13+ Things A Funeral Director Won’t Tell You

Read the money-saving secrets funeral directors from across the country aren't taking to the grave with these insider tips for planning a funeral.

View as Slideshow

 

1.Go ahead and plan your funeral,

1.Go ahead and plan your funeral,iStock/djedzura
but think twice before paying in advance. You risk losing everything if the funeral home goes out of business. Instead, keep your money in a pay-on-death account at your bank.

2. If you or your spouse is an honorably discharged veteran,

2. If you or your spouse is an honorably discharged veteran,iStock/Joecho-16
burial is free at a Veterans Affairs National Cemetery. This includes the grave, vault, opening and closing, marker, and setting fee. Many State Veterans Cemeteries offer free burial for veterans and, often, spouses (www.cem.va.gov).

3. You can buy caskets that are just as nice as the ones in my showroom for thousands of dollars less online from Walmart, Costco, or straight from a manufacturer.

3. You can buy caskets that are just as nice as the ones in my showroom for thousands of dollars less online from Walmart, Costco, or straight from a manufacturer.iStock/alexkich

Content continues below ad

4. On a budget or concerned about the environment?

 4. On a budget or concerned about the environment?iStock/DIGlcal
Consider a rental casket. The body stays inside the casket in a thick cardboard container, which is then removed for burial or cremation.

5. Running a funeral home without a refrigerated holding room is like running a restaurant without a walk-in cooler.

5. Running a funeral home without a refrigerated holding room is like running a restaurant without a walk-in cooler.iStock/Enrique Ramos Lopez
But many funeral homes don’t offer one because they want you to pay for the more costly option: embalming. Most bodies can be presented very nicely without it if you have the viewing within a few days of death.

6. Some hard-sell phrases to be wary of:

6. Some hard-sell phrases to be wary of: iStock/kzenon
“Given your position in the community …,” “I’m sure you want what’s best for your mother,” and “Your mother had excellent taste. When she made arrangements for Aunt Nellie, this is what she chose.”

Content continues below ad

7. “Protective” caskets with a rubber gasket?

7. “Protective” caskets with a rubber gasket? iStock/Pears2295
They don’t stop decomposition. In fact, the moisture and gases they trap inside have caused caskets to explode.

8. If there’s no low-cost casket in the display room, ask to see one anyway.

8. If there’s no low-cost casket in the display room, ask to see one anyway.iStock/Katarzyna Bialasiewicz
Some funeral homes hide them in the basement or the boiler room.

9. Ask the crematory to return the ashes in a plain metal or plastic container — not one stamped temporary container.

9. Ask the crematory to return the ashes in a plain metal or plastic container — not one stamped temporary container.iStock/kzenon
That’s just a sleazy tactic to get you to purchase a more expensive urn.

Content continues below ad

10. Shop around.

10. Shop around.iStock/mediaphotos
Prices at funeral homes vary wildly, with direct cremation costing $500 at one funeral home and $3,000 down the street. (Federal law requires that prices be provided over the phone.)

11. We remove pacemakers because the batteries damage our crematories.

11. We remove pacemakers because the batteries damage our crematories.iStock/Fodor90

12. If I try to sell you a package that I say will save you money, ask for the individual price list anyway.

12. If I try to sell you a package that I say will save you money, ask for the individual price list anyway. iStock/Sqauredpixels
Our packages often include services you don’t want or need.

Content continues below ad

13. Yes, technically I am an undertaker or a mortician. But doesn’t funeral director have a nicer ring to it?

13. Yes, technically I am an undertaker or a mortician. But doesn’t funeral director have a nicer ring to it?iStock/kzenon

14. Sure, you can store ashes in an urn or scatter them somewhere special,

14. Sure, you can store ashes in an urn or scatter them somewhere special, iStock/BarbraFord
but nowadays you can also have them crushed into a real diamond, integrated into an underwater coral reef, or blasted into space. Learn about green burials »

15. It’s usually less expensive if the body is not present for the funeral.

15.  It’s usually less expensive if the body is not present for the funeral.iStock/meadowmouse

Content continues below ad

16. If the deceased’s favorite outfit is a size too small or a size too big, bring it to us anyway.

16.  If the deceased’s favorite outfit is a size too small or a size too big, bring it to us anyway.iStock/Finn O'Hara
Part of our job is making the clothes lie perfectly.

17. If I ask you for a photograph of the deceased to help me prepare the body,

17. If I ask you for a photograph of the deceased to help me prepare the body,iStock/IvanJekic
I don’t mean her honeymoon picture from decades ago.

18. That may be real gold in your loved one’s dental fillings or crowns,

18. That may be real gold in your loved one’s dental fillings or crowns, iStock/Eraxion
but don’t ask me to remove them for you.

Content continues below ad

19. Never trust a funeral director who says, “This is the last thing you can do for your loved one.”

19. Never trust a funeral director who says, “This is the last thing you can do for your loved one.”iStock/MagMos

20. You don’t need to spend money to have a meaningful service.

20. You don’t need to spend money to have a meaningful service.iStock/stellalevi
Consider a potluck at the widow’s home or an informal ceremony at a favorite park, and ask survivors to tell stories or read poetry.

