How do I start the process?
The decision to preplan your funeral is a very personal one. It
is very normal to approach this decision with a great amount of anxiety due to
the sensitivity that can surround this subject. Those who ultimately take the
important step of documenting their wishes regarding their funeral and
ultimately sharing these decisions with loved ones usually express a great
sense of comfort and relief.
Begin by identifying what you and your family need as well as want for
a funeral in addition to how much you can afford. You should know that funeral providers are regulated by the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule. The rule
protects consumers by requiring all funeral homes to provide a General Price
List with the current cost of each item and service offered. The price
list must also disclose information about your right of selection, embalming,
containers for cremation, cash advances and any required purchases.
Cash advances are for goods and services that may be paid for by
the funeral provider on your behalf, such as flowers, obituaries, a cemetery plot,
pallbearers or clergy honoraria. If the funeral provider adds a service
fee or receives a discount, refund or rebate for providing this service, they must disclose this fact to you.
Can you plan a funeral in
advance without paying for it?
Yes. It is possible to select funeral goods and services
in advance with a specific funeral home without prefunding a funeral. You
many also choose to pay for a funeral in advance without selecting specific
goods and services. If you do either of these, be aware that the price of
a funeral usually will not be guaranteed.
When you choose to fund a funeral in advance, you are entering a
contractual agreement with the funeral home. Each state regulates preneed
agreements (or contracts), and many states strictly regulate the content of the
Check with your funeral director, the attorney general’s office
or funeral regulatory board or agency in your state for specific information.
Who can help me prearrange my
In several states, only funeral directors may prearrange
funerals. Check your state laws and the credentials of the person
offering the preneed contract. If he or she is not with a funeral home,
ask to see a copy of the agreement between this person and the funeral home you
wish to use to conduct the funeral.
How can I learn more about
planning my funeral in advance?
To obtain detailed information about arranging the funeral you
want, contact a funeral home in your community with a reputation for
reliability and quality service. NFDA-member funeral homes, as a condition of
membership, are required to follow the NFDA Code of Professional Conduct
signifying their commitment to ethical business practices. Every
circumstance, every person and every family is unique. Your NFDA funeral director
will help you plan a meaningful funeral that meets your personal needs and