NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s State Funeral Board received 75 complaints in 2015 from consumers across the state. Actions varied from pre-planning funds not being deposited in the proper accounts to expired licenses.

In light of that, the state’s Department of Commerce and Insurance is reminding consumers how they can protect themselves at a time when their guard may be down.

Before doing business with any funeral home or cemetery, confirm they’re licensed with the state, resist pressures to buy goods and services you don’t really want or need and avoid emotional overspending.

By law, a funeral home must give you a general price list and show a casket price list to anyone who asks in person.

The state recommends you read contracts carefully and understand all the provisions.

Marsalis says a reputable company shouldn’t leave you wondering if you’re paying more than you should.

“Expect ethical treatment,” she stresses. “They should provide you with a written statement listing all the goods and services that you have purchased and the price of each item. They should be very upfront and you should not have to worry about certain questions.”

Marsalis and other experts emphasize that the best level of protection is to pre-plan funerals while you and your loved ones are still alive. That helps you remember them the way they’d want to be, without leaving behind unnecessary debt or uncertainty.

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