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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Helpful Funeral Preparation Information

This is a topic no one wants to think about until it's something you have to think about.  Thanks to Joyce Mitchell from Funeral Consumers Alliance of Utah for the helpful scenario and information.

Video presentation found here:  Video about Funeral preparation

Heed this Cautionary True Story of a Utah Widow
Ring, Ring..

Volunteer: "Hello, This is ________ (name of volunteer)."

Volunteer: "Yes, how can I help you?"

Consumer: "I bought a funeral that I can't afford for my husband because a ‘Helpful Relative’ said he would pay for everything but now he refuses to pay."

Volunteer:  "I'm so sorry.  This is very common unfortunately. Did the mortuary show you prices as you went along during the purchase?"

Consumer:  "Well some, but I was afraid to say anything. I believe the helpful relative thought he would get a good deal since the Funeral Director is his cousin. I didn’t know what agreement they had so I was hesitant to be picky.  But I'm now willing to pay half if he would just follow through"

Volunteer: "Let me ask you two questions: According to Utah's Funeral Licensing Act the funeral home is obligated to hand the consumer a General Price List as soon as discussion of selections begins and it must be a copy that you can keep and take home with you.

So did the funeral director give both of you a price list to look over during the arrangements conference?"

Consumer: "No, I only saw an occasional price as pages of caskets were flipped and pictures of flower arrangements appeared...."

Volunteer: "Not good. One more question.  The FTC Funeral Rule tells Funeral Directors they must give each consumer a completed itemization of all Funeral Goods and Services Selected, with a final total, at the end of the arrangements discussion.

Did you both receive this final statement at the end of making selections?"

Consumer: "No, My Relative received it in the mail and then asked the mortuary to send it to me instead.  That's when I found out how much everything cost and that he expected me to pay.  I would have made more modest selections had I not felt pressured to please my Relative and his Funeral Director cousin."

Volunteer:  "Sounds like your relative was shocked by the price too. I recommend talking to the Funeral Director about what the law says he should have done with disclosures and see if he will reduce the cost."

The above scenario ended well, this time. This widow used the references I sent her to approach the Funeral Director. The mortuary halved the price of the funeral; And the Helpful Relative agreed to pay half of the new price. 

Please friends, do not let others' promise of funds or discounts influence you to spend more than you have in pocket.

See the 501C3 non-profit for actions you can take right now to be prepared for the day you find yourself or someone you love shopping for a funeral.

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