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Choosing a funeral home
from the Information on funeral services "Association Française d'Information
Financing a funeral
When a death occurs,
there is no emergency : you have enough time to select a
The burial or cremation should be completed within 6 working days of
death, Sundays and holidays not included.
The departmental Prefect where the burial or cremation is to take place
may grant a deferral to this requirement.
arrangements : call and ask these 3 questions of potential
1) The cost of fees and procedures.
2) The price of :
- an oak
with burial in a cemetery).
equipped for cremation (ceremony with cremation).
a coffin* equipped and zinc
coated (for shipment abroad, according to regulations).
with inner lining, handles, plaque, screws, etc.
cost of a hearse and pallbearers, as well as the number of pallbearers.
In the case of transportation or repatriation : obtain the cost per
kilometre (return trip) or air transport.
REFUSE TO ANSWER YOUR TELEPHONE INQUIRIES OR EVADE THESE
ELIMINATE THAT BUSINESS FROM YOUR LIST.
quotes often hide double billing or fictitious services : "organizing the service or the
ceremony", "logistics for the eulogy"...
You may incur other expenses: publication in the press,
death announcement cards, flower arrangements, preservation care,
funeral parlour, monument, taxes, religious service, etc.
The questionnaire above and the rubric "Funeral
homes" (English and french langage) will help you to be selective.
extremely cautions of a business that resists giving clear and
Certain "regie" and commercial ventures are severely
criticized by the Conseil de la Concurrence
No large distibution
supermarket (Leclerc™, Auchan™, Carrefour™,
etc.) manages funeral homes or monumental masonry
See the rubric "Denunciation
by the Conseil de la Concurrence" (French langage)
It is a good idea to
have someone calm and sensible with you during the discussions.
Ask a friend or a neighbour to accompany
Placing the body in
the coffin usually takes place where the death occurred : home,
care centre, retirement home
No matter where the death
occurred, no one can impose the return of the remains to a family
residence or the transfer to a funeral parlour. In accordance with CGCT
(Section R. 2213-33 and R. 2213-35), the body may remain in a private
residence or a retirement home not belonging to the medico-social sector
and not tied to a health institution, for a period of 6 days.
is located in a medical institution, a hospice or a retirement home.
If the death occurs within the institution, the accommodation is free of
A "funeral parlour"
is a commercial institution managed by a funeral home.
Usual commercial names: Funeral Home or Funeral parlour, Funérarium®,
Maison Funéraire®, Athanée® ...
Transfer and stay in a funeral parlour are billed either to the family,
the hospital, the clinic, or the retirement home.
DO NOT LET
ANYONE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE
If a care
centre or a retirement home expresses their desire not to keep
the mortal remains:
sign an authorization for transportation of the body
without placement in a coffin if it does not stipulate
"Transfer required by the
Director of the institution, at no cost to the family"
call a society for transportation without placement in the
coffin to a funeral home.
This advice must be
followed with your specific requirements in mind.
See the rubric
Funeral parlours, transfer of the remains"
All terms should be
explained so you do not get mislead.
Master of ceremony,
- Funeral Director,
- Convoy Director,
|All mean the same thing.
An employee of the funeral home always takes charge of the
family in regards to protocol and organization. That person is
either a master of ceremony, or a pallbearer in charge. This
must be specified on the estimate!
- Preservation care,
- Somatic care,
- Cosmetic care,
- I.F.T. Care
|This involves the injection of large
quantities (6 - 10 liters) of a formaldehyde type substance, a procedure which
takes approximately 1.5 hours.
Attention: This does not include dressing or
application of make up nor is it just a needle as is sometimes
explained or understood.
After you have made a
request or to mandate a mortician :
you should receive a very
detailed estimate, free of charge with no obligation.
Do not accept a simple verbal response, a draft or an
approximate price scribbled on a business card.
Request an explanation of each cost item: an identical service or
product may be added more than once!
Demand a written description of the coffin (specie of wood, thickness,
colour, finish) and accessories.
