Hidden Funeral Prices: An Evaluation of California Funeral Home Price Disclosure and Lack of Disclosure

Research of California funeral homes in urban areas reveals that one quarter of funeral home use a loophole in state law to hide their funeral prices. The report goes onto also identify six funeral homes that appear to violate the law by neither posting prices nor utilizing the law’s loophole. In 2013, California updated its funeral disclosure requirement for state funeral homes by requiring them to post prices online.  However, faced with intense industry lobbying, the legislature created a loophole that allowed funeral homes to comply with the law by listing 16 types of services and merchandise then adding the note about a price list being available on request.  The law did not define what this availability meant, nor did it require homes using the loophole to make available their price list in response to phone or email requests.

The report identified the 45 percent of funeral homes surveyed that prominently display their complete price and service lists.