21. Always bring another person when you meet with me,

21. Always bring another person when you meet with me, iStock/Lisa F. Young
ideally someone who’s not as emotionally attached to the deceased.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

521 thoughts on “13+ Things A Funeral Director Won’t Tell You

  1. #15 stumps me. “It’s usually less expensive if the body is not present for the funeral.”

    Um… if the body’s not there, why are you paying for a funeral?? Go have a remembrance party at some restaurant’s function hall for 1/4 the price.

  2. Most of these are not true. There are laws that a body cannot be waked unless it is embalmed. The money you prepay for your funeral is put in a trust so it doesn’t make any difference if the funeral home goes out of business, at least in my state that is the way it is. The caskets you buy at discount are not the same quality as funeral home caskets. A relative is a funeral director and I get to hear the horror stories like handles breaking off when the casket is being carried in church. The bed of the casket can be made of cardboard so when the body is placed in it drops to the bottom

  3. I got this call a few years ago from a friend in a town about 90 miles away. A long lost mutual friend had passed away of cancer. I didn’t know he had moved there. When he got sick, he named my buddy as executor of his estate. But he died dirt poor. He donated his car to a charity so it was not available to sell. So we went to the local funeral home and he took the case on for charity. First, he got the city to donate plot in the city owned cemetery and they would cover opening and closing costs. I’m figuring it wouldn’t have a fault. The marker was coming from the VA. The funeral home owner said he could do everything at cost for right at $500. That would cover a basic bronze colored casket, body prep, death certificates, final transport to church then cemetery. Our friend died rather bitter at his family but another mutual friend had contact with a sister and he called her. She just could not stand missing her own brother’s funeral. So she flew in and drove rental car into town. She met with the funeral home operator and covered the costs. She then said she would be happy to pay the city for the plot but he suggested she not do that. So it was a basic funeral at the church then we went to the cemetery. Our friend would have been happy about the city’s choice of plot. He was buried around kids that had died at an old children’s home. His last job was a school bus driver. I guess in his philosophical alternate dimension where he now exists, he drives those kids to a nice school. On the drive home, he gets into Jung, Martin Luther, and Plato, something he did on our long road trips.

  4. I am 70% disabled and served from 9/29/76 to 9/29/79 do i qualify?

  5. All of these comments seem to circle around pre-need. Any FD’s notice that the article says the FTC requires prices to be released over the phone? Um…no. The FTC prohibits the release of prices without giving the client a GPL. Articles like this make for angry clients. It reminds me of that commercial (State Farm, I think) “They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.” It’s sad how so many people believe it, and RD should be ashamed of themselves. As a long standing publication with MANY readers, they should verify their facts before they publish something of this nature

  6. I agree with Redheadfolsom, and also, if you do what the first thing says, you’re then not locked in at the rate you would have paid at the time you paid for your funeral in advance. If you have an account that pays for your funeral upon your death, you may not have enough money in the account to pay for your funeral.

  7. Just get cremated and be done with it. It one is not nice to a person before death, why bother about it after death. To ease one’s conscience. Why do people insist on ‘putting their loved ones away nicely?” What the heck does that mean. Pay respect by having a lovely, loving and lively memorial service. It’s cheaper

  8. I am a Prieta Linda. I also own a funeral home as well as a cemetery. Death is long over due, and “it” is long over due at the library. How can the funeral home go out of business? Dave can stand there all day or all night long. He can make a wedding out of it!

  9. Buy the least expensive burial vault available. All are the same and all it does is hold a grave in place. A friend of mine who is a funeral director told me that one.

  10. This article isn’t completely accurate. When someone pre-plans funeral arrangements (i.e., so the surviving spouse isn’t left making arrangements alone or when grief is most acute) the funeral plans can be pre-paid to a funeral home, but the better mortuaries sell insurance policies.

    Then the funeral home guarantees the current market price, the purchased options and the beneficiary receives an insurance payout directly from the insurance company. With that payout the (guaranteed) funeral pricing is paid. The monies are completely in your control.

    Funeral choices can be changed at the time of need, but be aware those new choices would be sold at current market prices.

  11. IM AVOIDING ALL OF THIS AND OPTED FOR GREEN BURIAL ON MY OWN LAND. DID A FAMILY CEMETERY THING. NO EMBALMING, NO CASKET, JUST MY ENERGY REASSORBED INTO THE EARTH NATURALLY WITH A TREE AS MY HEADSTONE LIKE WE WERE MEANT TO DO. I THINK IT’S HILARIOUS TO SPEND SO MUCH MONEY ON A CASKET AND VAULT WHEN THE BODY IS GOING TO DECOMPOSE REGARDLESS OR TO CREMATE WHEN THE BODY IS ALREADY GOING TO DECOMPOSE FOR FREE!!! SAVE THE MONEY FOR THE LIVING TO ENJOY.

  12. Nice fear mongering, anti funeral establishment rhetoric you’re spitting you vile woman. The majority of these are skewed versions of the truth. By the way, what does 13 have to do with anything??? Yes technically you are pencil pusher, or, writer, or desk jockey, but doesn’t “journalist” have a nicer ring to it, you pretentious jerk.

