There are two mandatory disclosures which all funeral homes will have to make on the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected. In addition, those funeral homes that mark up cash advance items will have to make an additional mandatory disclosure. The three disclosures are as follows:
The following mandatory disclosure must appear on the statement:
Charges are only for those items that you selected or that are required. If we are required by law or by a cemetery or crematory to use any items, we will explain the reasons in writing below." Funeral directors should be aware that the amended Funeral Rule revised the wording of the above disclosure. Therefore, ensure that the disclosure on your statement matches the wording quoted above. This mandatory disclosure may appear anywhere on the statement. Although most funeral homes place the mandatory disclosure at the beginning of the statement, you are free to print it anywhere on the statement. The companion requirement to this disclosure is the Rule provision which mandates that you list on the statement any legal, cemetery or crematory requirements which compel the consumer to purchase a specific good or service. For example, if state law required embalming or if the cemetery had a regulation which dictated that outer burial containers must be used, these requirements should be listed on the Statement. In order to provide a space for this listing and to remind the funeral director to make this disclosure, we recommend that the following be printed on each statement: "Legal, cemetery, crematory or other requirements compelling the purchase of any item listed above."
The mandatory disclosure set out below regarding approval for embalming must be made on the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected. As with the previous mandatory disclosure, it may be printed anywhere on the statement. The disclosure, as modified by the amended Funeral Rule, provides as follows: "If you selected a funeral that may require embalming, such as a funeral with viewing, you may have to pay for embalming. You do not have to pay for embalming you did not approve if you selected arrangements such as a direct cremation or immediate burial. If we charged you for embalming, we will explain why below." As with the previous disclosure concerning legal and cemetery requirements, the embalming approval disclosure also requires the funeral director to list on the statement the reason why embalming was performed. Therefore you should have a space on your statement for this disclosure. We suggest placing the following on your statement: "Reason for Embalming:____________________."
If a funeral home adds a surcharge to a cash advance item or if it receives and retains a rebate, commission or other discount from the supplier of the cash advance item that is not passed on to the consumer, the funeral home has marked up the cash advance. The amended Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to identify on the statement those particular cash advance items that were marked up. The required disclosure reads as follows: "We charge you for our services in obtaining: _____________________________________________." [specify cash advance items that are marked up] Whenever a funeral home marks up a cash advance item, it will have to identify that item at the end of the above disclosure. Of course, if a funeral home never marks up a cash advance item, it does not have to print this disclosure on its statement.
Please note that the funeral home does not have to identify the dollar amount of the markup. It merely has to indicate those cash advance items that are marked up. This disclosure must be made in immediate conjunction with the listing of the cash advance items. Therefore, we would advise that this disclosure be printed immediately below the listing of cash advance items on the statement.
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