General Price List (GPL) Definitions

Checklists and Guides

Posted on October 28, 2014 by

Funeral Home General Price List Glossary (A-Z)

A General Price List (GPL) is a list of all the products and services that a funeral home offers for sale. It is comprised of an itemized lists of those products and services and may include "packages" of services and a Casket, Urn, and Outer Burial Price List as well.

4 Minimum Services

The four items the FTC’s Funeral Rule requires all GPL to contain. That includes:

  1. forwarding of remains

  2. receiving remains

  3. direct cremation

  4. immediate burial

Alternative Container

A minimum container usually made out of cardboard or fiberboard casket. Funeral homes are required to offer an alternative container for use with a cremation.

Basic Services Fee [of funeral director and staff and overhead]

The basic, non-declinable fee charged by the funeral home. This may include the time and space to make arrangements, cover overhead, filing of permits, certificates, and authorizations, sheltering of remains among other things. This is automatically included in the price of Direct Cremation, Immediate Burial, and Forwarding Remains and Receiving Remains.

Cash Advance Items List

A list provided by the funeral home containing funeral-related third-party items and services, requiring you to pay the funeral home in advance so they can represent you in making these purchases. Items commonly found here include flowers, clergy, the obituary Read more about common Cash Advance Items.


The placing of the body in the casket

Casket Prices

Also referred to as the Casket Price List (CPL), this list presents either individual or the range of prices for caskets involved in a burial or viewing with the choice of cremation

Crematory Fee (or Cremation Fee)

The fee for the actual process of cremation. This may or may not be included in the Direct Cremation fee. If it is not explicitaly stated, you should inquire whether it is included and if not, what the typical crematory fee is (expect $200-$400).

Direct cremation

The least expensive funeral option that gives families the most amount of flexibility. Direct Cremation is no-frills. The body is picked up and cremated following the death without a viewing or funeral service (which can be had anywhere at a later point in time). The cost includes the Basic Service Fee, transportation of remains to the crematory, and filing of necessary permits and certificates.The fee may or may not include the cost of cremation or refrigeration prior to cremation - it is wise to inquire whether these fees are included or extra.


The temporary preservation of a corpse from decay by use of arterial injections of a preservative (embalming fluid); Embalming is not required by law with very few exceptions. Temporary preservation via refrigeration or other cooling mechanisms are also options.

Forwarding of Remains (to another funeral home)

Price paid to the originating funeral when that funeral home prepares and transfers the remains of the deceased to another funeral home

Funeral ceremony, [Use of facilities and staff for…]

Price paid to the funeral home, staff, and funeral director for conducting the funeral ceremony

Graveside service, [Use of equipment and staff for…]

Price paid for the funeral home staff and for use of funeral home equipment when conducting graveside services. This does NOT include the cost of the grave, opening, closing, or perpetual care fees, which are arranged with the cemetery.

Hearse (also called a Funeral Coach)

A special limousine used for transportation of the deceased

Immediate burial

The least expensive burial option, Immediate Burial is an earth burial without a viewing or ceremony orchestrated by the funeral home. Similar to direct cremation, a memorial ceremony or celebration of life can take place anytime or anywhere after the burial occurs. This is also considered a green burial if a bio-degradable casket is chosen since no embalming takes place before the burial.

Itemized caskets, vaults, and urns for sale list

Relates to the Casket Price List, this is a component of the GPL that includes individual prices for selection of caskets, vaults, and urns for sale

Itemized merchandise for sale list

A component of the GPL, this section includes individual prices of funeral related products for sale such as stationary, jewelry, clothes, memorial items, etc.

Itemized price lists

A list of individual items and price options for customization of funeral services à-la-carte style


Transportation vehicle used for funeral attendees and family

Memorial service, [Use of facilities and staff for…]

The price paid to the funeral home for the use of their staff and location for a memorial service

Other preparations of the body

Hairdressing, casketing, makeup, dressing, washing of an unembalmed body, reconstruction…

Outer burial container prices

A component of the GPL, this section includes individual prices or the range of prices for vaults, liners, and other outer burial containers. Often an full list is available as well.

Packaged funeral services

A component of the GPL, this section includes the various packaged deals offered by the funeral home including complete coverage of basic funeral choices

Receiving remains from another funeral home

Price paid to the funeral home for receiving the remains prepared and transferred by another funeral home. Often this is the case when a death occurs out of state or if the burial is taking place in a location other than where the death occurred.

Rental Casket

A casket that a family may pay for when there is a viewing or service before cremation. Often times it looks like a traditional casket, but it is designed for temporarily holding and displaying the body before cremation. It does not get cremated - the body is removed along with the insert for the actual cremation. A new insert is replaced for future use.

Required disclosures

Disclosures required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be listed on the GPL for consumers. All disclosures are listed below:

  • Consumers may select only the goods and services they desired

  • Embalming is not required by law except in certain special cases

  • A “basic service fee” will be added to any items purchased

  • “Alternative containers,” such as those made of cardboard, are available for direct cremation

  • A Casket Price List is available (if not part of the GPL)

  • An Outer Burial Container (vault) Price List is available (if not part of the GPL)

Sanitary Care

Washing and preparation of an unembalmed body

Transfer of remains to funeral home

Price paid for the act of moving the remains from the home, hospital, or nursing facility to the funeral home

Viewing, [Use of facilities and staff for..]

Price paid to the funeral home and staff to conduct a public viewing of the deceased

For more in-depth help on reading, interpreting, and identifying a consumer-friendly General Price List, you can follow this link to an educational PDF provided by the Funeral Consumers Alliance at

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