News and Blogs

The high cost of saying goodbye

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November 9, 2012

Money Magazine, November 2012

Funeral costs: Laying a loved one to rest typically costs $10,000 or more -- sometimes much more. That's due in part to tactics some in the funeral industry use to manipulate you into overspending.

"A significant expense, a vulnerable time, a real problem comparison shopping, which is the key to any good purchase -- it's the perfect storm," says New York City consumer affairs commissioner Jonathan Mintz.

Read the full article at CNNMoney


PDF File of Money Magazine Article

NFDA Calls Out Money Magazine, Funeral Directors Don’t Prey on Grieving Families

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 November 2012 12:10 )

The Online Funeral

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The Wall Street Journal
November 6, 2012

It would be a mistake ... to say that the webcast dehumanized or even sullied the experience.

My grandfather died on Halloween. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, none of the New York family members could attend the funeral in Massachusetts. Fortunately, another option became available: The ceremony was streamed online, and so my wife, daughter and I gathered around a laptop in our living room to watch the live webcast.

The rabbi began by giving technology center stage, poignantly acknowledging that the virtual participants played an important role in honoring the deceased’s memory. After that, technology receded into the background for the Massachusetts crowd. My grandmother looked like a bereaved widow. Online coverage didn’t affect her demeanor—or anyone else’s.

At my house, however, things were different. The technology raised all sorts of problems and questions.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal

Thanks to ConnectingDirectors for alerting us to this article.


Funeral Trust Checks and Balances: Who has your back?

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Death Care Law Blog
November 2, 2012

In the days that followed the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association being placed into receivership some of the WFDA’s sister associations were quick to point out they had ‘checks and balances’ that would protect consumers’ funds from the problems that tripped up the Wisconsin Funeral Trust. As we reported in our last post a crucial ‘check and balance’ missing from the WFT was investment oversight. The fact that a trust has a corporate trustee does not necessarily mean that fiduciary has responsibility for monitoring the prudence of the investments. Corporate fiduciaries often look to uniform trust codes for the authority to delegate investment responsibilities. If a grantor wishes to use an outside asset manager general trust laws will accommodate those wishes. The problem with preneed trusts (and cemetery endowment funds) is that there is more than one “grantor” to the preneed trust.

Read the full article at Death Care Law Blog


When dying should not be an emergency

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OK to Die Blog
31 October 2012

If you are 15 years old and you are walking to school and are hit by a car and you are dying, this is an emergency.

If you are 85 years old and you are out doing your morning walk and are hit by a car and are dying, this is an emergency.

An unexpected dying at any age is an emergency.

In contrast, there are many people dying of advanced chronic and terminal illnesses whose dying should really NOT be an emergency. Yet these poor people come to the Emergency Department for help because they do not know two very important things:

Read the full article at OK to Die Blog


Will Student Loan Debt Haunt Your Family After Your Death?

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SevenPonds Blog
October 31, 2012

“Our daughter died — her student loans didn’t.”

Throughout our work and research at SevenPonds, we stumble upon a number of issues surrounding the end-of-life that many people probably don’t think about day to day. After nearly two years with this team, I continue to be surprised by the things I learn, from the people I talk to and the information I find. This, once again, was the case a few weeks ago when an email landed in my inbox with the subject line, “Our daughter died — her student loans didn’t.”

Read the full article at SevenPonds Blog


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