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FCA recognizes that the dissemination of individual experiences, the reporting of public information, and linking to other sites can help further our mission of educating the public on their funeral rights and options. However, FCA's limited resources and the nature of the Internet make it impossible to verify the content of personal experiences that are supplied by others or to verify the content of linked sites. FCA accepts no responsibility for these. Comments on the contents of personal reports and linked websites should be directed to the author(s).



A guide for funeral planning

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Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
July 25, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: General information should be applicable to most states.

No one likes to think about death, let alone plan for it. In many families, discussing one's mortality is an extremely uncomfortable topic. But it is a topic that should be discussed and planned for well in advance.

By planning your funeral, you relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress and grief — a time when people aren't thinking very clearly and may not know what to do because you never made your wishes known.

Read the full article at Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)

 

What it's Like to Have a Home Funeral

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The Daily Beast
Feb 5, 2013

Preparing a body for burial is a ritual that is both ageless and tribal. Here’s what it’s like.

This is the first time I am so close. There is a body bag on the table, waiting to be opened. Our best friends’ 22-year-old son’s body is inside. His mother and father are across from me, brothers beside, with several women gathered to form the circle around the table. These women will become my sisters in the next five hours, as we prepare the body together.

They are Heather, the home-funeral advocate who had helped the family arrange for the body to come home instead of the funeral parlor; Betty, a Rolfer and powerful healer and longtime caregiver of the family; Julie, a yoga teacher, friend of the mother and Joan, a lifelong family friend who had also lovingly assisted at this boy’s birth. It was Jane, the boy’s mother, who had gotten the call in the middle of the night that their son Wes had been in a bad car accident. She and her husband John had rushed to the hospital to be greeted with the words, “Your son is deceased.”

Read the full article at The Daily Beast

Thanks to The Good Funeral Guide Blog for alerting us to this article.

 

Prepaid funeral plans can be a R.I.P.-off

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Chicago Tribune
January 20, 2013

By Eleanor Laise, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Premium Health News Service

Tom Waggener remembers how pleased his parents were when they told him 15 years ago that they'd prepaid for their own funerals.

"It was so satisfying to them" to think that their children were relieved of the burden, says Waggener, 65, a retired state employee who lives near Taylorsville, Miss.

But after Waggener's mother died in 2006, the funeral home gave his family a bill for more than $10,000. It attributed the extra cost to a special order for the casket she had chosen, which was no longer in stock.

"It was an unpleasant business," Waggener says. "I really don't think prepaid funerals are a good idea."

Read the full article in  the Chicago Tribune

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2013 20:48 )
 

FCA of Rochester Helps Families Find Lost Ashes

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Local Funeral Consumers Alliance volunteer-run affiliates help people make difficult choices every day. But sometimes they help in far more dramatic ways. Dale Smathers, Vice President of the FCA of Greater Rochester, helped unearth more than 30 sets of cremated remains that had been abandoned in a burnt-out funeral home. One family had been told (illegally) that they could not claim the ashes until they paid the bill in full:

[Katherine Goodman]White said she tried to pick up her father’s remains after his cremation, but was told she could not do so until she paid off her bill for funeral services.

“I had the bill down to $250, but then I got very sick,” she said, “and I couldn’t pay it all off.”

. . . .

“Oh, thank God! ... Thank Jesus!” White, 53, cried out as her boyfriend, Thomas Buono, walked out of the funeral home and handed her a tattered cardboard box, which contained a plastic box holding the remains. “I can’t even tell you what we’ve been through trying to get these back.”

Read the whole story at buffalonews.com.

 

Funeral homes may impose credit card surcharges starting Jan 27, 2013

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National Funeral Directors Association
By T. Scott Gilligan, NFDA general counsel
Posted: January 21, 2013

A seven-year class action antitrust settlement involving VISA and MasterCard.

A key element to the settlement from the standpoint of funeral service would be VISA's and MasterCard's agreement to eliminate their current prohibition against merchants imposing surcharges on consumers who pay with credit cards. Currently, VISA and MasterCard both prohibit merchants from imposing any type of surcharge against a consumer paying with a credit card. Because merchants are barred from imposing a surcharge, there is no way to recoup the 1.5% to 3% swipe fee that is paid to VISA and MasterCard by merchants. As part of the settlement, VISA and MasterCard will eliminate that prohibition and allow all merchants, including funeral homes, to impose swipe fee surcharges on consumers.

Read the full article at National Funeral Directors Association

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:53 )
 


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