Tag Archives: your funeral guy

The Worst Funeral Article of 2010-Your Funeral Guy

6 Jan
Here is what I would call the worst Funeral post of 2010. This comes from Funeral Director Todd Van Beck, a Funeral Guru of sorts. In His post he refers to the FUNERAL CONSUMER As the  the Archie’s and Edith Bunkers of the World.
Todd Van Beck has been a well known Funeral Director for decades but the comments below show a high  level of arrogance and great disrespect for the common folk.
Todd Van Beck's picture

Wed, 06/09/2010 – 09:32 — Todd Van Beck

This is going to be a short and sweet writing.  The 2008 Gallup Poll results which polled the average American concerning the subject of professional ethics in careers is out, and once again funeral directors have made the top list.  I think, if memory serves, funeral directors have made this prestigious list for now over a decade.

ia www.iccfa.com

It is OK to be proud of Funeral Directors the good ones. But the ones that lack ethics, the ones that steal 100’s of millions dollars of the Folks Preneed Money or the guy I used to work with who bought a great car at a reduced price from a widow so she could pay for her husbands funeral…

More from the Article:.

“The overall results of the Gallup Poll, which really focus in getting the opinions of the common ordinary folk, you know the Archie and Edith Bunkers of the world, who are the substance of the funeral profession, have concluded that Nurses literally shine in the public’s ethics opinion and Bankers have fallen from ethical grace in a big way – surprise of surprises.

Anyway here are the top ethical careers for 2008, in rank order:

1.      Nurses

2.      Pharmacists

3.      High School teachers

4.      Medical doctors

5.      Police officers

6.      Clergy

7.      Funeral Directors

8.      Accountants”

via www.iccfa.com

Todd Van Beck has given us a substandard blog post by calling Funeral Directors “Ethical”via www.yourfuneralguy.com


Funeral Industry, Funeral News, Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

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2011-Positive Funeral Industry Change in Personalization and creativity-YourFuneralGuy

2 Jan
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There is one positive trend that is quite strong in the funeral industry. This is creativity in Funeral Personalization. Everyone in our culture wants some form of Unique. In the past ten years funeral personalization has grown to be amust at every funeral service.

The great recession has forced funeral homes to compete in Funeral Personalization. Many funeral directors are quite creative  at  personalizing a funeral.

From cremation to a celebration of life, memorial services, and traditional funeral services creativity in Funeral personaliation will shine in 2011

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

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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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Convening Together|ICCFA & Jewish Funeral Directors|Funeral Industry Decline-Your Funeral Guy

15 Dec
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In  March of 2011 The Jewish Funeral Directors Association (JFDA)and the International Crematory, Cemetery and Funeral Association (ICCFA)will be meeting together.

The Funeral industry is declining ailing to say the least, the rise of cremation, the great recession, and high unemployment have contributed to Funeral industry Decline

The coming together of the two groups may appear innocent enough but it appears to be evidence of the larger decline.

JFDA members will have access to all ICCFA educational programs and to the Exhibit Hall. In addition, the JFDA has created the following program specifically for its members:

via www.iccfa.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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Introducing Car Caskets-Your Funeral Guy

5 Oct
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The Funeral Industry in decline will stop at nothing to make a buck The latest thing is  Vintage Car Caskets.

Expensive personalization is a good way for Funeral Directors to raise your Funeral cost. People have been buried in their cars before, but remember don’t throw your money down the grave

“The specially designed, car-shaped coffin opens as conventional coffins do, with a hinged top portion, and features the same type of upholstered interior as standard coffins. Cruisin Caskets have a fiberglass body and may come in a variety of paint colors and designs. This innovative item may feature whitewall tires and gold or chrome rims for an extra stylish look.”via cruisincaskets.com

he specially designed, car-shaped coffin opens as c

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Gun Violence after DC Funeral-Your Funeral Guy

29 Sep

Violence at Funerals is a growing trend in the United States. Some Funeral Homes have closed due to instances like the one that occurred yesterday in Washington DC.


“Gun violence erupted on trendy U Street during a lunch hour funeral procession Tuesday, leaving one person dead and injuring two others, police said.

The violence happened near the U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro station, on the same block as the popular eatery Ben’s Chili Bowl. At least two gunmen opened fire on several mourners who were getting into a gold sport utility vehicle near 13th Street, police said. The SUV sped down U Street, then collided with a black Mercedes-Benz and flipped onto its roof near 10th Street, police said.”

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

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

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