Warning Signs You're Being Overcharged for a Funeral | Belt, Bruner & Barnett Personal Injury Lawyers

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Warning Signs You’re Being Overcharged for a Funeral

Feb 26, 2023 | Funeral Home

The loss of a loved one is always difficult to cope with. However, no one ever expects to be scammed or taken advantage of by the funeral home. Unfortunately, funeral home violations are more common than you might have thought.

Many funeral homes attempt to further their financial interests at the expense of families in mourning. Recognizing the signs of misconduct can be challenging, mainly if you have never dealt with the death of a loved one before.

How to Know You're Being Overcharged at a Funeral Home

When you are working with a funeral home to lay your loved one to rest, here are some of the warning signs you should be looking out for:

Failing to Show You an Itemized Price List

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for regulating funeral homes. According to the Funeral Rule, funeral homes are required to show you an itemized price list before you make arrangements.

Any funeral home that does not offer to show you an itemized price list may attempt to defraud you, overcharge you, or take advantage of you during this difficult time.

Rushing You To Decide

No one should ever be rushed into decisions regarding funeral arrangements. Generally, when your loved one is taken to a coroner or morgue, you will have at least a few days to make your decisions. If a funeral director is pressuring you into making a decision quickly, this may be a sign of a scam.

Guilting You Into Spending More

If a funeral director attempts to make you feel guilty when you do not go with their most expensive services, this is a sure sign you are being taken advantage of.

They could push you to buy unnecessary services, more expensive caskets with pointless features, or they might try to convince you you’re being irresponsible for going with a more cost-friendly funeral.

Pressuring You Into Embalming

No state or federal law requires you to embalm your loved one. In some instances, the FTC may require embalming if a person has not been cremated or buried within a specific time.

However, embalming is not something you should be pressured into. If a funeral home makes it seem like this is a requirement or is pressuring you into embalming when it is not necessary, you may need to be leery of being scammed.

How to Avoid Being Scammed By a Funeral Home

If you are hoping to avoid being scammed when dealing with the funeral home, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself. These include:

  • Understanding how prepaid funerals work and the regulations associated with them
  • Figure out what the prepaid funeral cancellation policy is and the steps you will take if the funeral home does not deliver when your family member passes away
  • Consider purchasing your family member’s urn or casket locally instead of through a funeral home
  • Make sure to obtain a copy of your funeral receipt when buying in advance
  • Never divulge the maximum amount of money you are hoping to spend on a funeral, as the funeral director will likely attempt to push your budget to the max
  • Be prepared to call and speak with multiple funeral homes before your final decision
  • Make sure you understand the details of your funeral contract
  • Learn how state laws will protect you if the funeral home goes out of business before the funeral you paid for is held
  • Never let yourself be pressured into spending more than you want to
  • Do not allow the funeral home to pressure you into purchasing a casket if you are going with cremation

These are just a few different ways to protect yourself from being taken advantage of during such a sensitive time in your life. Suppose you have concerns that you have already been taken advantage of. In that case, you may need the legal support of an Alabama personal injury lawyer to help you recover your damages and get justice.

Get Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer in Alabama Today

Do you suspect you have been taken advantage of by the funeral home? Are you anxious to hold them accountable and recover the compensation that is rightfully yours?

If so, reach out to an experienced and aggressive Alabama personal injury lawyer at Belt, Bruner & Barnett, PC. Our firm offers complimentary consultations to victims across the state of Alabama. Claim yours by calling our office at (205) 933-1500 or filling out our quick contact form today.