Karl A. Racine (Courtesy photo)
Karl A. Racine (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine called on six funeral homes throughout the District to fully comply with the city’s emergency COVID-19 law, which requires funeral homes to include pricing information about funeral goods and services on their websites.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic raged in 2020, my office proposed, and the Council approved, emergency legislation requiring D.C. funeral homes to display their pricing in a clear and transparent manner. This requirement ensured that consumers confronting the death of loved ones would not have to navigate the complex and ambiguous pricing associated with end-of-life services. This was the right thing then and is the right thing whenever consumers have to navigate the purchase of these necessary services during their most emotionally challenging time,” Racine said.

“Simply put, decency requires that consumers who need to make arrangements for funeral services deserve to know exactly how much it will cost them. I’m proud we enacted a strong law at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that funeral homes are transparent about their pricing and make that information easily accessible to consumers. With the emergency law expiring this week, we are working to push funeral homes to not only comply with it but continue to treat consumers fairly and honestly. I respectfully urge the Council to make these protections permanent,” he said.

Racine specifically warned the six funeral homes to follow the law and be transparent about their prices by clearly and visibly posting their pricing information on their websites — including their general price list, their casket price list, and their outer burial container price list. He also warned that the funeral homes must clearly and visibly post the Funeral Bill of Rights on their websites.

In May 2020, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) alerted District residents about the new Funeral Services Consumer Protections which required funeral homes to post their prices online for the first time. These consumer protections were included in the District’s COVID-19 emergency legislation that became law and is still in effect. The provision required funeral businesses to notify consumers of their rights, including the right to choose individual goods and services rather than purchasing a preselected set of goods and services. It also gave consumers the right to purchase less expensive caskets from sources other than funeral homes.

Go to www.oag.dc.gov to learn more.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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