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Funerals: $ or $$$$$          Resources

Last Updated:          January 9, 2014

The following resources are provided for benefit of Richland College (Emeritus Plus 50) Funeral Buying class members.

Others interested in becoming informed funeral consumers are welcome to use them.


If you have any questions, suggestions, or broken link reports, please send a message via EMAIL FORM.

Include Attention: Funeral Buying Class in the subject line.



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Responsibilities of the Funeral Consumer
Funeral Rule (Federal Trade Commission "FTC")
How to Read a General Price List (GPL)
Funeral Types
Funeral Costs
Homework Assignment

* Funeral Consumers - What Are Our Responsibilities?

* What is the Funeral Rule?

* Shopping for Funeral Services (FTC)

* Funeral Home General Price List (GPL)

Useful Definitions

How to Read

Sample GPL (DFW Area Funeral  Home)

* Veterans

Burial & Memorial Benefits

Toll Free Numbers for Contacting VA

Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery

* Willed Body Programs (Dallas - Fort Worth)

Baylor College of Dentistry - Dallas

Parker University (Chiropractic) - Dallas

UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas

University of North Texas Health Science Center - Fort Worth

* Anatomical Donation

LifeLegacy Foundation

"A different kind of whole-body donation program" - evaluation of LifeLegacy Foundation by the Austin Memorial
and Burial Information Society [FCA Affiliate in Austin TX]: Creative Choices, Fall 2006 Newsletter, Page 1

* Disposition of Indigent/Unclaimed Decedents in Dallas County - Who is Responsible?

* Home Funeral (a.k.a. "Home-Directed")

What is a Home Funeral?

Home Funerals are legal in Texas

How to Do a Home Funeral in Texas

Sacred Crossings: Emotionally powerful.  Captures the essence of a Home Funeral (VIDEO: 4 min 42 sec)

* Immediate Burial

* Cremation

What are the Cremation Rates in the U.S.?

Direct Cremation - Elements ** Must Read **

Is it Legal to Scatter Ashes From Cremation?

Rising Trend Brings Rising Questions on Pricing

DFW Low Cost Cremations (Under $1,000)

* Full Service Funerals

What is a Full Service ("Traditional") Funeral?

Most Commonly Selected Services

What Do Funeral Home Costs Include (Full Service, Immediate Burial, or Cremation)?

National Average Cost of an Full Service Funeral (2012)

* Cemetery Purchases - Consumer's Guide

* Facts About Funerals (Consumer Brochure - Texas Funeral Service Commission)

* Homework Assignment



Homework Feedback
Who Controls Your Final Disposition?
Implementing Your Funeral Decision
Financing Your Funeral

* Who has the legal right to control my final body disposition?

* Prior to death .....

May I declare in a legally binding document my wishes for final body disposition?

May I appoint an agent to make all decisions about my final body disposition?

What information does my family need to fill out my death certificate?

* Death Certificate

Documenting Death -- The Certificate

U.S. Standard Death Certificate

Who issues death certificates in Dallas County, Texas?

Vital Information Required for Death Certificate

* 5 Major Ways to Finance a Funeral

* Prepaid Funeral Insurance

What does the Texas Department of Insurance say?

What does Consumer Reports Magazine say?

Prepaid Funeral Contracts (Texas Department of Banking)

Information About Prepaid Funeral Planning (Consumer Brochure - Texas Department of Banking)


* Body Disposition Authorization Affidavit (FORM)

* Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains (FORM)

* Information Required for Death Certificate (LIST)



* Funeral Consumers Alliance "FCA" (National)

* FUNERAL PLANNING KIT: Before I Go, You Should Know (FCA Bookstore)

* Frequently Asked Questions

* Four-Step Funeral Planning: Where to Start When You Don't Know How to Start!

* Need to Ship Body or Remains? Helpful Information From the National Funeral Directors Association.

* The 8 "Must Dos" Of Funeral Planning

* Ten Tips for Saving Funeral $$$

* Was the Funeral Home Ethical?

* Expert Video Advice - Dan Redmond (Cemetery & Funeral Inspector, California Dept. of Consumer Affairs)



* Fancy Funerals - Lyrics - Lucinda Williams' Album "West"

* Embalming - a U.S. History Lesson

* The Ancient Process of Cremation (VIDEO: 14 min 8 sec)

* Dead Bodies and Disease: The "Danger" That Doesn’t Exist

* Funeral Savings - CBS News (VIDEO: 2 min 56 sec)

* Be wary of pre-paid funeral plans - News 8 Austin (VIDEO: 2 min 12 sec)

* Prepaid Funeral Plans Can Be a R.I.P.-Off (Kiplinger - 18 Nov 2011)

* When Prepaid Funeral Plans Are Wealth Killers (Wall Street Journal - 22 May 2010)

* Should you pass on burial insurance? (BankRate.com, 31 Oct 2011)

* Prepaid Funerals - Position Statement of the Funeral Consumers Alliance (National)

* The Business of Death: the modern funeral - an economic and cultural monster (VIDEO: 3 min 28 sec)

* Green Burials and Home Funerals - Maine Public Broadcasting (VIDEO: 27 min 16 sec)

* Tissue (Anatomical) Donation

* Organ Donation - Texas (official state web site to register to be an organ, tissue, and eye donor.)

* The Daily Dirge: Funeral-related news bits from around the web


* Final Rights - Reclaiming the American Way of Death (FCA Bookstore)

Final Rights is the definitive book on the modern American funeral industry. Part exposé, part consumer manual, Final Rights will show you how to avoid the tricks of the funeral trade and find a send-off that fits your taste and your budget. Read the first chapter, free!



* Comic Strip - Pearls Before Swine - "I don't plan to die."

* Comic Strip - Wizard of Id - "Life is truly priceless.  Death, however ...."

* Comic Strip - Wizard of Id - "Shopping for a Casket"

* Comic Strip - Wizard of Id - "Funeral Business Depressing?"

* Comic Strip - Non Sequitur - "We can finally afford to die."


En Español - Información de la FTC para Consumidores

Comisión Federal de Comercio

* Buscar y comparar servicios fúnebres

* Deudas de familiares fallecidos

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