We recently conducted a comprehensive webinar delving into the intricacies of the FTC Funeral Rule, featuring our experts Nelson Thulin from Johnson Consulting Group, and  Poul Lemaster and Nicole Wiedeman from Dead Ringers. During the session, you had the opportunity to pose questions, and we’re here with the answers. Here is a breakdown of the most frequently asked-about topics: 


Inclusion Clarification

Utilizing “INCL” on pre-arrangement agreements is permissible under FTC guidelines, provided it’s transparent to all parties involved. While the FTC allows this shorthand, it’s considered best practice to itemize each component within a package for clarity and ease of understanding, ensuring transparency for families.


Internet Policies and Pricing Creativity

Presently, aside from California, there are no mandatory internet posting requirements for funeral homes. However, it’s anticipated that all price lists may eventually need to be published online, pending further directives from the FTC. As for innovative approaches to presenting pricing, success lies in transparently showcasing value to consumers, emphasizing that value doesn’t solely equate to lower costs.


Managing “Inc.” Items and Identifying Junk Fees

Clear identification of each selected item, even if part of a package, is advisable to address potential future discrepancies. “Junk fees,” as defined by the FTC, encompass hidden charges that can detrimentally impact consumers. Examples include last-minute fees for event tickets or undisclosed resort fees at hotels.


Resource Link for Funeral Rule Compliance

For funeral home staff seeking guidance on adhering to the Funeral Rule, the FTC provides an online download of the “Complying with the Funeral Rule” booklet. You can access it via this link: FTC Funeral Rule Compliance Guide


Direct Cremation Inquiry Handling

When fielding inquiries about direct cremation, it’s essential to communicate your pricing range, inclusive of options where the funeral home provides the alternative container and scenarios where the consumer may opt to provide their own. Referring to the FTC guidelines, an alternative container is described as enclosing the body and can be constructed from materials such as fiberboard or composition materials. A suggested approach for explaining your offerings might be: “Our direct cremation prices range from x to y, encompassing various container options. The alternative container we provide is cardboard, though we have other options available. Would you like to explore additional pricing choices with different containers?”

By adhering to these practices and leveraging available resources, funeral homes can navigate the complexities of the Funeral Rule while providing clarity and value to their clientele. We will continue to keep the profession updated on the latest FTC rulings and best practices as they finalize. Contact our team with any questions. 

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About Johnson Consulting Group:

Johnson Consulting Group is dedicated to providing comprehensive business solutions and tools to achieve heightened performance, profitability, and success within the funeral and cemetery industry. Our expert services encompass Succession Planning, selling funeral homes and cemeteries, financing solutions, business coaching, accounting services, funeral business performance analysiscustomer survey programs, Customer Experience workshops, incentive compensation plans, and Leadership and Management training.