You are not required to buy these products from the funeral home or cemetery that is handling the funeral services. To learn more about your rights read our article on the FTC’s Funeral Rule, a consumer protection regulation by the Federal Trade Commission.
Your options for funeral and memorial products include:
If the body will be buried, you will need to choose a casket. There are many types of caskets to accommodate varied tastes, sizes and budgets. They can be made of metals, woods, and fiberglass. The casket’s interior fabric can be of varied materials, colors and designs.
Most cemeteries require an outer burial container (i.e., burial vault) to place the casket in for burial. Their primary purpose is to support the soil. The minimum requirement is usually a concrete box. Burial vaults are more sophisticated enclosures that may be made of concrete and lined with plastic or metal. When the body will be entombed in a mausoleum, the cemetery does not require any container beyond the casket.
When cremation is the choice for final arrangements, an urn is needed to hold the ashes. Even if the family plans to scatter the ashes, a container will be needed to hold the ashes until the scattering takes place. Urns are available in marble, wood or metals such as bronze or steel. They can be personalized with engravings, military medallions, and emblems.
Grave markers can be made of stone such as granite or marble or metals, such as bronze. Memorials lie flush with the ground. Monuments sit upright and vary in size. Before purchasing a grave marker find out about your cemetery’s rules and regulations governing marker placement and type.
See A Guide to Buying Funeral Products for shopping tips as well as detailed descriptions and photos of your funeral product options.