  13. As a funeral director, I can say honestly this article is nothing more than something to fill the pages. Refrigeration? Very few funeral homes have refrigeration, and it has nothing to do with pushing embalming. Funeral homes do not hold money on prepaid services. That money is in a trust, which is in an interest-bearing account and the payee owns the money – not the funeral home.

    Each state has very specific laws on how pre-need funds are handled, and of course the federal government keeps a close eye on things also. The FTC is the federal watchdog of funeral homes.

    If anyone thinks funeral directors make a lot of money on each service, think again. After all the overhead, taxes, insurance, maintenance on the facility, licensing, vehicles, staff are paid, the average profit on a full-service funeral is about 12%. Not many other businesses operate on such a slim margin. A $7500 funeral nets the funeral home owner about $900.

    We also do not try to gouge families at the time of need. We explain the options and bow out while they discuss their plans, so they can do so in private. No ethical funeral director would put a family’s finances ahead of his/her own interests.

    Perhaps those who accuse us of being worse than used car salesmen ought to go out on calls with us; help us arrange a funeral; prepare the body; etc. It takes about 40 labor hours to get from the first call to the final disposition. Once you see what goes into the business, you’d change your mind in a hurry.

  14. Every concerned person should read Jessica Mitford’s THE AMERICAN WAY OF DEATH to learn how modern funerals are outrageous, expensive ripoffs of gullible people. The Neptune Society has some good deals for disposing of one’s remains – and they do not cost a small fortune.

    1. I met Charles Denning, the founder of the Neptune Society in 1981. Talk about the smooth talking salesman’s salesman ! Since 1981 Charles Denning has sold the Neptune Society to the world’s largest death care company, Service Corporation International; Dignity and Dignity Memorial are their registered trademark for their traditional full service mortuaries, cemeteries and crematories. Charles Denning was the epitome of the re-incarnated snake oil salesman of the frontier era of the western U. S.

  15. Why do people put so much emphasis on death? The body and mind are gone. All that is left is memories. There is absolutely no reason to spend thousands of dollars on body disposal. Send it through the cremator and put the ashes in the garbage can or if you live in the north, save them to grit the drive way when it ices over.
    And for the Urn, just get a Folgers coffee can.

  16. You can also purchase an urn or any memorial online. There has never been more choice for consumers. Consider an artistic cremation urn that is made in the US!

  17. If I lost a child, I am sure the LAST thing I would want to do is to get on line and buy a casket to bury my child in….Much less, having to transport the casket to the funeral home, etc. What if the casket arrives and it doesn’t look like the one pictured in the ad? Give me a break!!!! In some circumstances, very rare circumstances, ordering a casket on line might be a viable choice….but not often

  18. I have no idea where Reader’s Digest came up with these absurd statements, but a large portion of them are not true. For example, the embalming statement. Embalming is required in most states as state law, and bodies begin to decompose immediately. It would have been great if such a reputable ( I thought) publication had checked facts and been informative and correct at the same time.

  19. Mother had a prepaid funeral plan in Missouri. She had a stroke, moved with family to Nebraska and when asked was told that her plan would follow her to any funeral home in Nebraska when the time was needed. When needed, the Missouri funeral home only paid half of what was in the plan and we had to cover the other half of the funeral. They said it was legal to withhold that amount if not used in the state it was purchased. Left a bad taste for pre-buying funeral plan. Don’t do it if you don’t plan to stay in that state to die – Her plan was a trust but we didn’t get what she thought she paid for. Was totally misled by the funeral director. We would have moved policy to a place in Nebraska had we known they weren’t going to honor it.

  20. When my father died out of state, I called the funeral home where he had pre-paid for cremation. The cost had been $2400. I had him cremated in the other state and returned for internment at Arlington Cemetery as he was a retired officer. I asked the funeral home if there was an additional charge. No – the other state only charged $700 for the cremation and transport, so I got a refund of $1700. Beware – even the cheapest alternatives can be a heist.

  21. When dad passed he made it clear that he wanted to be cremated but my sisters chose to have a viewing for “closure” in Connecticut. We were told that if there was a viewing they had to embalm the body. We were told it was a law in CT. That added over $6000 to the funeral. Does anyone know if this is true for Connecticut or were we scammed in our time of grief?

    1. I do not believe that the embalming and viewing cost an additional $6000.00. Be fair!! No doubt you and your family chose to go with a more traditional funeral and that is where the extra charges came from.

  22. In PA pre-paid burials are put in interest-bearing irrevocable trust insurance accounts in the name of the party for whom the funeral is being planned. Costs for products/services sold/delivered by the funeral home directly (e.g., casket) are guaranteed not to increase. Products/services not sold/delivered directly by the funeral home (e.g., grave digging) but paid for in package and arranged by the funeral home are subject to increase, with some/most of the increase in cost expected to be paid by the interest growth of the account. The cost of anything not under the funeral home’s control (e.g., post-burial luncheon) needs to be born entirely by the family of the deceased.

