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FTC Basic Services Fee for Funeral Service and the GPL

 

The FTC Funeral Rule requires funeral service providers to inform consumers about any "basic services fee" (the fee for the professional services of the funeral director and staff) they will add to the total cost of the funeral arrangements.

This basic services fee could include a charge for the services performed in conducting the arrangements conference, planning the funeral, securing the necessary permits, preparing the notices, and coordinating the cemetery or crematory arrangements. This fee also may include overhead that has not been allocated elsewhere. These fees can be included on the General Price List (GPL) in one of two ways:

Option One

If the funeral service provider lists a separate basic services fee and the charge is non-declinable (the consumer does not have the option of declining the charge), the following disclosure must be included:

    "This fee for our basic services and overhead will be added to the total cost of the funeral arrangements you select. (This fee is already included in our charges for direct cremations, immediate burials, and forwarding or receiving remains.)"

If the funeral service provider selects this option, this disclosure must appear together with the price for the basic services and with a description of the services included for that price. (This disclosure cannot be made on a separate page or anywhere else on the GPL apart from the basic services price.)

If this basic services fee is non-declinable, the price also must include all charges for the recovery of overhead that are not allocated elsewhere. In this situation, the first sentence of the disclosure can include the phrase "and overhead" after the word "services," as shown above.

Option Two

Instead of charging a separate basic services fee, funeral service providers can include the services fee in their casket prices. With this alternative, they must make the following disclosure:

"Please note that a fee of (specify dollar amount) for the use of our basic services and overhead is included in the price of our caskets. This same fee shall be added to the total cost of your funeral arrangements if you provide the casket. Our services include (specify)."

If this option is used, the fee should include all charges for the recovery of overhead costs not allocated elsewhere, and the funeral service provider may add the phrase "and overhead" after the word "services" in the first sentence. The disclosure must appear on the GPL together with the prices for the individual caskets or together with the casket price range if there's a separate Casket Price List.

 

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