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Your Funeral Guy in National Press on Funeral Costs and IFDA Scam

16 Mar
Your Funeral Guy quoted in National Press.

Your Funeral Guy quoted in National Press.

Your Funeral Guy has been quoted in the National Press on Funeral Costs and the Illinois Funeral Directors Association Scandal.  This has proved helpful in helping folks do a lower cost funeral.

In the March 16th Edition of Newsweek an associate editor referred his readers to this blog.   This blogger was quoted on the increased number of folks who are requesting low cost funerals a growing national trend, a subject often written about here.

“There’s a major movement toward low-cost options right now,” says R. Brian Burkhardt, a funeral director in Wheaton, Ill., who writes an industry blog called Your Funeral Guy. “Those businesses that adjust will do fine—and those that don’t will be gone.”

Back on January 16th 2009  Your Funeral Guy AKA R.Brian Burkhardt was featured in World Net Daily on the other  scandal of  Senator from Illinois Roland Burris Scam-the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. World Net Daily first reported Burris’s connection to the IFDA Ponzi Scheme.

“R. Brian Burkhardt, a funeral director in the state and the author of a book on saving money on funeral costs, told WND he noticed a year ago that the fund set up under the license granted by Burris had reported a $40 million loss – $59 million at the most recent reporting.

“One of the complaints that have been made against the IFDA is that excessive fees were paid to lobbyists,” Burkhardt told WND.”

I am thankful to  Newsweek  for mentioning  low cost funeral options and sending readers to the Your Funeral Guy Blog. Thanks to World Net Daily for mentioning my book on funeral costs and exposing  the Roland Burris,the IFDA Ponzi Scheme(IFDA PRENEED TRUST).

Funeral Cost|Funeral Industry Blog by Your Funeral Guy aka R Brian Burkhardt

Be sure to Check out Your Funeral Guy’s Book Rest in Peace Insiders Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral


6 Feb

Any time anyone misapplies trust funds the members suffer. In the Funeral preneed/industry this is compounded by the fact that funeral directors have to cover expenses by raising prices. Funeral Cost is raised.

Here are numbers  on the Illinois Funeral Directors Association Lawsuits. These come from articles in the Springfield paper the State Journal Register, and the Chicago Tribune.  These articles appeared on February 4th 2009. If statistics come from yourfuneralguy it will be noted.

Illinois Funeral Directors Association Statistics:

From the Tribune Article:

IFDA Preneed trust Fund Value before mark down $300 Million

Six Funeral Directors plaintiffs in one lawsuit.

Two Preneed contract holders in another lawsuit that seeks class action.

IFDA told the Tribune February 3rd that it wrote down the Fund by $50 Million USD+.

$190 Million was applied to 300 Key Guy insurance Policies for Funeral Directors around the State (from Your Funeral Guy)

49,000 Illinois residents participate in the trust fund.

Average individual contract is $6,000 USD.

In a Five Year time frame the Illinois Funeral Directors Association took 8.5 million USD in excessive management fees.

From the  and the State Journal Register Article February4th.

Since 2006 The IFDA Fund deficit has grown by 20 Million USD.

Quoting from the article:

Since 1996, the IFDA and its political action committee have contributed nearly $263,500 to politicians and political parties. Nearly $98,000 of those contributions took place after June 2006, when the comptroller’s office sent the warning letter to the IFDA.”

IFDA’s latest  tax return shows.

$24,600 for board meetings,

$68,000 on automobiles,

$22,000 for lobbyists.

Actual figure of the IFDA Preneed Trust write down last fall is 59 Million.

Quoting from the Article.

“House Speaker Michael Madigan has been among the group’s biggest beneficiaries, collecting $16,000 in contributions, twice what he collected from the IFDA and its political action committee during the previous decade.”

The IFDA has not opened it’s books to anyone but the Comptroller of the State of Illinois. They were ordered to do that. The question remains How much was Senator Burris paid by the IFDA?

Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Newsworthy-Illinois Funeral Directors Association Lawsuits-Your Funeral Guy.

4 Feb

The Illinois Funeral Directors Association Lawsuits are newsworthy on the average cost of a funeral. Every time a preneed trust fund misapplies your funeral money it costs you the consumer. Funeral Directors lose and they pass the cost on to you.

Recently News Articles, Feb.3,4 2009 have appeared.

These articles name more facts. -Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune Article names places,and  the Illinois Comptroller.

The Springfield Journal Register article names $$, who was paid out of the fund and who may have been paid out of the fund-Senator Roland Burris (D-IL)

There is also a years worth of backgound research available on the Illinois Funeral Directors Association at

I have declared the average cost of a funeral in 2009 to be $8,500 USD.

Check out my blogs for more information on this.

Your Funeral Guy.

Your Funeral Guy: Folks asking for less than Average Funeral Cost

9 Dec

The economic downtown turn has more folks requesting low cost funeral options and green funerals.

The lack of cash, unemployment, and credit crunch is giving folks the courage  to ask to pay less for funerals. The average Funeral Cost is just too much. The NFDA has said the average cost of a funeral in 2006 was $7,323.00 USD.

