Funeral Rule Opinions

The Division of Marketing Practices periodically issues informal staff advisory opinions in response to requests for interpretation of the Funeral Rule. Staff opinions are issued, pursuant to Rules 1.1-1.4 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, 16 C.F.R. §§ 1.1-1.4, in response to questions of general public interest.


Opinion 13-1

Clarifies how funeral providers should disclose additional charges for atypical services on the GPL and Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected.

Opinion 13-2

Addresses Funeral Rule requirements for disclosing charges for collecting insurance or trust proceeds.


Opinion 12-1

Clarifies that all caskets that do not require special ordering must be listed on the casket price list, even if offered temporarily or only to a select group of customers.


Opinion 11-1

Determines that funeral providers may not charge a non-declinable fee for disinfecting, washing and dressing remains for an identification viewing prior to direct cremation or immediate burial unless applicable law or the crematory or cemetery requires an identification viewing.


Opinion 10-1

Addresses third-party casket delivery restrictions by funeral providers that unreasonably burden consumer choice.

Opinion 10-2

Confirms that the Funeral Rule applies to funeral providers in Puerto Rico. [En español]


Opinion 09-1

Discusses whether funeral providers may offer discount packages conditioned on the purchase of a casket, and whether such packages may discount the basic services fee.

Opinion 09-2

Confirms that funeral providers must provide accurate price information by telephone to anyone who inquires about offerings or prices, including a business that will use the information for its own profit.

Opinion 09-3

Clarifies that Opinion 09-1 is limited to the issues discussed in that opinion.

Opinion 09-4

Discusses the circumstances under which funeral providers should include the overhead cost of the use of a vehicle to obtain death certificates and permits in their basic services fee.

Opinion 09-5

Confirms that cemeteries generally are not covered by the Funeral Rule unless they offer both funeral services and funeral goods.

Opinion 09-6

Addresses whether a funeral provider may include a reduced basic services fee in its prices for direct cremation, immediate burial and forwarding and receiving remains.

Opinion 09-7

Considers funeral provider liability for claims that a vault or casket is "waterproof."


Opinion 08-1

Confirms that crematories that offer funeral goods are covered by the Funeral Rule.


Opinion 07-1

Discusses under what circumstances a funeral provider may need a contract with a cemetery provider to provide either a good faith estimate of the cemetery costs or the actual costs.

Opinion 07-2

Discusses whether funeral providers may routinely charge a fee for the refrigeration of bodies that is separate from the non-declinable basic services fee, and whether funeral providers may charge a fee, separate from the non-declinable basic services fee, for the use of an automobile to obtain death certificates.

Opinion 07-3

Reiterates the long-standing policy that funeral providers may not require consumers to inspect and accept third-party merchandise.

Opinion 07-4

Discusses whether funeral providers may charge fees for storing third-party caskets or for disposing of the containers in which they are shipped; and whether funeral providers may use two separate Statements of Funeral Goods and Services -- one for its own charges and one for third-party cash advance items.

Opinion 07-5

Discusses whether the Funeral Rule requires a funeral provider to make its facilities available for a memorial service to families who do not make any other funeral arrangements with the provider.

Opinion 07-6

Discusses whether the Rule requires that the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services include an itemization of the goods and services provided in direct cremations, immediate burials, forwarding of remains and receiving remains.

Opinion 07-7

Discusses the circumstances under which the Rule requires that embalming performed by another funeral home or a third party provider be listed on the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services as a cash advance item.

Opinion 07-8

Clarifies that the Rule's prohibition of casket storage fees discussed in Opinion 07-4 applies only to "at need" arrangements, and not to "pre-need" arrangements.

Opinion 07-9

Discusses the use of computerized displays of casket prices to comply with the Funeral Rule's casket price list requirement.

Opinion 07-10

Discusses the circumstances under which the Rule requires funeral providers to list "direct cremation" on their price lists, including whether the disclosure must be made if the provider offers only cremation packages, not direct cremation as defined by the Rule.


Opinion 04-1

Reaffirms earlier staff advisory opinion that a funeral home may not make consumers sign for third-party caskets.

Opinion 04-2

Discusses use of a NFDA-designed receipt for third-party caskets.

Opinion 04-3

Discusses what funeral goods and services must be separately itemized on the General Price List; under what circumstances items may be listed as “no charge”; whether funeral providers may use separate General Price Lists for funerals for children; whether the cost of cremation must be included in the price for direct cremation.


Opinion 99-1

Discusses whether an alternative General Price List may be used for certain religious groups.


Opinion 98-1

Discusses applicability of Louisiana law to the Funeral Rule, and the retail sale of caskets.


Opinion 97-1

Discusses whether alternative General Price Lists can be used for certain groups; whether funeral providers may charge translator fees; and whether the General Price List must be in English.

Opinion 97-2

Discusses Funeral Rule’s requirements for itemization of charges, disclosure of service charges, and whether a private right of action exists under the Rule.

Opinion 97-3

Discusses under what circumstances funeral providers may offer discounts for casket purchases.

Opinion 97-4

Discusses whether a fee may be charged for required identification viewing, and the applicability of the Funeral Rule to mandatory identification viewing.


Opinion 96-1

Discusses whether additional information in the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services may be provided.


Opinion 95-1

Discusses whether a group of funeral homes may use a consolidated General Price List and whether the Funeral Rule applies to pricing issues.

Opinion 95-2

States staff view that discount packages may not discount the basic services fee, that fees for washing and disinfection may not be charged unless required by applicable law, and discusses how fees for off-site and on-site viewing should be described.

Opinion 95-3

Discusses whether a funeral home is obligated to sell caskets without providing any funeral services.

Opinion 95-4

Discusses whether a sales agent representing several funeral providers may use a single generic General Price List.

Opinion 95-5

Discusses when fees for basic services of funeral director and staff may be charged.


Opinion 94-1

Discusses the applicability of the Funeral Rule to a company that launches remains into space.

Opinion 94-2

Concludes that the basic services fee may not be discounted; that consumers may add additional items to direct cremation, immediate burial, and forwarding and receiving remains without necessarily paying the full basic services fee;  that the Rule requires disclosure of separate prices on the general price list for on-site and off-site visitation and funeral services, even if the price is the same; and that funeral providers may not charge a non-declinable washing and disinfection fee for handling un-embalmed remains.