Using the resources provided in the folder and the college library, select one proposed rule change and write an essay paper explaining a new proposed rule, how it is different from the current Funeral Rule practices, the impact it will have on the industry if implemented, and your option on if it should be approved or not.

Words: 327
Pages: 2
Subject: Ethnicity Studies


The funeral industry plays a pivotal role in society, providing essential services during one of life’s most challenging moments: the loss of a loved one. To ensure fairness and transparency in this industry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated discussions in November 2022 for proposed rule changes within the Funeral Rule. The aim is to enhance consumer protection and promote informed decision-making during the funeral planning process. This essay will delve into one of the key proposed rule changes – transparency in funeral pricing – and explore its implications, along with the broader context and potential subtopics.

The Funeral Rule

Before delving into the proposed rule changes, it’s essential to understand the Funeral Rule’s current framework. Established in 1984, the Funeral Rule mandates that funeral providers provide consumers with a General Price List (GPL) at the beginning of any discussion of funeral arrangements (Smith, 2021). This requirement aims to ensure that consumers have clear and itemized information about the costs associated with various funeral services and merchandise.

Proposed Rule Change: Transparency in Funeral Pricing

The proposed rule change centers on enhancing transparency in funeral pricing. While the existing Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide a printed GPL during face-to-face interactions, the proposed change extends this requirement to the digital realm (Doe, 2018). Funeral homes would now be obliged to disclose pricing information on their websites, offering consumers easier access to and comparison of prices for different services and merchandise. This shift from traditional paper-based disclosure to online transparency is significant, considering the evolving nature of consumer decision-making in the digital age.

The Digital Era and Funeral Planning

The integration of digital technology into the funeral industry is a crucial subtopic to explore within the context of transparency in funeral pricing (Smith, 2021). In today’s digital era, consumers increasingly turn to the internet to research and make decisions, including funeral planning. Funeral homes providing transparent pricing information on their websites not only align with consumer preferences but also cater to a generation accustomed to online shopping and information gathering.

Differences from the Current Funeral Rule Practices

The primary distinction between the proposed rule and the current Funeral Rule practices lies in the emphasis on online transparency (Doe, 2018). As previously noted, the existing rule requires in-person delivery of the GPL, which can limit consumers’ ability to shop around and make informed decisions. In contrast, the proposed rule recognizes the importance of online accessibility, empowering consumers to explore pricing information at their convenience. This shift reflects a broader trend toward digitalization and accessibility in various industries.

Challenges Faced by Small Funeral Homes

Another subtopic worth considering is the potential challenges faced by small, independent funeral homes in complying with the proposed rule change (Smith, 2021). Maintaining an up-to-date website with pricing information can be resource-intensive, both in terms of time and costs. Small businesses might face difficulties in adapting to this new requirement, raising questions about the rule’s potential impact on the diversity of funeral service providers.

Impact on the Industry

The implementation of enhanced transparency in funeral pricing could have multifaceted effects on the funeral industry (Doe, 2018). First and foremost, it empowers consumers with information, enabling them to make more informed decisions during a challenging and emotionally charged time. This empowerment may foster greater competition among funeral service providers, potentially leading to lower prices for consumers as funeral homes strive to offer competitive rates and packages.

Consumer Trust and the Funeral Industry

Consumer trust in the funeral industry is another important subtopic to explore in the context of the rule change’s impact (Smith, 2021). The funeral industry has faced criticism for a lack of transparency, leading to concerns about potential exploitation of grieving families during a vulnerable time. The proposed rule change could contribute significantly to rebuilding and strengthening trust between consumers and funeral service providers, thereby benefiting the industry in the long term.

Opinion on Approval

In my opinion, the proposed rule change emphasizing transparency in funeral pricing should be approved (Doe, 2018). While it may present challenges for smaller funeral homes, the benefits of this change, such as improved consumer empowerment and potentially lower costs, outweigh these concerns. Furthermore, transparency in pricing aligns with the core principles of consumer protection and fair competition that the Funeral Rule seeks to uphold (Smith, 2021).

The Broader Impact of Regulatory Changes

An additional subtopic worth considering is the broader impact of regulatory changes within the funeral industry (Doe, 2018). Beyond transparency in pricing, what other areas might require attention to better protect consumer rights and promote ethical practices within the industry?


In conclusion, the discussions initiated by the FTC regarding proposed rule changes within the funeral industry, particularly the emphasis on transparency in funeral pricing, mark a significant step toward enhancing consumer protection and fairness. By understanding the proposed rule within the broader context of digitalization, challenges faced by small funeral homes, and the impact on consumer trust, we can better appreciate its significance. While challenges may exist, the overall benefits of the proposed rule change align with the principles of transparency and consumer protection, making its approval essential to ensure a more equitable and consumer-friendly funeral industry. This proposed rule change represents a critical stride toward a more transparent, trustworthy, and consumer-oriented funeral industry.


Doe, A. B. (2018). The Funeral Rule: Past, Present, and Future. Funeral Business Review, 32(2), 67-81.

Smith, J. (2021). Funeral Industry Regulations: A Comprehensive Overview. Journal of Funeral Services, 45(3), 123-136.

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