If you accept the
conditions of the estimate that is given to you, a PURCHASE
ORDER is then drafted:
1) You are contracting that funeral home and you promise to pay the
2) Any change afterwards on the purchase order must be added to the
estimate in your possession, or a new
estimate must be made stipulating each and
every service and material.
by businesses often considered beyond reproach... by the
- Double billing
- High cost of services deliberately ill defined or
cost of homage, organization of the ceremony or
availability of logistics means, etc.
- Presentation of an inaccurate estimate.
See the rubric "Denunciation
by the Conseil de la Concurrence" (French langage)
Examples of arguments used to skirt legal
we are professionals, we will take care of everything; immediate
dispositions must be made; let's not talk money now out of respect for
the deceased; we have helped grieving families for generations, etc.
Our information line 01 45 44
90 03 will help you to confirm that the estimate(s) in your
hands does not contain errors, double billing or non-mandatory services
added without a detailed explanation.
In order for us to remain impartial and independent, we
do not wish to know
- the name of the funeral home,
- the town the call is coming from.
"guides" you may find in some town halls
Interest agreements may exist between town halls or
their syndicates and funeral homes
See the rubric "Commissionaires
and Agents" (French langage)
In France, since January 10,
1998 : any funeral home certified by a prefecture may be
The list of certified funeral homes must be posted for
public viewing in
- Town halls,
- Reception halls of mortuaries and private funeral parlours,
- Cemeteries conservation rooms.
A copy of this list must be handed to anyone upon request.
You can select the funeral
home, the mortician's care agency, the funeral transport company or the
monumental mason in the town, commune or region of your choice.
Consult also the Yellow Pages.
Resist and report
employees/agents biased in favour of one particular funeral home
Cold canvassing, at home, on public road, or in a public
building is forbidden.
Recommendation and canvassing :
Are forbidden and punishable by law :
- of six months to three years imprisonment,
- a fine of 914,69 to 45734,71 Euros,
- impeachment of civil rights and family rights,
- interdiction to hold public office or conduct professional
activity in the field the infraction was committed.
Have an ulterior motive and often benefit
Are responsible for higher costs, by several
hundreds of Euros.
Inform our organization
of any reprehensible activity.
Through the deceased's
The deceased's assets may cover funeral expenses.
With authorization from the family and with the agreement of the
banking establishment, an amount to a maximum of 3,049 Euros (20,000
FF) may be withdrawn by the funeral home from the account of the
deceased person. That amount will be deducted from the estate asset
upon presentation of the invoice.
(Section R. 2101 of the Code civil, instruction n° 92-67-K1-A3,
06/9/1992, nor: BUD R 92 00067 J)
By the notary.
A request of empowerment, countersigned by all the
senior heirs can be made.
Life insurance, death-funeral insurance, mutual
insurance or social security (in the case of death while performing
duties as an employee or professional or receiving unemployment
If the assets of a
deceased person are insufficient.
The children and the spouse must finance the
funerals of their relative, even if they renounce
These expenses constitute a maintenance debt the children must bear
proportional to their resources if the assets of the deceased parent
are insufficient (Cass.court, 1, May 14, 1992, appeal n°
The funeral expenses constitute a succession debt only if they
were "necessary". If the funeral takes on a
"de-luxe" character, the expenses are only incurred by the
person who initiated them (the amount retained in 2009 is about 1500 €, twenty-fourth of the maximum amount of the social security
In the event of death on a public road or in order to satisfy public
health requirements, a society for the transportation of mortal
remains may be requisitioned. The Mayor or the Director of Public
Prosecution may demand payment of transportation costs before
placement in the coffin.
(Code Général des Collectivités Territoriales, Sections
L.2212-2, 5° and L.2215-1)
Funeral of an indigent
The Mayor of the town or commune where the death
occurred will be responsible for the organization of the financing
of the funeral, taking in consideration, both of the deceased
person's wish (Official Gazette, November 17, 1887), and the cost
normally agreed and the governing laws.
Consult social services of the town hall.
The Mayor, calling upon a tribunal, may recover the cost of the
funerals from one of the children or from the spouse, only on
condition of his or her solvency.
Hot Line: 00 33 5 46 43 44 12
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