The Colorado Funeral Directors Association is supported primarily through annual membership dues.
CFDA members are funeral establishments such as funeral homes, mortuaries and crematories, and suppliers of funeral-service related products and services.
These members have pledged to adhere to CFDA's Code of Ethics and NFDA's Code of Professional Conduct.
The Colorado Funeral Service Board (CFSB) is a certification program administered by the CFDA for the advancement of professionalism within the funeral service industry in Colorado. CFSB certification is strictly voluntary and individuals may apply for a number of professional certifications. There are more than 180 individuals currently certified by the Colorado Funeral Service Board.
When choosing a funeral home, ask your Funeral Director if he/she is certified by the Colorado Funeral Service Board and ask to see their certificate.
Questions to Ask a Funeral DirectorWhen selecting a funeral home to help with final arrangements, experts recommend interviewing at least 3 Funeral Directors -- in person, if possible -- to compare their costs, services, and personal styles before making a final hiring decision. It can also be helpful to bring along a reliable friend or family member for moral support and for another opinion.
The funeral business has evolved from brick-and-mortar funeral establishments, to store-front shops in retail centers and funeral brokers that subcontract handling and arrangements to other funeral establishments.Here are a few questions to ask:
1. Does the funeral establishment have a physical location, i.e., its own building, a retail unit, or an office suite, etc.?
Always ask for the physical address of the establishment or crematory in Colorado where services are being performed. Be aware of businesses that advertise online for "low cost" cremation and funeral arrangements. These businesses often do NOT have a funeral establishment or crematory in Colorado, and usually sub-contract with a third-party to perform services at a deeply discounted "trade" rate. The savings is not passed on to the consumer who often pays substantially more than the online advertised price. Consumers are often unaware that their loved one is being cared for at an unknown third-party location.
2. What services are handled on the establishment's premises, such as funeral arrangements, embalming, cremation? Where are embalming and restorative services handled and who is performing them?
Many funeral establishments operate a care center in a separate location, or may outsource these services to a third-party provider. Colorado law requires that outside providers must be disclosed when you contract for funeral goods and services.
3. Does the establishment own and operate its own crematory, or is cremation handled at a third-party crematory?
4. What services are handled directly by employees of the funeral establishment?
5. What services are outsourced to other providers?
Transport, embalming and cremation are often handled by third-party providers. Request a contact list of all third-party providers; Colorado law requires that outside providers must be disclosed when you contract for funeral goods and services.
6. Always ask for a price list before you contract.
Federal law requires price information to be provide by telephone, and a funeral home must provide its General Price List when you visit the funeral home.
7. Is your Funeral Director certified by the Colorado Funeral Service Board?CFSB certification is a level of distinction that is awarded to select practitioners who have satisfied requirements based on formal education, career experience and supervised internship. Certification must be renewed each calendar year; ask your Funeral Director to see their CFSB certificate. Click here for a list of CFSB Certified Professionals.
The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), makes it possible for you to choose only those goods and services you want or need and to pay only for those you select, whether you are making arrangements when a death occurs or in advance. The Rule allows you to compare prices among funeral homes, and makes it possible for you to select the funeral arrangements you want at the home you use. (The Rule does not apply to third-party sellers, such as casket and monument dealers, or to cemeteries that lack an on-site funeral home.)
The Funeral Rule gives you the right to:
- Buy only the funeral arrangements you want. You have the right to buy separate goods (such as caskets) and services (such as embalming or a memorial service). You do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want.
- Get price information on the telephone. Funeral directors must give you price information on the telephone if you ask for it. You don’t have to give them your name, address, or telephone number first. Although they are not required to do so, many funeral homes mail their price lists, and some post them online.
- Get a written, itemized price list when you visit a funeral home. The funeral home must give you a General Price List (GPL) that is yours to keep. It lists all the items and services the home offers, and the cost of each one.
- See a written casket price list before you see the actual caskets. Sometimes, detailed casket price information is included on the funeral home’s GPL. More often, though, it’s provided on a separate casket price list. Get the price information before you see the caskets, so that you can ask about lower-priced products that may not be on display.
- See a written outer burial container price list. Outer burial containers are not required by state law anywhere in the U.S., but many cemeteries require them to prevent the grave from caving in. If the funeral home sells containers, but doesn’t list their prices on the GPL, you have the right to look at a separate container price list before you see the containers. If you don’t see the lower-priced containers listed, ask about them.
- Receive a written statement after you decide what you want, and before you pay. It should show exactly what you are buying and the cost of each item. The funeral home must give you a statement listing every good and service you have selected, the price of each, and the total cost immediately after you make the arrangements.
- Get an explanation in the written statement from the funeral home that describes any legal cemetery or crematory requirement that requires you to buy any funeral goods or services.
- Use an “alternative container” instead of a casket for cremation. No state or local law requires the use of a casket for cremation. A funeral home that offers cremations must tell you that alternative containers are available, and must make them available. They might be made of unfinished wood, pressed wood, fiberboard, or cardboard.
- Provide the funeral home with a casket or urn you buy elsewhere. The funeral provider cannot refuse to handle a casket or urn you bought online, at a local casket store, or somewhere else undefined or charge you a fee to do it. The funeral home cannot require you to be there when the casket or urn is delivered to them.
- Make funeral arrangements without embalming. No state law requires routine embalming for every death. Some states require embalming or refrigeration if the body is not buried or cremated within a certain time; some states don’t require it at all. In most cases, refrigeration is an acceptable alternative. In addition, you may choose services like direct cremation and immediate burial, which don’t require any form of preservation. Many funeral homes have a policy requiring embalming if the body is to be publicly viewed, but this is not required by law in most states. Ask if the funeral home offers private family viewing without embalming. If some form of preservation is a practical necessity, ask the funeral home if refrigeration is available. (Note: Colorado law states that a body must be embalmed or refrigerated within 24 hours after death occurs.)
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