    In PA one must also be given a complete price list. And yes – you can shoot ashes into outer space – or make someone into a diamond – or bury them in a cardboard box.

  23. I viewed 3 of these before the adverts got to me. I am going to read a different article…

  24. You can use Mad Dog MD 20-20 wine for embalming fluid too, and its cheaper and easier to rip flowers etc off graves than buy them.

  25. I’m in the business, if you prepay, we guarantee the funeral home charges forever, we don’t guarantee cemetery costs because those arent our charges. You can transfer the account to another funeral home at any time, its up to that funeral home if they will guarantee the charges. If there is any change in ownership, say.. my son buys the business from me or my estate, each trust account is given a chance to transfer the account or let it stay. All controlled by the FTC.
    Some things are true, a gasket does absolutely nothing, but international shipping requires it. Cosco does sell caskets, we can usually match the price, but if we cant, you have every right to bring your own, but no manufacturer I know of sells direct to public. The crematory always provides a cheap plastic box if you dont select something else, some cemeteries accept that for burial, some dont, but if your scattering, who cares.

  26. If you loose your funeral insurance policy and can remember the company name, you can call the company directly and they will issue you new paperwork. There are only 6 companies in the US that offer pre-need insurance. If you have trouble “collecting” then contact your state insurance commissioner. Also all funeral homes are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and their individual State Funeral Board. If you have issues with a particular funeral home, director or pre-need salesperson you have options if you have problems. It’s unfortunate that the unethical people out there cause all funeral homes and directors to be painted with the same brush.

  27. All funeral homes fall under the FTC funeral law of 1984. They are required to give you a copy of their general price list (GPL) up front. If you ask for one over the phone they will gladly mail, fax, or email you a copy.

  28. Most funeral homes will not remove gold fillings themselves as it is usually considered mutilation of a dead human body and therefore illegal. You need to have a dentist do it.

  29. Yes, you can purchase a casket online but buyer beware. Not all caskets are good quality. The handles and bottoms can fall out / off of the cheap ones. Also most funeral homes will charge you a handling fee for caskets not purchased through them due to the liability of the poor construction.

  30. In most states the pre-need funeral funds must be held by a master trust or some sort of insurance company. This is the law. You can use your funeral pre-need insurance at any funeral home it doesn’t have to be the one you purchased it at.

  31. The article may not be perfect but it does start an informative conversation!

  32. The list is BS…Most states require if the body is displayed they must be embalmed. A prepaid funeral all the funds are held in a trust account. Prepaid is less expensive in the long run. Caskets are various price from $100 and up. AOL just does these lists to make it seem as if you get something for what you pay them. I was in the funeral biz, but not anymore. Most of the people are very professional and caring. It is like a car a KIA will get you there, but some people prefer a Mercedes or Rolls!

  33. I think funerals are a giant waste of money I already have in writing to donate my body take what can be used for anyone who needs it then send the rest to medical school

    1. The first three letters in funeral are “fun”. That’s what i want people to do when I die. Go somewhere, have a bite to eat, drink an adult beverage, tell jokes, laugh, and yes, have fun.

  34. Every penny spent on a dead body is a complete and utter waste. Your loved one is dead…the body they lived in is not “them” any more than the car they drove is. Direct your hard-earned money to the living members of your family…or throw a party or something useful. This whole “industry” is a disgusting waste of resources and manipulation of your “feelings”. Dig a hole, drop me in naked and let me return to the soil….take the $$ and buy yourselves a new car, or send a kid to college…or to Paris to drink and kiss women…i dont care, just something productive or fun!

    1. Understand your point, but in most states you can’t just dig a hole and drop the body in. Than again, I’m no expert

    2. If you choose to do that, good for you. However, I choose to treat my loved ones with as much respect dead as I did when they were alive. I think your comments are crass and glib. Bury your child and tell me how you dropped that loved one in a hole, naked, and covered it up with soil.

  35. #6 really ticked my brother and I off. The audacity of them thinking they knew my Mom and what she would have preferred. We asked for another director immediately after, and scored with one of the nicest people on earth.

  36. Check your State laws but in Illinois if your going to get cremated you don’t have to have the blood drained from you which saves on expenses. Most places will do a no show low cost cremation for less then $4,000. Call to get a quote from area funeral homes. In Danville, Illinois and surrounding areas Sunset has a MONOPOLY buying up funeral homes and will charge $10,000 and up just for a cremation.!! Robison in Catlin or Wolfe’s in Hoopeston is allot cheaper. Never ever give a funeral home the insurance policy nor tell them the amount its worth or they will find more expenses to get all of it. Best call and say “How much is it for a cremation since they had no insurance and the family and friends are taking up a collection.” Play on their emotions, before they do yours.

  37. Perfect with #20. I’m an actor in a medium-sized city and local theaters have offered their spaces for free to hold memorial services for several of our theatre friends who have died over the past few years. People sing, tell stories, drink, and remember. In general, theatre folks are poor and we help each other out because we know we’re priced out of traditional funeral arrangements.

  38. In VA use a “irrevocable trust account” money guaranteed and transferable to another FH in case one goes out of business, ask your local Funeral Director for details.

