U.S. General Accounting Office

Survey of State Regulators - Regulation of Funeral Homes, Cemeteries, Crematories, Pre-Need Sales of Funeral Plans, and Third-Party Sellers of Funeral Goods (GAO-03-831SP)


This document presents the results of GAO’s survey of state regulators of the death care industry. To obtain the information on licensing, enforcement, and consumer protection for each of the five death care industry components within our scope - funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries, sellers of pre-need funeral plans, and sellers of third-party funeral goods - we developed five Web-based surveys. We sent these surveys to the state official(s) responsible for licensing and enforcement of state regulations of the five death care industry components covered in our review. At times, this meant sending surveys to a number of different officials or sending all five surveys to one official. Information about accessing the survey was provided via e-mail for those officials identified as being the appropriate contact for participating in the survey. The survey was activated on December 2, 2002 and it was available until March 7, 2003. To ensure security and data integrity, we provided each official with a username and password that allowed him or her to access and complete a questionnaire. We received responses from 48 states regarding funeral homes, 46 states regarding crematories, 45 states regarding cemeteries, 44 states regarding sellers of pre-need funeral plan sales, and 45 states regarding third party sales of funeral or cemetery goods. The survey results were then stratified by state and we show the results for the individual states that responded to the survey. Although respondents were asked to provide written comments to open-ended questions, these responses are not provided. A more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology and a discussion of the summary of the survey results are contained in our report entitled "Death Care Industry: Regulation Varies Across States and by Industry Segments" GAO-03-757. We conducted our survey work from December 2, 2002 through March 7, 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Table of Contents

Instructions for Viewing this Survey

How to View The Surveys

How to View the Responses for Each Question

How to Return to a Page That You Previously Visited

How to Make the Font Larger on Your Screen

Table of Contents