What is the Funeral Rule?
Funeral planning can be difficult, not only because of the logistics involved but because of the emotional state in which it may take place. An unscrupulous funeral home may try to take advantage of emotions, as well as your relative inexperience in planning a funeral, to sell you funeral home services that you do not need or want. However, at Wujek Calcaterra & Sons, we abide by the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule. At our funeral home in Shelby Township, we provide adequate information about the goods and services we offer in compliance with the federal regulation.
Funeral Home Services Pricing Information
At the beginning of the planning process, we will provide you with a General Price List. This details the costs for all the funeral-related goods and services available from our funeral home in Sterling Heights. It describes which are required and which are optional.
There are some services that are common to all funerals. These include the following:
- Coordination with a third-party cemetery or crematory
- Sheltering of the remains
- Preparing obituary notices
- Obtaining death certificate copies and securing applicable permits
- Arranging the actual funeral service
We charge a basic service fee that includes the cost of all of these funeral home services. This fee cannot be waived. However, it does not include the costs for any optional goods or services.
When you plan a funeral with us, you will receive the total cost in writing with an itemized statement. This document clearly illustrates optional goods and services versus those included in the basic service fee.
When funeral planning, you can choose one of three different types.
1. Full-Service Funeral
The traditional proceeding that includes a formal memorial ceremony, typically with visitation or viewing beforehand, and burial, cremation, or entombment after transportation via hearse to the final resting place.
2. Direct Cremation
This takes place without prior viewing or visitation shortly after the death. It does not preclude a memorial service, but this usually occurs after the cremation. The ashes may or may not be present for the memorial service.
3. Immediate Burial
Like direct cremation, immediate burial occurs shortly after death. It requires less preparation of the body than a full-service funeral because there is no viewing or visitation beforehand. Simpler caskets are available for an immediate burial service. The memorial can take place at a later date, or it may occur at the burial site.
The type of funeral you choose determines the optional services available as well as the associated expenses.
According to the Funeral Rule, you are not required to secure funeral home services for the ceremony or for visitation/viewing beforehand. However, legal requirements apply to the handling of the remains regardless of where the funeral is held. We are very familiar with the requirements, so we can ensure that the proceedings comply with the applicable laws and regulations.
Disposition refers to what ultimately happens to the remains and depends on the type of funeral you choose. The law does not require embalming of the body, and it is illegal for us to claim otherwise. However, if embalming does not take place, disposition of the body must take place within 48 hours of the death per state law, usually via immediate burial or cremation.
If you intend to have visitation or viewing of the body, we strongly recommend embalming. However, if you intend to have an immediate burial or cremation, embalming is not necessary.
Cremation gives you more options for disposition of the remains. You can have a burial for the ashes, scatter them in a special spot, or keep them in a home in a container of your choosing.
Support When You Need It
The Funeral Rule is in place to protect you and ensure that you receive accurate information to allow you to make an informed funeral planning decision. At Wujek Calcaterra & Sons funeral home in Sterling Heights, we are here to support you during what can be a difficult process of choosing funeral home services. Please contact us for more information.