  39. They don’t make more land so I say ocean burial is better, tough I think only cremated type are allowed?
    Take a boat trip out once a year and drop something (heavy) down as a ceremony and call it the day.
    All funeral homes should have fridge, as after 100 non-embalming it have paid for itself and they can pass on the savings to customers as who need more than 2 hours for viewing? Put some dry-ice in the rented coffin, to keep it colder than room temperature

  40. In CA, you prepay your funeral expenses by way of a funeral insurance policy. The funeral home never sees a cent until the insurance pays out, and you lock in today’s prices with the policy covering the difference. You stop paying premiums when the face value is reached, and you’re set. Best gift to give your family – exactly what you want without costing them a dime out of their pockets. Shame on readers digest for not researching this. They used to be a world class publication.

  41. They forgot the most important one DO NOT leave jewelry with the deceased – funeral employees might and do steal it!

    1. My Mom’s was written down and signed. We received all of her jewelry back that she did not want with her.

  42. This article is terrible.

    1. Pre-plan your funeral, it makes it easier on everyone.
    —Take out an insurance policy or put your money into an interest bearing trust, check your states laws. It does vary by state, Florida and Arizona will keep your money. My state does not allow that.
    If we go out of business, we have to refund your money because it is either in the bank or in an insurance policy, not sitting in our account.
    2. We always ask if someone is a veteran. You also get a flag and military detail if you want it.
    3. Yes, you can buy a casket from somewhere else, but if it arrives damaged, we can’t do anything about. We received one from a corporate memorial gardens that had obvious stains in it, it took a lot of phone calls and threats to get it replaced, and they could’ve bought it cheaper from us.
    4. We use our rental all the time. Its great for people that want cremation but want the closure that visitation with their loved one brings.
    5. We don’t have refrigeration, most small locally owned funeral homes don’t. But there is a morgue available to us in our town.
    I could go on and on and on but I don’t have time. Before you jump on the bandwagon of damning funeral directors, go talk to one. Get some information and educate yourself. We have “shoppers” all the time. Our price is not necessarily the lowest, but our service is the best. We genuinely want to help people. Funerals are not for the deceased, they are for the living.

    1. I agree, shop around. We ended up up with a young man who was beyond wise and experienced for his years. Every time I pass the funeral home I think about my Mom and her funeral, I always smile because of the way our Mom and family were treated by the gentleman who took care of us. He was real and when he gave us his condolesences it came from the heart. I was so impressed by his sincerity, you just can’t fake that.
      Your job is not an easy one, and you have to deal with all types of personalities, some who are little to be desired even before their bereavement. I tip my hat to all the good ones who work so tirelessly for our families when we are hurting the most.

  43. And what about people who don’t have the money for the funeral and burial? bank accounts get set up for donations to pay but the funeral homes make a lot of money
    Why don’t they help the indigent families?

  44. I love number 21, “Always bring another person with you when making an arrangement.” This is not some hidden secret from a funeral director, you can bring anyone with you to make an arrangement. This is a common sense (which most don’t have) thing to bring someone else when making funeral arrangements.

  45. The more I read this article the more suspicious I become. Readers Digest is simply looking for a sensational story to scare people. I work in the funeral industry and have never heard of a funeral home that does not use refrigeration. You cannot take a body into a facility without putting in refrigeration. This is just non-sense. A funeral home only removes a pace maker if the body is being cremated. The pacemaker will explode, so check your facts first.

  46. As a former funeral director/embalmer, I have to say, this is crap. Yes, you can buy your casket elsewhere, but the funeral home doesn’t have to touch it if you do so. They also can deny you a viewing if you choose not to embalm. Trust me, that’s for your well being. There is also a definite line between a funeral director and an embalmer. At least in Alabama.

  47. BAD BAD JOURNALISM…….False Information and LIES!!!!! I am a 23 year Funeral Director from Texas. I have handled services and families with regards to sales and merchandise as I would like my OWN FAMILY treated. I attempted to make every family feel comfortable with what they could afford or wanted to purchase!!!! Do your homework, just as you would when buying any big ticket item….go meet your local funeral directors and funeral homes…..This information is all old school mentality and/or just flat out incorrect information!!! Someone else needs to do their homework, READER’s DIGEST!!!! Very disappointed!!!!!!

  48. We just buried my father last week and thank goodness he prepaid for funeral and burial in 1982. He paid a total of about $2500 for funeral and $1800 for burial. The cost for just the plot today is $11,000! The funeral home he prepaid with was no longer in business but the accounts were given to another mortuary who took care of it. The only thing we had to cover was $400 for a Saturday burial and $400 for after 2:30pm overtime on Saturday fee, go figure.

  49. Actually when my dad passed away the funeral director was the one who told us about the veterans cemetery. She also explained that since he was being cremated he did not need to be embalmed and that we did not need to buy a casket. That they had basically a human size cardboard container that would be fine. Also that his ashes could be inurned in the temporary container as there was no need to purchase a fancy urn.

