Estate Planning: The Funeral Rule

You have already prepared a will; a living will and advance directives; and perhaps an ethical will. Now is your opportunity to prepare a letter of last instruction which can provide your heirs with important information on your funeral arrangements.

The federal law makes it easier for you to choose and pay for only the products and services you want or need when planning a funeral. The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires funeral directors to give you itemized prices in person, and if you ask, over the phone.

Planning ahead is the best way to make informed decisions about funeral arrangements. An advance plan also spares your family from making quick choices during the time of grief. Comparison shopping, either in person or by phone, can save you money or is much easier when done in advance.

For more information and a complete copy of the Funeral Rule go to, and


Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original sources to discuss

  • The cost of a traditional burial, including a casket and vault.
  • Do funeral providers take advantage of clients by insisting on unnecessary services and overcharging consumers?

Discussion Questions

1. Why should one consider making funeral arrangements in advance?

2. Are you obligated to buy a package plan which includes products and services that are most commonly sold by funeral directors?

Categories: Chapter_14, Estate Planning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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