Once your loved one’s body is in the appropriate place and your support system is there, you have a few days to take the next steps. This will include planning the final goodbye, which includes contacting those beyond immediate family, decisions about ways to honor, celebrate, and remember your loved one, and their final resting place.
This process could take as much as a week or more, so it is important to take this into consideration when making plans. For example, embalming is usually required if burial or cremation will not take place within a week of death.
Although not legally required in more than half of states, these decisions should reflect your loved one’s wishes. In addition to reflecting their wishes, there are many ways you can personalize funerals and burials to reflect their life, personality, and beliefs. There will be practical considerations, such as cost and availability.
When planning, it is important to know that you are protected by the Federal Funeral Rule, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Funeral Rule outlines your rights concerning interactions with funeral homes. Unfortunately, these rules do not apply to non-funeral home vendors and cemeteries.
The Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to supply you with certain information and grants you rights to a number of options that you can choose or refuse.
The information you are entitled to receive includes:
The funeral home must grant you the following rights:
Funeral homes are prohibited from claiming that the burial container will prevent water, dirt, or other debris from getting into the casket to prevent decomposition.