  50. Oh shirtzy is it my final home….I would love the cardboard box, so there would not be an explosion underground to wake me up. Oh well, I`m donating my body to save lives instead of letting it rotten and be eating by whatever is there..But, it`s interesting how people still take advantages of the vulnerability of the dead. Maybe Obamacare should be for the dead and not for the alive ones, care for the cemetery, the cadavers, and make sure all of them receive the appropriate care accordly with their taxes returns throughout their lives on earth, and not play Robin Hood with someones money.

  51. Even if you pay in advance your loved one can be charged extra as it was for my brother last month. Had I been in charge I would not have paid extra

    1. You do not say what extra charges you paid for your brother. Funeral service and merchandise costs are locked in at the time of the pre-arrangement. If you decide at the time of death to upgrade, change the preneed contract, or purchase 3rd party items, you will be charged extra. This would be explained to you by the funeral director.

      1. This happened in Louisiana. My brother paid for all before he passed. I am not sure what his daughter paid extra but I will find out.

  52. If you decide on cremation, be sure to tell the funeral director to have the crematorium return all metals to you (i.e. gold crowns). That could be several thousand dollars that they keep.

    1. Funeral directors are not in the business of removing gold crowns. They do not keep them. This is a false accusation. If the family wants the gold crowns (not worth much) they should have a dentist remove them; this is not the responsibility of the funeral director.

    2. More often then not, the cost of having a dental surgeon remove the teeth (and good luck finding one who will) is hardly worth the money returned from dental gold (provided you can find someone to buy it, that is).

  53. WHY is a ‘Lifetime’ Guarantee offered on a coffin when the person who will occupy it is already dead?

  54. I’m getting taken care of for free. I’ve given my body to Life Sciences — a company in Phoenix that will pick me up for free in Denver, transport my body to Phoenix, the send all or parts of me to one or more medical schools for study. Afterwards the parts are returned to Life Sciences for cremation and the ashes reutrned to my family. No cost whatsoever!

  55. Again, number 11 is misleading. We DO remove pacemakers because they explode and damage our crematory. If you had ever heard one explode, and seen what it does to the fire brick, you would know why. If families want them back, they can have them, and that is stated in the cremation authorization. Otherwise we donate them to charities like Heart to Heart.

  56. Number 8 is also untrue. Funeral homes are required by law to display a variety of caskets in a range of prices. They will also have a catalog displayed in the casket room where you can look at other caskets that are available since they couldn’t possibly keep every single one on the display floor. We display everything from cardboard caskets, to rental caskets, to metal, to wood. Just ask if you don’t see what you’re looking for.

  57. Number 5 is another misleading statement. Bodies decompose at different rates. Usually within 24 hours there is gas distention of the abdomen, discoloration of the skin, and other unpleasant developments. There are certain drugs – particularly cancer drugs – that can cause accelerated decomposition. I have seen bodies begin to decompose badly within a few hours These things happen even with refrigeration. Also, the majority of cemeteries require embalming before burial, and many require vaults in addition to the caskets. This is a requirement of the cemeteries, not the Funeral Director. Putting a diseased body into in a cardboard box with no embalming, as they suggest in this article, is a danger to public health. Embalming is not just a cosmetic fix that allows loved ones a pleasant memory of the deceased, it also disinfects and preserves the body. If you want to save money on embalming, then opt for cremation.

  58. First of all, when you plan a pre-need with a legitimate funeral home, it will be put into a trust with a third party – usually a bank. Even if the funeral home goes up in smoke, your money will be safe in a trust that is in your name with the funeral home as beneficiary. But you can cancel the trust and reclaim the money at any time. Additionally, buying a preneed at a legitimate funeral home protects you from inflation by freezing your funeral prices at today’s levels. The Funeral Director gets any interest that is accrued to cover his additional costs. If you decide to move your pre-need to another funeral home – for instance if you move to another state – some Funeral Directors will charge a small fee for the transfer, and some charge nothing. Ask in advance. I am a Funeral Director and a Mortician, and I have found that most legitimate Directors are very trustworthy, but I have also had trouble with some of the people who call themselves “Cremation Societies”. Check the reputation of your Funeral Director and you will not have any problems. This article is not very truthful.

  59. This article is a disgrace to legitimate funeral homes. You make it sound like every funeral director is a lying crook.

  60. My mom wanted straight cremation, no showing, no frills. One location that she initially went to wanted almost 3000 dollars….no casket, no plot, no showing!! Yet the same company on a different side of town wanted only 1800. I’ve seen advertisments on TV saying starting at 800….but by the time you call it is NEVER that amount. In the end I spent more than 2000 to identify her in a hospital gown in a sheet covered up pine box with cardboard stapled to it, and they delayed her cremation by almost 2 weeks (the crematory was behind they said)….unbelievable.

  61. A “funeral director” is someone who directs the funeral at a church, through to cemetery. That’s what I do. I’m not a mortician.

