|Survey Report Introduction|
According to the Federal Funeral Rule, funeral service providers are obligated to give a list of their prices to members of the public when asked. The list is referred to as a General Price List. It must contain many specific services and their costs.
The columns listed here are some items required by the Federal Funeral Rule. A few cells are blank because the provider did not include the item on the General Price List or we were unable to determine the charge for it with reasonable certainty. It is not always clear exactly what comprises some of the offered services. Consumers should make no assumptions based on General Price Lists, but are encouraged to inquire directly to the funeral provider for clarification, personal selections, and detailed explanations.
Explanation of Price Survey Columns
Basic Services: This is the so-called "non-declinable fee" and it covers the costs of doing business, which apply to any traditional funeral, but which are not readily allocated to any particular service or merchandise. The buyer of a traditional funeral starts with this figure and the cost of the selected services and merchandise are then added to it.
Embalming: This is self-explanatory. It is not legally required in most cases, but is often desired.
Other Preparations of the Body: We chose the price that includes only dressing, casketing, cosmetizing and hair dressing. This price does not include restoration or any other services that may be necessary.
Transfer of Remains: This is the cost of picking up the deceased from the place of death and transporting the body to the funeral home.
Viewing: This represents the charge for the use of staff and facilities for either viewing or visitations. There are many options in this category. We listed the lowest cost listed at each funeral home.
Funeral Ceremony: This is for the use of staff and facilities for a traditional funeral ceremony to be conducted by the funeral home. The price may be different if the ceremony is to be held in a church, private home, or other facility.
Memorial Service: This is for the use of the staff and facilities for a memorial service with or without the presence of the deceased.
Graveside Service: This charge is for the services of staff at a ceremony conducted in the cemetery, usually in conjunction with a burial.
Hearse: This is a charge for each use of the funeral coach (hearse).
Forwarding Remains: This is a rather complicated process of moving the deceased from a funeral home in Maine to another funeral home, frequently out-of-State. This price includes the cost of transportation only as far as the Maine shipping point - usually an airport.
Receiving Remains: The opposite of forwarding remains, this is the fee charged by the Maine funeral home for picking up the body at the Maine shipping point - frequently an airport - and handling it in accordance with law and good practice.
Direct Cremation: This is a so-called "package." The Basic Services fee does not apply to this package, nor do itemized fees (unless they are selected as "add-ons"). For this package, funeral homes typically pick up the body from the place of death, hold it for the required waiting period, obtain the needed permits, provide a fiberboard body container, transport the body to a crematory, pay the crematory fee, and arrange for the cremated remains to be delivered to a named recipient. Variations among providers include such details as travel distances, urns, crematory fees, and the preparation of obituaries.
Immediate Burial: This is also a "package" price. Since burial usually involves a casket, and since caskets vary greatly in quality, amenities and price, in most cases we have listed the range of prices given in the General Price Lists. To the best of our knowledge, none of these immediate burial prices include any cemetery costs, such as the purchase of a gravesite, opening and closing the grave, monuments or markers, etc.
Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maine particularly wants to thank these providers for supplying their General Price Lists. Some funeral homes that are not included on this chart did not comply with repeated requests for their information.