Do I need to buy an urn from a funeral home?

People often wonder if they are required to buy an urn (or casket, for that matter) from the funeral home.

Do I need to buy an urn from a funeral home?

No. You do not need to buy an urn from the funeral home.

You are free to purchase an urn from anywhere and bring it to the funeral home or crematorium. According to the FTC's Funeral Rule, "the funeral provider may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket [or urn] you bought elsewhere."

From the FTC's Funeral Industry Practices Guide:

Most funeral providers are professionals who strive to serve their clients' needs and best interests. But some aren't. They may take advantage of their clients through inflated prices, overcharges, double charges or unnecessary services. Fortunately, there's a federal law that makes it easier for you to choose only those goods and services you want or need and to pay only for those you select, whether you are making arrangements pre-need or at need.

The Funeral Rule ensures your freedom to choose the goods and services you want, and who you want to buy them from

The Funeral Rule, created and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires funeral directors to give you itemized prices in person and, if you ask, over the phone. The Rule also requires funeral directors to give you other information about their goods and services.

For example, if you ask about funeral arrangements in person, the funeral home must give you a written price list to keep that shows the goods and services the home offers. If you want to buy a casket or outer burial container, the funeral provider must show you descriptions of the available selections and the prices before actually showing you the caskets.

Learn more about what you need (and don't need) to buy from a funeral home here.

Funeral home packages vs individual items

Many funeral providers offer various "packages" of commonly selected goods and services that make up a funeral.

But when you arrange for a funeral, you have the right to buy individual goods and services. This means that you do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want.

According to the Funeral Rule:

  • You have the right to choose the funeral goods and services you want (with some exceptions; for example, you have the pay the basic funeral home fee to cover their services).
  • The funeral provider must state this right in writing on the general price list.
  • If state or local law requires you to buy any particular item, the funeral provider must disclose it on the price list, with a reference to the specific law.
  • The funeral provider may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
  • A funeral provider that offers cremations must make alternative containers available.

More questions?

Call us, toll-free, at 877-900-5309.

Read next:

Where to buy cremation urns

Shop Cremation Urns at Urns Northwest

Here are some beautiful urns that will hold your loved one's remains while honoring their memory. These are comparable to what you might find at the funeral home, but often at much better prices.

Wood Urns

Lighthouse Inlay Art Cremation Urn for Ashes

Our timeless collection of 3-Dimensional Wood Inlay Art Urns has been our most popular series for nearly twenty years. We have many more designs in the collection, including flowers, hummingbirds, cardinals, bicycles, motorcycles, dolphins, sailing, fishing, howling wolves, and several additional lighthouse designs. There's nearly a hundred themes from which to choose. 

You can also browse all our wood urns here. Our wood urns collection includes styles ranging from simple and rustic to ornately intricate, all made with superior craftsmanship to honor your loved one.

Glass Urns

Glass Cremation Urns - Many Colors & Styles Available

These gorgeous hand-blown Glass Cremation Urns are true works of art. Colorful and sophisticated, each one is crafted to order right here in the Pacific Northwest, just for your loved one. Many styles and colors available.

Decorative Plaque Cremation Urns

Plaque Cremation Urns - Sailing

Here is a creative and unique memorial. It's a wall-mounted plaque that also doubles as a cremation urn. Made in Oregon, it can hold the ashes of an adult (over 200 cubic inches) between the front and back panels of the plaque, which includes a customized inscription.

This Sailing design is just one of many personalized themes in our original Memorial Plaque Urn series. Others include floral hearts, lovely memorial quotes, motorcycles, lovebirds, fishing, dragonflies, and many more.

Ceramic Urns

Ceramic Raku Urns

This dragonfly urn is available here. See more stunning memorials in our matchless Ceramic Urns Collection.

Marble Urns

Marble Cremation Urns

Shop our Marble & Stone Collection. This series has an abidingly elegant feel, a simple and classic shape available in many, many different color schemes and ideal for engraving a special "in loving memory" inscription.

Related: Memorial Quotes for Inscriptions, Epitaphs, & More