  62. only a repugnant funeral director operates a business in a disgusting manner.
    when my mom died she did not have a life insurance policy that covered the entire cost, the entire cost between funeral home and cemetery was $10,800
    $1500.00 of that was air transport and local embalming
    and the funeral director is one that mom chose, she knew the the director since he was a kid

  63. Different states have laws and regulations. Cemeteries also have their own regulations. This article is full of misconceptions that are slanderous to the funeral industry. Do your research on your own and don’t expect or rely on a funeral director to tell you everything. Their job is to provide a product and service to suit your needs, Not to spend hours in a conference room explaining every aspect of funerals and operations.

  64. Not all funeral homes are out to make money. On June 23, 2007 our newborn daughter passed away, unexpectedly 30 mins after her birth,
    Hatcher’s Funeral Home in Graniteville, SC treated us so wonderfully.
    For a baby under 12 months of age, they do not charge for anything with the exception of their cost of the little casket. They did not charge us for her body transport, her embalming, the service its self at their facility….not all the area funeral homes are this way. I had a friend lose her preemie as was charged by a different home in the area for everything I just mentioned.

  65. When you pre pay for the service, the funeral parlor owner puts the funds in a 3rd party bank to hold the funds, there for if you pass on in another state, they will transfer the funds to the new place. or this is what Mr Parchman did for myself and wife. Might be the person at the funeral home , Honest and looking out for you. I again know Mr Parchman is a honest person and I feel good about everything.

  66. Whats the big deal, send the stiff to the grave and get over it. Honor them as your family wishes.

  67. Woah there! I am a funeral director and this article sucks. Yeah there are always bad apples in the barrel, but that doesn’t mean we all are. I inform my families to the teeth about ways to get out of certain charges, alternative methods, and things they can do to make the process of coordinating a funeral, as plain or as elaborate as they would have it. Furthermore, I work my butt off trying to prevent charges that can be prevented!!!!! Even if it means they find a better fit at another funeral home.
    Pre-planning is a powerful tool to make things easier for the survivors as possible. You do take risks with pre-planning, but you take risks by not pre-planning as well. Pre-planning locks prices in for services and merchandise and helps you to understand the process of putting your love one to rest. I have sat with families and planned huge services in under two hours start to finish when a death has occurred, because they had allowed me the time to get to know them, their needs, and information to complete the process before their love one had passed, and I had no monetary benefit to do this other than making a modest living; I get paid by the hour (which is a tiny bit more than what McDonald workers were asking for). On the other side of the coin, I have sat with grieving families to educate them on how to do each and every thing every step of the way. These poor souls were there for hours on end just coming to the conclusion on how mom or pop would have wanted it, and then if they choose to stay with my company, which some do and some don’t, we had to still plan the funeral. They should have been grieving and consoling each other.
    Each family that comes to me is treated like family! I take great care and pride into my work. I always want what is best and do what I can do to accommodate that for the families I get the honor of serving.
    There are some wonderful comments below that help to ease the sting of this author’s pen, and I am grateful for you! Don’t read us all to be money grubbing carrions. Some of us actually care.

  68. dignity funeral in augusta ga. elliots did us just right even let us use chapel for free during week thanks

  69. When my father died last year we looked into prepay for mom. THEY CONFIRMED IF THE PRICES GOES UP YOU HAVE TO PAY EXTRA. YOU HAVE BOUGHT NOTHING TIL THE MONEY GOES TO THE FUNERAL HOME FROM THE BANK. So putting it in trust has nothing to do with the final cost.

  70. I’m married to a retired Funeral Director/Embalmer with over 30 yrs of experience. . 3/4th of these statements are untrue. I can’t begin to list them all. The caskets you buy from 3rd parties can be seconds..they don’t seal right. The pacemakers are only removed when being cremated because the batteries will explode like a hand grenade in the retort. Pre-need funerals are a good idea…and are usually ins. policies or trusts..so if the funeral home closes the money is still there. In Illinois, they have to be held by and insurance or a trust. The funeral has to make money some how by selling their services and goods. Of course their is a mark-up. You have a million dollar facility to maintain..and employees to pay just like any other biz. Yes..you DO need embalming if you are going to view the body. They would stink to high heaven…and will start to decompose. You can hold a body for weeks embalmed. Those fridges are very expensive and very few funeral home if any have them. There is no need for them.

    About the Veterans benefits….yes…they do tell them.

    I wish I had the time to point out all the misinformation in each statement..

    I would like to know who the hell the reporter is on this…cause s/he needs to go back to journalism school and learn how to research a story.

    These types of articles give the funeral industry a bad name. This industry is regulated by the Feds and by state law.

  71. This is why I want to be stuffed and mounted over the fireplace.

  72. Actually I’m going to be so angry that I died, I’m thinking of leaving a check in my will that will bounce for insufficient funds, after I’m safely in the ground. Live it up all you want, but not with my money your not!

  73. BTW, embalming is NOT required for either cremation or burial; if most knew what it entailed, they would never agree to it. Educate yourselves! Books are available.

    1. That is correct..but if you are going to view the body yes. The body can start decomposing and you wouldn’t want to smell the stench. If there is no embalming…the body can be view by the family only…and then they would have to have a close casket viewing.

