Monday, January 15, 2007

R.I.P. Law

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute".

Just when you thought there were more than enough laws out there, we have a category of law that consists of funeral rules. Those making funeral arrangements for a loved one are under emotional stress and time constraints due to the short notice required for the planning. As a result, people are vulnerable to making poor business and financial decisions during such a time. So, in order to prevent funeral homes from taking advantage of their customers’ situations, the FTC passed regulations known as the “Funeral Rule”. The Funeral Rule is designed to protect people making funeral arrangements and to inform them of the economic choices they have in planning a ceremony. The Rule requires funeral providers to give their customers an accurate, itemized price list about funeral goods and services. It also prevents funeral providers from misrepresenting legal, crematory, and cemetery requirements; embalming for a fee without permission; requiring the purchase of a casket for direct cremation and so on. If funeral providers violate the Rule, they can be subject to penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.