I have estimated the average funeral cost in 2008 to be 8,000 USD. The Chicago Tribune has  stated in the States as far north as Minnesota folks are asking about the low cost Green Burial option.

Lower cost funerals are putting the squeeze on traditional funerals. Because of economic pressures and self regulation  there  has been two scandals The IFDA Preneed Trust Mismanagement Scandal,(40 million gone, Illinois Funeral Directors Association) and the National Prearranged Services theft (500 million gone).

Folks generally pay for funerals three ways, life insurance, preneed and credit cards.
The credit card option is slipping away. The preneed option is slipping away because of scandals.

Funeral Homes are having difficulty collecting funds for funerals. In response the National Funeral Directors Association partnered with a national collection company,CCR America making the service available to member funeral homes at a lower fee.

Main Street is finding the courage to negotiate low cost funeral options because of a lack of cash. Funeral homes that adjust by offering lower cost funerals will do well.
Those that do not adjust will fail.

Be sure to find a successful low cost funeral home. Check out more information on low funeral expenses and costs:

Rest in Peace: Insider’s Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral

Your Funeral Guy, R. Brian Burkhardt, Funeral Director.

Your Funeral Guy: Lower Cost Funeral Blog Featured at Funeral

18 Nov

This funeral cost blog has been featured in funeral This is a website for funeral directors and people seeking information on funerals.

here is the link:

The main point of the blog post mentioned here is that the NFDA- national funeral directors has issued a rise in the average cost of a funeral for 2006 to….


Here is the full blog post.

Your Funeral Guy, R Brian Burkhardt, Funeral Director, Author, Blogger, State of Illinois

Be sure to watch for a future blog that shows how funeral cost is going up and down at the same time as we move into 2009.

Your Funeral Guy: Five Reasons For a funeral Industry and cost Tsunami Like Wall Street.

8 Nov

Will there be a funeral cost credit crunch like Wall street? Here are five warning signs.

1. Every month we hear of the funeral  homes either taking money or breaking the law. Here is one of the latest:,4670,FuneralHomeInvestigation,00.html

2. In  the UK bodies are piling up do to the credit crunch.  The article on this pile up of dead bodies is referenced here:

Quoting from this article: “This distressing aspect of the credit crunch shows that the hurricanes blowing down Wall Street have the power to affect us all in unexpected ways,” the newspaper wrote.

“The sad story of the unburied dead should alert us to the much worse things that lie ahead if we do not pull out of this dive.”

3. The funeral industry is rocked  with scandal. Specifically the preneed scandals of this year.

The IFDA Preneed Trust deficit and Scandal is witnessed here.



This was a 41 million dollar loss but is nothing compared  to  the 500 million dollar loss of NPS.

4. NPS or National Prearranged Services shut down and had a 500 million Loss-theft.

This caused more expense for many funeral homes which also pass the cost on to the folks, and more lack of trust for preneed and the funeral industry.

5.    According to  Fox News Broadcasts on November 7th and November 8th 2008 it was reported that credit card companies  at the Direction of the Federal Reserve are to put higher standards in place for credit even lowering the limits for and raising interest rates for people with good credit.

Most likely it will go the way of Great Britain for the funeral industry as well.

How will this affect  funeral cost in America? Folks simply will not have the money to pay for the Family Funeral. Honest funeral directors will tell you that the lion’s share of their people pay for the funeral on a credit card.

Will there be a Funeral Cost Credit Tsunami? Your Funeral  Guy says yes.

Will there be a bailout for the Funeral Industry. Probably it will happen.

But not just for the five warning signs mentioned above. The FTC, the United States Treasury, and The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) all have policies in place to make it happen. Yes before advocating a lower cost funeral a government bailout may occur. This will be covered in a later blog post.

Your Funeral Guy

Your Funeral Guy:SLAICO and SCI Form High Funeral Cost Alliance Partnership

6 Nov

Your Funeral Guy: Service Corporation International-SCI-Forms High Funeral Cost Alliance Partnership. SCI along Stewart Enterprises are the high cost funeral corporations. They are the high end. They Charge the most $$$$.

Whole life insurance (SLAICO)is not the best in any type of final expense insurance. What is acceptable and wise is term life insurance which is more cost efficient. This situation is not good for the folks and does not permit the lower cost funeral.

This according to the Press Release on Fox News.

“Service Corporation International, through its Dignity Memorial network is North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services, including a network of funeral homes and cemeteries in 43 states, eight Canadian Provinces and Puerto Rico.

Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company has been a leader in the insurance industry since 1948 and is part of the American National family of companies. They have been assigned a rating of A+ (Strong) from Standard and Poor’s, and rating of A (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company.”

View the whole Fox Business Report Here:

Service Corporation International and Standard Life and Accident life Insurance only contribute to raising your funeral cost. It does not contribute to the lower cost funeral as the funeral book does.

Insider's Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral

Rest in Peace: Insider’s Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral by R Brian Burkhardt and Matt Bacak. #1 International Best Selling Author Jason Oman also gave thumbs up to this book. This book is published by  Morgan James Publishing.This is your funeral cost book.

Your Funeral Guy, R Brian Burkhardt, Funeral Director, Author, Blogger, State of Illinois