By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Did you know that there are laws governing funerals and viewings? Yup. You can’t avoid lawyers even in death.
Renato Garcia had been such a huge fan of superhero movies that when he died last month, his family believed that the best tribute to him would be to dress up his dead body in a Green Lantern costume and prop it up in a corner for his viewing. I’m sure that horror won’t give the kiddies nightmares.
Seems like there should be a law. Turns out, there are actually tons of laws regarding funerals.
The reason for that is because the death of a family member is one of the most emotional times in a person’s life and the people closest to the deceased are those who will be spending money to send him to his final farewell. As a result, the law has stepped in to protect people from being unfairly pushed into making expensive choices when they’re least capable of thinking through cost carefully and least likely to shop around for the best deal.
In addition to state laws, The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission allows you to compare prices among funeral homes and makes it possible for you to select the funeral arrangements you want at the home you use.
Funeral homes are required to give you price lists over the phone, and to tell you what services are included and what are not required – like embalming which is not required by law unless you are transporting a body across some state lines or if you want to prop that guy up and ready him for takeoff to his final destination.