Am I Required by Law to Use a Funeral Home?
Does the law require the use of a funeral home to plan and facilitate a cremation or memorial service?
In most states, the short answer is: No. The law does not require you to use a funeral home.
Consumers are Protected by the Federal Trade Commission
Consumers have the right to purchase only the funeral goods and services that they want, under the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule.
Funeral homes and cremation service providers are also governed by state law.
Funeral homes and cremation service providers are governed by both state law as well as the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, which states that consumers have the right to purchase only the funeral goods and services that they want. They also have the option of having no services.
“DIY” Funerals vs. Using a Service Provider
Most families chose to use funeral homes because of the standard of care and regulations practiced at funeral homes- they are specialists who are equipped to provide services that include the handling and disposition of the deceased.
Someone who is choosing to provide an “at home” or “do it yourself” funeral service must follow the same laws and provide the same level of care for the body as would be expected by any funeral service practitioner.
Someone who chooses to provide an “at home” or “do it yourself” funeral service must follow the same laws and follow the same regulations.
While DIY Funerals Give You More Control, They May Not Be Practical
Most individuals and families do not have the facilities, ability, or desire to do a “DIY” funeral service,
However, although the law does not require families to use a funeral home, most families choose to use one because of the standard of care and regulations around the handling and disposition of the deceased.
A person choosing to provide “at home” or “do it yourself” funeral services must follow the same laws and provide the same level of care for the body as would be expected by any funeral service practitioner. Most individuals and families do not have the facilities, ability, or desire to do this.
Samantha Maiden, Service Manager of National Cremation in Tigard, Oregon stated:
“Death is already a very traumatic event. Trying to master all the details that a funeral home professional spends years learning, as well as sourcing all the documents and services that need to happen in a very short period of time, can make this time even more stressful. National Cremation Society’s caring team of trained professionals handles all these important details and saves families a lot of worry at a difficult time.”
These laws require the use of equipment and facilities that most private individuals do not have, thus, most families and individuals choose to use a funeral home such as National Cremation to provide these services.
What are the services that a funeral service practitioner is required to provide? A person acting as a funeral service practitioner must:
- File a written report within 24 hours of taking possession of the body.
- Obtain a signed death certificate from a medical practitioner within 48 hours, stating the cause of death.
- Complete the death certificate using information from the next of kin or best-qualified person and file with the county registrar within five days of taking custody of the body.
Although you are not required to hire a funeral director in most states, some states do require the employment of a funeral service in order to file a death certificate and to complete permits for cremation and transit.
The following states that require you to utilize the services of a funeral director include:
- New Jersey
- New York
Click here for more information on state laws for DIY Funerals.
To help families navigate all these details without having to become funeral experts themselves, National Cremation offers cost-effective and respectful cremation services that allow families to choose the services they want at a cost that meets their needs. You can be assured that all the legal and safety details will be handled professionally and appropriately in a way that honors your loved one. Contact us for more information today.
National Cremation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of simple and affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan your cremation services in advance, we’re always available to assist you and your family. Contact us online or call (855)-469-9474 today.