News and Blogs

Deep Doubts About Neptune

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by Lamar Hankins, past president of Funeral Consumers Alliance

Selling Cremation Door-To-Door
I just had the opportunity to be a “secret shopper” – from the convenience of my dining room table.  Over the years, I have occasionally received solicitations from funeral homes or cremation services to encourage me to “pre-arrange” funerals or cremations.  In recent months, I received two such solicitations from the Neptune Society.  I responded to the last one, sending back their card and checking the box that indicated I wanted to receive more information.
That information came through a phone call a couple of weeks ago asking if one of their representatives could visit me in my home.  I said “yes” and a nice fellow showed up.  His card identified him as an “Austin Area Counselor,” for Neptune Society, “America’s Most Trusted Cremation Services.”  I was treated to a sales pitch full of misleading or outright false claims, all to get me to pay more than double the cost for a simple cremation in the Austin area.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 March 2013 13:33 ) Read more...

Bringing Out the Dead, At Home

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The TakeAway
February 20, 2013

Death is painfully human, strangely ordinary, and universal. It causes us pain, it requires planning, and it requires final decisions. But here in America, in most cases, it doesn't require one thing: personally handling the dead. More often than not, we leave that to professionals.

But more and more often, Americans are deciding to do things differently. After death, but before the final goodbye, they are handling those final moments with their loved ones' bodies by themselves, with love and care in their own homes.

GUEST: Alice Forrester is one of those people. In 2011, her teenage son died unexpectedly and she chose to bring his body home and prepare it herself, for his final resting.

GUEST: Heather Massey works with the National Home Funeral Alliance, helping families prepare their loved ones for the final goodbye.

Listen to program audio (7:57) at The TakeAway


Home Funerals, What are they?

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Confessions of a Funeral Director
February 20, 2013

It’s strange how professional practices can reverse themselves.

Traditionally, in America, funerals have been held in the “parlour” of the deceased’s home.  During the beginning decades of the twentieth century, the funeral business became more industrialized and funerals were moved to what we now call “Funeral Homes”, or “Funeral parlour.”  Recently, however, there seems to be an interesting trending back toward “home funerals.”

Read the full article at Confessions of a Funeral Director


Preparing for Your Own Death

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OK to Die Blog

We all die, whether expectedly or not. When we prepare for our own death in advance, we are able to relieve the decision-making burden on those whom we love and create the opportunity for a peace-filled end of life. Do not miss this opportunity. Start your checklist today.

View, save, and/or print the checklist at OK to Die Blog


Making an end-of life healthcare plan. (Video 4:37)

Family member testimonial (Video 0:57)


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)


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