an itemized list called a Statement of Goods and Services Selected, indicating all of the products and services you have purchased. If the funeral provider does not give these items to you, it is a violation of Federal law.
- You do not have to accept any services or products that you do not want.
- You should not feel that you must choose expensive services and/or caskets or urns. Your emotional and social needs do not depend on how much money you spend.
- Preplanning your funeral eliminates the need for your family to make many of the difficult decisions while they are grieving. All of your wishes about your funeral will be observed because you have done all the planning in advance.
- If you have already prearranged your funeral, you can transfer it to another funeral home - possibly at a cost savings.
- You should be very concerned if a funeral home agrees to match or undercut a price from another funeral home - and a so called 'no-walk' policy is a desperate, last resort attempt at taking at least 'some' of your money. More often than not, these practices are a great disservice to you and your family - the care you receive is often as 'discounted' as the price is. It is important for all funeral homes to be able to compare what they offer and stand behind the prices they charge.
- You can always 'shop' and compare funeral homes to choose the one that best fits your tastes, needs and budget. If the funeral home you have 'always used' hasn’t 'kept up with the times' it may be time to consider a change.