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The Grim Reader, December 2012 The Grim Reader, December 2012

Date added: 12/03/2012
Date modified: 12/03/2012
Filesize: 112.65 kB
Downloads: 5768

Inaugural Issue!

  • 5 Ways to Fail at Funerals
  • 4-Step Funeral Planning
  • Safety Coffins
  • Funeral Planning on the Fly

Summer/Fall 2009 Newsletter Summer/Fall 2009 Newsletter

Date added: 04/13/2010
Date modified: 04/13/2010
Filesize: 258.09 kB
Downloads: 5876
  • FCA testifies to Congress to ask for expansion of consumer protection rules to cover  cemeteries nationwide
  • Who's eligible to serve on a Funeral Consumers Alliance board? - preventing conflicts of interest
  • FCA National Board member appointed to New York State funeral regulatory board
  • FCA of North Texas helps rewrite state regulations to better protect preneed funeral consumers
  • Membership cards - Love 'em or Leave 'em?
  • Federal court dismisses undertaker Thomas Lynch's libel suit against FCA

Summer 2012 Newsletter Summer 2012 Newsletter

Date added: 10/31/2012
Date modified: 10/31/2012
Filesize: 553.37 kB
Downloads: 4037
  • Post-conference report
  • Changing of the guard—term limit your board and bring on new blood
  • State-specific brochures on funeral consumer rights
  • No more discounts—more FCAs find prices on the open market are just as good
  • Citizen activism—Oregon volunteers keep regulatory board balanced, not dominated by industry
  • Helping consumers and members help themselves
  • The end of cyber-life

Summer 2010 Newsletter Summer 2010 Newsletter

Date added: 11/19/2010
Date modified: 11/19/2010
Filesize: 457 kB
Downloads: 5623
  • Round-up of the 2010 Biennial Conference featuring author Robert Fulghum
  • Introducing new FCA board members Tracy Fritz, Joyce Mitchell, Rodger Ericson and Don Mertic
  • Consumer-Industry Cooperation Part I - how FCA and the Vermont Funeral Directors Association are working together
  • Consumer-Industry Cooperation Part II - how the FCA of Nevada convinced local funeral homes to clarify their consumer price lists
  • Popping "The Other Question" - talking to your parents about funeral arrangements
  • Virginia lawmakers require funeral homes to offer refrigeration, not just embalming
  • California Funeral Directors Association Master Trust accused of misusing $70 million in consumers' prepaid funeral money for lobbying, trade show junkets

Summer 2008 Newsletter Summer 2008 Newsletter

Date added: 07/25/2008
Date modified: 05/27/2009
Filesize: 621 kB
Downloads: 7169
  • Recap of 2008 FCA national biennial conference - highest attendance ever
  • Welcome to the newest member of the federation, FCA of the Piedmont (North Carolina)
  • Time's up - quirky hour-glass urns
  • Legislative watch
  • Report from the leading edge - FCA of Maryland attends workshop on family-directed, mortuary-free funerals
  • How to build a better board - a manual for recruiting and retaining energetic volunteers with new ideas and commitment
  • FCA announces Web 2.0 - an introduction to our new website and how to use it
  • 5 Hospice Myths - Vanity Fair writer and blogger Judy Bachrach dispenses salty, funny, and useful advice on hospice care
  • Billion-dollar preneed meltdown - National Prearranged Services goes belly-up; taken over by court receiver, leaving prepaid funeral consumers with questions

Summer 2007 Newsletter Summer 2007 Newsletter

Date added: 07/01/2007
Date modified: 05/27/2009
Filesize: 268.34 kB
Downloads: 7723
  • Funerals go co-op - Peoples Memorial Association opens largest nonprofit, member-owned funeral business in the nation
  • FCA affiliates (and all small nonprofits) need to complete IRS e-postcard yearly
  • Accountability 101 - basic standards for cooperating funeral homes that serve FCA affiliates and members
  • The Funeral Director's Guide to Consumer-Friendly Price Lists - an FCA manual for funeral homes
  • Defending your last rights - FCA and Muslim advocacy group defend Nevadans' rights to private burials by religious congregations
  • Public viewing without embalming - separating fact from fiction, and how to assert your right to decline embalming
  • Federal Trade Commission issues four advisory opinions affecting funeral consumer rights

Summer 2006 Newsletter Summer 2006 Newsletter

Date added: 07/01/2006
Date modified: 05/27/2009
Filesize: 200.96 kB
Downloads: 7054
  • Recap of FCA national Biennial Conference
  • Newly elected FCA Board of Directors
  • Legislative watch
  • Preneed fraud
  • The Undertaker's Burden - humorous industry self-promotion

Spring, 2007 Newsletter Spring, 2007 Newsletter

Date added: 04/01/2007
Date modified: 05/27/2009
Filesize: 619.27 kB
Downloads: 7385
  • You make me feel like a natural burial - interview with Mark Harris, author of Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial
  • Minding your meeting - how to avoid a boring FCA annual meeting and bring in new attendees
  • Legislative watch
  • FCA and the Institute for Justice convince the state of Missouri to preserve the right to sell retail caskets, care for one's own dead
  • FCA and consumers defeat Montana bill to put low-cost crematories out of business, strip citizens of the right to care for their own dead
  • Review of Lasting Images, a DVD on alternative and creative funerals

Spring 2015 Newsletter Spring 2015 Newsletter

Date added: 09/17/2015
Date modified: 09/17/2015
Filesize: 385.49 kB
Downloads: 840
  • Bringing out the dead: death culture around the world
  • Does your FCA really need liability insurance?
  • FCA Conference 2016 in Atlanta

Spring 2015 Grim Reader Spring 2015 Grim Reader

Date added: 09/17/2015
Date modified: 09/17/2015
Filesize: 200.06 kB
Downloads: 847
  • How to choose a funeral home the smart way
  • Cessation of Life Syndrome: Is your family at risk?

