News and Blogs

Guest Blog - Judy Bachrach

E-mail Print
The Top 10 Things NOT to Say to the Terminally Ill

Dear Judy (one of my readers writes - a woman, I'm afraid), my husband's mother has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, not in its last stages but bad enough. Her short-term memory is totally shot. My husband doesn't want to reveal the diagnosis to his mother; he says it's cruel. I'm tempted to tell her what she's got right now, behind his back. After all, she needs to start making plans. Besides in my experience, secrets are toxic.

Of all the remarks I regularly read regarding how to deal with the terminally ill, it's the secrets-are-toxic slogan that drives me totally nuts.. . .

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 July 2008 18:56 ) Read more...


E-mail Print

UPDATE 8.11.2010—St. Joseph's Abbey is suing the state of Louisiana for the right to sell coffins.

UPDATE - No sooner had we posted the story below about Louisiana trying to stop a Catholic church from selling caskets to the public, but we discovered the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is up to even more shenanigans. The minutes of their March 5 and 6, 2008 meeting, contain these gems:


  • Discussion re: the FTC and their regulations concerning when to present a GPL to a possible consumer ensued. It was suggested by Mr. Pellerin that our State consider, and actually apply for Federal Exemption if our State laws as they relate to the FTC are equal or greater than the FTC regulations. “FROP” is a term meaning Funeral Regulation Offense Program and is used by the FTC when making visits to funeral homes where a violation of the Rule is found.

So the state thinks its consumer protections are so good that it should be exempted from the FTC Funeral Rule? Funeral Consumers Alliance will certainly oppose such efforts.

  • It was also suggested that the State Associations be contacted and informed that the FTC will be visiting Louisiana funeral homes as mock consumers, in the very near future. Mr. Rasch was requested to write a letter to the FTC inquiring what the time frame is to provide consumers with a copy of the GPL.

In case that wasn't clear - at least one member of the state board (which is legally required to protect consumers) thinks the government should warn the funeral directors' trade associations that the Federal Trade Commission is going to conduct secret shopper visits to make sure funeral homes are complying with the law. (Read the whole story by clicking "read more" below). . .

Last Updated ( Monday, 28 October 2013 11:08 ) Read more...

You Want to Do What?

E-mail Print

Bonnie Kauth sends us the following report on her saga to get doctors and medical examiners to understand her intent to carry out her mother's funeral privately, without funeral home involvement. We can never figure out why doctors, of all people, would be so weirded out by death. . .

It's been exactly three months since I talked to you about getting the "permit to transfer a body" issue sorted out here in Iowa.  (Considering that there is  a 48 hour death to grave requirement, thank goodness we didn't need the permit.)
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:07 ) Read more...

Green Burial Comes to Georgia

E-mail Print
Georgia's first green cemetery has opened in Conyers, according to a feature article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Honey Creek Woodlands is run by the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, and the cemetery is open to all.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:35 )

Missouri Preneed Reforms Are Anything But

E-mail Print

UPDATE 5/4/08 - Funeral Consumers Alliance and the FCA of Greater Kansas City have sent a joint letter to Missouri Lawmakers asking for amendments to the flawed prepaid funeral reform bills below. We also sent a line-by-line analysis of what's wrong with a proposed bill from the Missouri Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

Missouri lawmakers have two bills in the hopper that would supposedly “reform” the state’s prepaid funeral laws to better protect consumers from losing their money to shady companies that steal their payments or go belly up. Trouble is, the bills don’t go far enough, and they’ll do as much harm as good if they’re passed.

Neither HB 2469 nor HB 2594 [you can download copies of the bills at the bottom of this article] adequately address the worst problem with current law - the fact that funeral directors can pocket a 20 percent commission from consumers’ prepaid deposits, then skim the interest every year from the consumer’s account! Allowing this kind of legalized robbery is not only unfair, it fairly begs shady operators to pad their pockets today with money that ought to be left to fulfill their obligations to consumers at the time of death. To put it bluntly, the law encourages companies to build a house of financial cards by putting short-term greed ahead of long-term stability.

Download this file (HB2469I.PDF)Missouri HB 2469, 2008[ ]48 Kbm/j/Y
Download this file (HB2594I.PDF)Missouri HB 2594, 2008[ ]83 Kbm/j/Y
Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 May 2008 20:41 ) Read more...

Page 151 of 159