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When Looking for Funeral Services, Be Wary

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Listed here are some questions and answers about cremation and funeral services:

Mr. Slocum of the Funeral Consumers Alliance recommends contacting several providers — upfront if possible, so you’ll be able to consider the choices without pressure. Ask for the placement of the cremation center and request a visit.

Bear in mind, he said, that cremation sites in the US are sometimes not in the identical location because the funeral home, and might not be designed for consumer tours. But when a provider refuses to supply even an address, he said, consider it a red flag: “That’s a deal breaker.”

There are “susceptible moments” when individuals are at higher risk of becoming a victim of fraud, a study by AARP found. Having a recent stressful life event — just like the lack of a loved one — can increase that risk, said Kathy Stokes, director of fraud prevention programs at AARP.

“In case your life situation already has you ‘under the ether,’” she said, then “it’s day for the criminal or the dishonest salesperson.”

The F.T.C.’s Funeral Rule predates the web and doesn’t require online price disclosure, nor do most states. The F.T.C. has been reviewing the rule for possible updates, including changes to make it more relevant for the digital age. Public comments on the rule closed in June 2020, however the agency has not announced further steps.

Yes. As a part of the federal government’s pandemic relief effort, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying as much as $9,000 in funeral expenses per Covid-related death for those who occurred after Jan. 20, 2020. As of early May, the agency says, it has paid $2.3 billion toward the funerals of greater than 369,000 individuals who died from Covid-19. Applicants can call 844-684-6333. There isn’t any application fee.

Last yr, the federal government issued a warning about fraud related to the funeral advantages, noting that FEMA had reports of individuals receiving calls from strangers offering to assist them “register” for advantages. “It’s unlucky but you will have to be in your guard,” Ms. Stokes said.

FEMA won’t contact anyone until the person has called and applied for help, the warning said: “Anyone who contacts you out of the blue and claims to be a federal worker or from FEMA is a scammer.” Don’t give personal details about yourself or the deceased person to unknown callers, the agency advised. You possibly can file complaints at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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