|As a funeral counselor in California, I know we cannot charge a handling fee for caskets purchased somewhere else. But, can we ask the familu to sign a waiver saying we will not be responsible for anything that goes wrong. e.g. handles breaking off or the remains not fitting because he casket is narrower than normal. great site!|
|Okay, first the disclaimer. We can not and do not provide legal advice on any subject on this website. Our answers are restricted to general information in response to visitors' inquiries about topics involving funeral service.
That said, my answer would be to refer you to several opinions provided by the FTC regarding this subject. The general rule, as I understand it, is that you can not require a family member to be present to accept delivery nor require any action that could be interpreted as discriminating against the consumer's right to purchase the casket from some other vendor or obstructing the consumer from making the purchase elsewhere. It's pretty obvious that any barrier you put up will draw scrutiny.
We haven't had to deal with the problem out here, but I did develop a plan, just in case. I have been told that delivery people for casket stores will generally not sign any kind of condition form. My plan is to simply videotape the arrival and delivery of any casket from an outside vendor, including an inspection. I don't know if it would work but it would resolve any problem about condition at delivery.
I don't think you can do anything about a narrow casket or defective construction. The doctrine is "caveat emptor", let the buyer beware.
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