How are Funeral Directors Regulated?

The New York State Department of Health is responsible for the regulation of all funeral-directing activities in the state.

The FTC also regulates funeral services. When areas of misunderstanding occur, the consumer should discuss problems with the funeral director first. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the consumer may wish to contact the Funeral Service Consumer Assistance Program.

FSCAP provides information, mediates disputes, provides arbitration, and maintains a consumer guarantee fund for reimbursement of services rendered. (To contact FSCAP, call 708-827-6337 or 800-662-7666)

How can I make sure my funeral arrangements are carried out according to my wishes?

Pre-arranging a funeral is one of the more thoughtful decisions an individual can make for his or her survivors. It ensures that your funeral preferences and desires will be respected upon your death.

To make informed choices, you should know what you want; how much you can afford to pay; what guarantees are provided on merchandise and services; what happens if you move and want to change funeral homes; the tax consequence of the funding arrangements, if any; and if you are protected against inflation.

Your selections and preferences will determine the cost. You may elect to pre-fund the cost through insurance or a special burial fund. Most funeral directors offer inflation-proof funding vehicles that allow you to arrange exactly the kind of service you desire, at today‘s prices, and be assured of adequate funds at the time of need.

How do I find a funeral home that will offer the best quality professional services at the best value?

Most funeral homes have been established in their communities for some time. By asking your clergyman, community leaders, neighbors or friends, you can determine which funeral homes have earned a good reputation for service in the community. Then visit a funeral home of your choice. Be sure to ask candid questions about staff, costs, facilities and reputation. Feel free to compare funeral homes before choosing one that offers the services and facilities that are important to you.