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In 2011 Funeral Home Non Compliance-will continue-Your Funeral Guy

1 Jan
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In 2011 Funeral Home non compliance  with the law will continue. This is quite important because  in spite of the “Funeral Rule” Funeral Home non compliance will continue. Essentially no one is watching the hen house. The Funeral Rule is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission-FTC.

Your Funeral Guy witnessed Funeral home non compliance this year asking several times for a general price list-gpl- from a funeral director and not receiving one..

A recent report of major non comlpance appeared in South Carolina.

About 30 percent of Midlands funeral homes are not complying with federal laws that require them to accurately disclose the prices for their services.

So says a recent report by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of South Carolina, a volunteer advocacy board that gathers comparative funeral price data and other information.

via www.free-times.com

Funeral industry| Funeral News|Funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy Funeral Director, Illinios and Virginia

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Your Funeral Guy in Dow Jones Newswires

22 Dec
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Your Funeral Guy has been Featured in the Dow Jones NEWSWIRE  Prepaid Funerals Like Digging Your Own Grave 

December 2, 2010 9:16 a.m. EST


R. Brian Burkhardt is a funeral director in Illinois and Virginia who writes a blog called “Your Funeral Guy.”

It’s filled with handy consumer tips, as is his book, “Rest in Peace, Insider’s Look at the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral.”

Burkhardt also covers the funeral news:

“Mom fakes daughter’s funeral.”

“Father sues after son’s body falls out of casket.”

“Corpses to appear on cigarette packages.”

And, “Unclaimed cremated remains: A growing problem.”

One of the biggest stories on the funeral beat these days involves a St. Louis, Mo., company called National Prearranged Services Inc. and its related businesses operating in several states from Illinois and Ohio to Tennessee and Texas.

Federal prosecutors last week unveiled a 50-count indictment burying six controlling officials in assorted criminal charges: money laundering, conspiracy and wire, bank, mail and insurance fraud.

Defendants are Doug Cassity, 64; his son, Brent Douglas Cassity, 43; Howard Wittner, 73; Randall Sutton, 65; Sharon Nekol Province, 66; and David Wulf, 58.

The indictment alleges they took as much as $600 million that should have gone into trusts and life-insurance policies to cover as many as 150,000 funerals.

“White-out was the main tool,” Burkhardt said. “It’s sounds blastedly simple, but that’s what they did.”

Indeed, one of the many tricks alleged in the federal indictment is altering documents with correction fluid.

Money that should have gone into trusts or to pay life-insurance premiums for the funeral plans were diverted to pay for business investments, luxury homes and jewelry, the Feds allege. A Ponzi scheme for the dead?

Toni Weirauch, special agent in charge of IRS-criminal investigations in St. Louis, said his office “is committed to investigating individuals who allegedly use their businesses as personal piggy banks.”

The losses will go to state insurance guarantee associations, plan purchasers and funeral homes.

Connie James of James and Gahr Mortuaries in St. James, Mo., said her family-owned funeral business put all of its prepaid funeral funds with the company.

A state fund likely will get stuck with most of the tab for the prepaid services her company has contracted to provide, but not all of it. Some of the losses will be hers.

“You just pray every day that you’re going to be here tomorrow,” James said.

She has a name for defendant Doug Cassity, who went to federal prison in the early 1980s for charges stemming from his investment club.

“He is the Bernie Madoff of Missouri,” she said.

She wonders how so blatant an alleged fraud could have gone on for so long in an industry that is supposed to be regulated. Cassity’s criminal past, and issues with underfunded trusts dating back to the 1990s, didn’t set off the alarms until the shortfall was enormous.

“$600 million. That’s a lot of damn funerals,” James said.

National Prearranged Services sold folks on the idea that they could pay today’s prices for tomorrow’s funeral services. Say you put $5,000 down now, and if the funeral you want costs $15,000 due to future inflation, no problem.

“Any product that says, ‘We will cover you no matter how much your prices increase’ is too good to be true,” said Scott Gilligan, general counsel of the National Funeral Directors Association in Brookfield, Wisc.

“That should have been everybody’s first clue,” he said, “because nobody can do that.”

Burkhardt said he’s been warning consumers not to buy prepaid funeral plans for years. “It’s better to a get term life insurance policy and apply that money to the funeral,” he said.

He also says the scale of the National Prearranged Services case shows how easily prepaid funeral funds are diverted, and how long it can take regulators to do something about it.

“Every week, somebody misappropriates pre-need funds, and every two to three weeks somebody gets caught,” Burkhardt said.

“I have had a funeral director tell me, “When I can’t meet my payroll, I just borrow from the pre-need fund.” That’s fraud. But in their minds, it’s kind of their money.”

Burkhardt said he suspects business will go on as usual, despite the news he covers on his blog. Reading up on prearranged funeral plans isn’t something folks always do before they buy.

“People don’t want to talk about death,” he said. “You almost have to trick your mind to think about it. That’s why people buy these plans.”

–(Al’s Emporium, written by Dow Jones Newswires columnist Al Lewis, offers commentary and analysis on a wide range of business subjects through an unconventional perspective. The column is published each Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. He can be reached at 212-416-2617 or by email at al.lewis@dowjones.com, or on his blog at tellittoal.com.)

