NJSFDA Advocates for Funeral Directors in FTC Comments

NJSFDA Advocates for Funeral Directors in FTC Comments

The New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association has sent a 16-page response to a series of questions asked by the Federal Trade Commission as the FTC prepares to draft a number of changes to the Funeral Rule governing certain aspects of how funeral directors conduct their business.

Advocating for New Jersey’s funeral directors, the NJSFDA argued that any changes to the Funeral Rule not disrupt the ability to provide quality and timely services, place an undue financial burden on local funeral homes or place practitioners at risk of Rule violations because of technological issues.

Fifteen of the FTC’s 40 questions, which are part of the commission’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, concerned whether the federal government should require funeral homes to either place their General Price List and other price lists online or provide a “clearly labeled link” to the price lists on the online platforms where the funeral home maintains a social presence.

The NJSFDA acknowledged that the FTC was likely to require some form of online provision for price lists, so the association focused its comments on how to minimize the potential business disruptions the requirement could cause.

For example, in its answer to Question 3, regarding emailed requests for price lists generated from the funeral homes websites and whether a timeframe should be established for responding to such requests, the NJSFDA argued that requiring the price lists to be displayed on websites was sufficient.

“Codifying a process for funeral providers to respond to consumers within a specific timeframe puts an undue burden on funeral providers to incessantly monitor email accounts for GPL requests,” the NJSFDA wrote. “Additionally, with spam filters, email phishing and other technological influences that hinder timely communication between two parties, enacting such a rule could have unintended consequences and lead to compliance violations that are the result of technological factors out of the provider’s control.”

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Ask the Manager

The NJSFDA Manager of the Day program provides members with a resource for addressing and resolving problems that arise in the daily operations of their funeral homes. Here are some matters that were brought to the attention of the Manager of the Day in recent months.

Making Removals Without Authorization

A nursing home near our funeral home often calls us to make removals of patients, some of whom either have no next of kin or have relatives who have not been contacted. We have tried to be accommodating, even making the removals in the middle of...
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Can You Remove a Tattoo in Your Funeral Home?

I recently saw a story in The New York Times which said that “Funeral laws in 49 states–the exception is Washington–allow” the removal and preservation of tattoos. Does this mean I can do this in my funeral...
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Who Is Entitled to Receive Death Certificates?

I handled arrangements for a woman whose husband had the right to control her disposition. Now, the woman’s two sons from her first marriage are asking me to supply them with copies of her death certificate. Should I get copies for the sons?
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