News and Blogs

New online death certificate system takes toll on efficiency, adds to grief

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Indianapolis Star
Jan 9, 2011
The first shock was her father's death the day before New Year's Eve. But Sonia Ardeel was even more surprised to discover how difficult getting a death certificate -- necessary to grant her father's wish to be cremated -- would be.

A new system that transformed the death certificate from a paper document to an electronic record lies behind the nightmare that Ardeel, 40, and her family have experienced. The system, which went into effect Jan. 1, requires funeral homes and doctors to sign up for a four-digit PIN to enter a record.

FTC Law on Funeral Planning Simplifies Shopping

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Funeral Industry News
It doesn't matter how much you spend, it doesn't make a person any less dead. It doesn't mean you love them any more or less, and it isn't going to bring them back. Funerals should be treated like any other consumer transaction by comparing costs and services. Charges at different funeral homes in the same metropolitan area can vary by thousands of dollars, so it pays to shop around.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 January 2011 07:35 ) Read more...

Funeral home fraud (Michigan)

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Fox Toledo News 10
Dec 30, 2010

Brad Prochnow of Monroe, Mich., is facing 14 felony counts after allegedly stealing more than $65,000 from people who were trying to pre-pay for their funerals.

When Darrell Bennett sold his funeral home to Prochnow, he was excited for the future. His life-long business in the hands of someone he trusted, and he could finally retire to Florida.

Turns out, though, the funeral director was dead wrong.
Watch the Fox Toledo News 10 video [2 min 16 sec] on YouTube


Former funeral director Brad Prochnow charged with defrauding customers (
Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 January 2011 11:30 )

Going green underground: You CAN take it with you when it comes to environmental values

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Los Altos (CA) Town Crier
Tuesday, 04 January 2011

Lowering your carbon footprint - it’s all about switching from regular bulbs to CFLs, recycling garbage and buying produce from local farmers. It’s the least we can do while we’re here to sustain a future for generations to come.

Lowering your final footprint? It’s all about the options available to the environmentally conscious - a way to stay green even after you die, a way to help push up the daisies, so to speak - a way to return as dust to the earth with minimal harm to the Earth.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 January 2011 10:30 ) Read more...

Art Intended to Make the End of Life Beautiful

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The New York Times
December 31, 2010

For most of his mother’s life, Tobi Kahn would make a present on each of her birthdays. The gifts began during his childhood as hand-drawn cards, more tender than precocious. As he grew into a formally trained and then a critically acclaimed artist, he made her a pocketbook one year, a desk set another, photographs worthy of museum exhibition.

Then, in the early summer of 2004, Ellen Schapiro Kahn lay in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, dying at 75 of pancreatic cancer that had been diagnosed barely a month before. It was uncertain she would survive even long enough to be moved into a hospice near her home.

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