Spring 2011 Newsletter Spring 2011 Newsletter

Date added: 01/11/2012
Date modified: 01/11/2012
Filesize: 322.94 kB
Downloads: 4562
  • FCA Executive Director has heart attack at 36; learns to practice what he preaches in funeral planning
  • Micromanaging your final send-off—not helpful to your family
  • Veterans' cemeteries allow private family funerals, no funeral director required
  • President's column—education and advocacy together with discounts
  • A fancy funeral is not an entitlement: helping consumers who can't pay for a burial

. . . and more

Spring 2009 Newsletter Spring 2009 Newsletter

Date added: 09/21/2009
Date modified: 09/21/2009
Filesize: 341.36 kB
Downloads: 6304
  • Staying Relevant - tips for keeping your Funeral Consumers Alliance vibrant and up to date with contemporary consumers interests
  • FTC Funeral Rule enforcement "sweeps" find more than 25 percent of mortuaries with major consumer protection rule violations
  • They're our Members, not our Customers - how to stop hand-holding members and help them empower themselves
  • Deathstyles of the Everyday and Middle Class - an editorial on how families can plan a meaningful funeral even in economic hard times
  • Spread the Work Around: Building an Active Board

Spring 2006 Newsletter Spring 2006 Newsletter

Date added: 04/04/2006
Date modified: 05/27/2009
Filesize: 345.14 kB
Downloads: 7184
  • The Watchdog Sleeps: Federal Trade Commission goes easy on industry
  • Congressional bill to rein body brokers
  • Legislative watch
  • Regulatory Capture: when state boards put profits ahead of consumer protection
  • Tightwad tips: saving money for your FCA
  • How to get a seat on state funeral regulatory boards
  • A funny thing happened on the way to the morgue: interview with Mary Roach, author of Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Grim Reader, Spring 2014 Grim Reader, Spring 2014

Date added: 09/10/2014
Date modified: 09/10/2014
Filesize: 233.07 kB
Downloads: 3990
  • Prepayment—No, it's not 'all taken care of''
  • Who has the right to make decisions about your funeral, burial, or cremation? 
  • Montana shuts down direct-to-consumer cremation

Grim Reader, Spring 2013 Grim Reader, Spring 2013

Date added: 05/22/2013
Date modified: 05/22/2013
Filesize: 172.58 kB
Downloads: 6002

In this issue:

  • Funeral insurance—a bad financial idea
  • Cremation and compromise
  • Cata-Coffins
  • Five tips for affordable funerals

FCA Newsletter, Spring 2013 FCA Newsletter, Spring 2013

Date added: 05/22/2013
Date modified: 05/22/2013
Filesize: 505.32 kB
Downloads: 12779

In this issue:

  • Putting the fun back in Funeral Consumers Alliance
  • Save the date—national conference in June, 2014, in Minneapolis
  • Putting your FCA in low-power mode
  • Flying (on a plane) with ashes
  • Fundraising 101—it's cheaper and easier than you think

Fall, 2014 Newsletter Fall, 2014 Newsletter

Date added: 09/17/2015
Date modified: 09/17/2015
Filesize: 352.88 kB
Downloads: 826
  • So you want a cheap cremation?
  • Your FCA needs a conflict of interest policy
  • Exploding caskets? Yep.

Fall 2014 Grim Reader Fall 2014 Grim Reader

Date added: 09/17/2015
Date modified: 09/17/2015
Filesize: 274.89 kB
Downloads: 797
  • What to do when you can't afford the funeral
  • 10 tips for saving funeral $$
  • Before I Go: the funeral planner everyone should have

Fall 2011 Newsletter Fall 2011 Newsletter

Date added: 10/31/2012
Date modified: 10/31/2012
Filesize: 283.55 kB
Downloads: 4279
  • Convention 2012 preview
  • 2012 Budget
  • Fundraising—asking for money won't kill you
  • Is your Funeral Consumers Alliance a hoarder? Nonprofit treasuries are not retirement accounts, but money meant to be spent
  • Massachusetts town obstructs family trying to bury teen son at home
  • Telephone Tips—answering member queries with confidence 

Fall 2010 Newsletter Fall 2010 Newsletter

Date added: 07/01/2011
Date modified: 07/01/2011
Filesize: 216.62 kB
Downloads: 5156
  • National Home Funeral Alliance is born
  • Balancing the FCA Budget
  • A Consumer's Guide to Cemetery Purchases
  • Veterans' Burial Scams
  • Benefits of Achieving 501(c)(3) Status
  • Tales from the Funeral Trade Press
    . . .and more!
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Dangers of Prepaying

"Preneed" is a term coined by the funeral industry to describe the arrangement and payment of a funeral prior to death. Obviously, if you are to have any say in it, you must plan in advance of your death. "Prearrangement" is also used interchangeably with "preneed".

The marketing of preneed plans for funeral services and merchandise is increasingly prevalent. Various companies, including insurance companies, "for-profit cremation societies," and "preneed associations" flood the mail with advertising which touts the benefits of their preneed plans. There are a number of pitfalls, as well as options, about which consumers should be well-informed.

Click here for the full article.

Click here for a pdf.

CAN'T AFFORD THE FUNERAL? We can show you how to bring the bill down significantly. Click here for advice