(We invite readers to send us comments on this or other financial news topics. Please comment on Al Lewis’ blog at http://tellittoal.newswires-americas.com/. We reserve the right to edit and publish your comments along with your name; we reserve the right not to publish reader comments.)

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Funeral Industry| Funeral News| Funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy

Due to my stint in ICU and hospitalization it took some time to get this article up.

YOUR FUNERAL GUY HAS BEEN Featured in the Dow Jones News Wires. Your Funeral Guy is quoted but other opinions are mentioned.

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Blogged Off due to time in ICU-Your Funeral Guy

12 Dec
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Your Funeral Guy has recently stopped blogging briefly because of Illness, time in ICU,  intensive care unit and an extended hospital stay. Your Funeral Guy plans to resume blogging  in the week to come.

Funeral Industry| Funeral News| Funeral Blog By Your Funeral Guy

No Funeral for Your Funeral Guy This time.

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Gay,coffin,caskets arrive on the Scene-Your Funeral Guy

17 Nov

Gay caskets have arisen on the scene. They are available in Europe and Germany.

Funeral directors in Germany are bidding for the pink pound – by launching coffins specially designed for gay customers.

The caskets feature homoerotic artwork on the outside and come with a series of tastefully luxurious plush designer interiors, say makers Mike Konigsfeld and Tom Brandl in Cologne, Germany.

The designers – who have lived together for more than 10 years – say the images of muscular young men in classical poses are the perfect way to send off a loved one.

“Naturally there were some people who threw their hands up in horror when we had them on display in the window but they are tasteful and beautiful – like our customers,

via web.orange.co.uk

Funeral industry|Funeral Industry| Funeral News Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

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Westboro Baptist Church dropped by Counter Protestors-Your Funeral Guy

10 Nov
Westboro Baptist Church protests boyscout funerals
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A  Westboro Baptist Church Funeral Protest was blocked by Counter Protestors- This was a good thing. respect and decency at every Funeral Needs to be maintained and preserved at all Cost.

According to FOX News affiliate WDAF, the fundamentalist church members planned on protesting First Sergeant C.J. Sadell’s funeral in Weston, Mo.

Sadell was in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed on Oct. 5. Five soldiers were killed and Sadell was badly injured. The 34-year-old succumbed to his injuries on Oct. 24.

When Weston residents learned about the protest, several hundred citizens rallied to show support for Sadell’s family, armed with patriotic music and American flags large enough to cover any unwanted guests.

“We got everybody here early so we could take up all the parking spots,” Rebecca Rooney of Weston, Mo., told WDAF.

Several supporters also traveled from California and Australia to be a part of the counterdemonstration, in which they created a human shield around the perimeter of the funeral.

Eventually, Westboro Church members retreated.

“I’m glad they left, but I’m sad they came,” Rooney told the station.

via www.cbsnews.com

Funeral industry,  Funeral  News, Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

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Arlington National Cemetery-New Criminal Investigation

5 Nov
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Arlington National Cemetery has a new criminal investigation underway into irregularities that have  occurred at the cemetery in the past several years.

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command has launched another investigation into Arlington National Cemetery, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The spokesman, Christopher Grey, would not discuss the focus of the probe but said it was prompted after Kathryn Condon, executive director of the Army Cemeteries Program, “recently became aware of questionable practices that took place” at Arlington. This would be at least the third criminal investigation into the cemetery in recent years; none has yet resulted in criminal charges.

via www.washingtonpost.com

Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

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Funeral Thank You Cards-Your Funeral Guy

22 Oct
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Today we have a guest post on Funeral Thank you notes or Funeral thank -you cards. How to Choose Funeral Thank You Cards

Losing a loved one is one of, if not, the most painful and difficult experience that anyone will go through in life. More than the physical loss, the emotional aspects of losing a loved one can figuratively drive the person to hell and despair. That’s why whenever there’s a death in the family, it’s very comforting to know that there are people who are and will be there for you and your family through thick and thin. Hugs of sympathy, presence of friends, and condolences from different people can, at least temporarily, lift the pain. And after everything’s done with the wake, memorial and funeral, choosing and writing funeral thank you notes is one way of showing the attendees that you and your family are thankful for their love and support.

If you’re in the unfortunate place where you need to send thank you notes after funeral, then here are some tips and methods that you can follow to do this task.

First, when you’re sending funeral thank you cards, you don’t really have to worry about the timeframe. For the meantime, you don’t have to worry about your family and friends. They’re not expecting you to write funeral thank you notes immediately. You take your time and don’t let others pressure you to write these thank you notes after funeral.

Second, you don’t have to write an original message for your funeral thank you notes. In fact, few people do this. You only write personal messages for people who really matters to you and/or to the deceased alone. In fact, if you don’t have the inkling to write a unique and personal note, then don’t. But if you really want to write a note or message, it’s okay to make it short.

It’s more ideal to buy pre-printed notes from bookstores. You just have to make an effort in choosing the message that you want to convey to the recipients of the funeral thank you notes. You can just add the name of the recipients to make it more personalized. Again, if you don’t have the strength or the time to do this on your own, you can ask the help of your immediate family members or closest friends to write the names for you.

It’s true that this task/act can make you cry or make you numb. After all, you’re thanking other people for joining and supporting you when you buried your loved one. But this task, in some way, can help you move on.

Funeral Industry| Funeral News |Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

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