Final Rights

Reclaiming the American Way of Death

Iowa: Caring For Your Own Dead Just Got Harder

Posted By on April 26, 2012

4/27/2012—To our shock, a recently passed bill (HF2369) takes away the ability of local registrars to issue burial-transit permits. Home funeral families are now at the mercy of funeral directors with a conflict of interest or medical examiners who don’t want to cooperate with them. Josh Slocum, on behalf of Funeral Consumers Alliance,  sent the […]

Georgia tightens preneed

Posted By on April 19, 2012

Hats off to the Georgia Funeral Directors Association (yes, really!) for their work this legislative season. Thanks in large part to their efforts a proposal to allow consumers’ prepaid funeral money to be taken out of FDIC-insure accounts and invested in more risky products was defeated. In addition, consumers are now entitled to a refund […]

Updates to Alabama, Indiana

Posted By on February 24, 2012

We’ve updated the state-specific chapters for Alabama and Indiana to take account of recent law changes. Alabama now allows citizens to legally choose an agent to carry out their funeral plans while Indiana now bars funeral homes from using “warehousing” of caskets to avoid putting your prepaid money in trust or to deny you a […]

Why Do Hospitals Want to Hold on to Dead Bodies?

Posted By on February 17, 2012

While most people would prefer to die at home, nearly half the deaths in the U.S. either occur or are confirmed in a hospital. With the growing interest in home funerals, more and more families want to take charge of this intimate and critical life event. One pediatric oncology nurse says she’s seen a dramatic […]

Help with home funerals: when it crosses the line

Posted By on November 13, 2011

As a grandmother to the home funeral movement since 1987, I have been thrilled to see the interest in home funerals taking hold around the country. And how wonderful that there are significant learning opportunities to help spread this movement. However, I am growing alarmed at one of the trends I see: women (typically) calling […]

San Antonio News-Express Reviews Final Rights

Posted By on October 11, 2011

—Like Jessica Mitford‘s “American Way of Death,” “Final Rights” deals with the industry that has evolved around our culture’s reluctance to face the immutable fact of our deaths and what to do with “the remains.” Written  by the current and former executive directors of Funeral Consumers Alliance national office, “Final Rights” details in frequently polemic style […]

Final Rights on the Radio

Posted By on October 11, 2011

10/11/2011 — Anyone who knows me wouldn’t expect me to thank them for getting me up at 6 a.m., but my hat’s off to the fantastic volunteers at the FCA of East Tennessee for a jam-packed and fun day on October 6. Before addressing the membership at their annual convention, my hosts set up two […]

Casket Disclaimer Form Prompts Complaint to Federal Trade Commission

Posted By on September 11, 2011

Despite being illegal since 1994, despite years of FTC rulings, and despite how shortsighted it is, some funeral homes are still throwing obstacles in the paths of consumers who exercise their right to buy a casket outside the funeral home. The latest complaint on my desk comes from casket retailer Elder Truss, who runs a […]

No fridge?

Posted By on August 12, 2011

8/12/11—Believe it or not a huge number of funeral homes lack the most obvious basic equipment: a refrigerated body storage unit. Why? Historically funeral homes successfully pushed nearly every family into consenting to embalming, the industry’s preferred and profitable form of preservation. But that just won’t fly any more. The cremation is about 38 percent […]

Carlson undercover—shenanigans in Indiana

Posted By on August 5, 2011

-by Lisa Carlson I traveled to Sullivan, Indiana this week to see if I could help a young man fight an outrageous funeral bill. His wife, a housekeeper at a local hotel, died suddenly in June ’09, with no insurance or benefits. She was the sole bread-winner, as he is disabled with a back injury. […]