      1. embalming laws vary state to state and embalming is observed for religious reasons, I knew a man that that lost his wife at a young age he had an open casket for her and the viewing was only 1 hour prior to service and immediate burial. she was not embalmed

        1. Embalming has nothing to do with religion. Yes…states do vary in their embalming laws.
          FTC requires embalming to cross state lines…but there are some exceptions to that rule too.

  74. Also, you can circumvent much of this by reading “Care of the Dead” and/or “Grave Matters”; in most states, you are within your legal rights taking your loved one home from a facility (or keeping him home, if that’s where death occurred; don’t let hospice or others pressure you to immediately employ a funeral home), washing/dressing the body yourself, holding a home wake, and even burying in a natural setting or on your own property. As for pre-planning, many are saying “just put the money in the bank,” but remember that accounts are frozen the minute banks get the first whiff of death notice appearing in a paper (which it must by law); it’ll be long after the funeral before you ever have access to those funds again. I searched until I found a professional willing to accommodate my rather unusual requests and work with me; my loved one stayed home until 36 hours after death (the outside limit the director recommended) with no ill effects; it could’ve been longer on packed or dry ice. We then “bought” only direct cremation and the funeral home didn’t make a bundle; we knew the cardboard casket was available, and they made no move to push anything expensive or more services. They additionally advised us that we needn’t even buy an urn, if we had or found something else (we ended up paying just $40 for a lovely rosewood casket with engraving). Finally, they expressed interest in learning more about home funerals.

      1. You have to have a container for the body in order to cremate, but you do not need a casket.

  75. He won’t tell you that you are DEAD he will let you figure it out yourself. I want cryonic freezing..the way to Eternal Life

  76. Never seen so much discussion since Dear Abbey posted which way toilet paper should be unrolled in a bathroom. ha ha

  77. My husband who was a Vietnam Vet (honorably discharged), was not covered by Veterans Affairs National Cemetery. Went round and round, jumped all the hoops, gave them every documentation they requested, 2 years after the fact was denied burial reimbursement for his cremation cost. So much for being an honorably “honored” Vet. That was such a let down, and miserably failed us. Didn’t know who else to turn to. Simply gave up now knowing the truth about what really happens when you served your so call country.

    1. The V.A. provides internment in a national V. A cemetery but does not cover cremation costs .

  78. I’ll just keep my money and let someone else dig the hole.A box and a hole,how much can that cost?

  79. It is never a good idea to prepay the cost of the funeral, as funeral homes routinely go out of business, but many companies that own cemeteries offer pre-paid caskets and graves or crypts (in a wall or mausoleum) in one of their cemeteries. This can be a better option, because you are contracting with the company that owns the cemetery, not an actual funeral home. The trick, of course, is to keep track of the paperwork and make sure it doesn’t get lost. Nobody will honor anything without the original paperwork. I know people who actually did this in the late 80’s, and when one of them died a couple of years ago, the funeral home was pissed off, because the casket would have been 5,000 dollars more, and it would have cost over 10,000 dollars for the grave/crypt. The funeral home was very upset that this stuff was purchased and pre-paid 30 years ago. Cemeteries know that they have you over a barrel. They charge thousands of dollars for graves and crypts. Cemeteries in this area charge 500 dollars to uscrew 4 bolts from a crypt on a mausoleum wall, and another 500 dollars to put the bolts back in. They call it the charge of opening and closing a grave. They charge more if a grave has to be dug, and it is done with a backhoe. It is a shame.

  80. Simple enough, go to a funeral home find out what the cost(s) is for the type of funeral you want then by a whole life or if you have the cash, a single premium ins policy for what you want to spend plus a bit extra if your younger to cover any inflation. This eliminates the middle man, the funeral home and if the home goes out of biz or changes owners etc etc you don’t have to deal with all the potential BS. The last thing to do is buy some sort of plan that cost $12k for a $10k funeral, financing a funeral makes no sense what so ever. Unfortunately unknowing people (usually older) do it. At least with a ins policy there’s greater potential to put less in than what the DB is, the variables being what age they’re bought and how long the owner lives. That’s especially true with a single premium policy, they’re always worth more than what the premium is.

  81. As with anything else…..CORRUPTION AND COVER UP IS ALIVE AND KICKING…..a person must be careful about who they trust….My dad died and had a vault policy which could ONLY be used in Alabama. His burial policy was the same. Times have changed. It is really very sad when funeral home director takes advantage of a dead person’s family….but it happens all the time.

  82. This article is ridiculous, In California, we are required by law to give a general price list and casket price list. Any decent funeral director will give their customer all of their options. Many times the “packaged plans” have items that may be unwanted but the bundle savings often more than covers the cost of the unwanted product or service. The packages are designed to simplify the choices because families are often in no frame of mind to be making choices. Itemizing is always an option but sometimes not the best option. Also, as a funeral arranger in California, I can tell you that pre-arranged funerals are usually backed by an insurance company or a 3rd party trust holder, who will honor the arranged funeral at another location if the funeral home goes out of business. Pre-arranging comes with payment plans and often money saving promotional discounts which are not available otherwise.
    As a prudent consumer, I would also recommend price shopping, at the same time keeping in mind that cheaper is not always better.

    1. It’s a Federal law that all funeral homes give a general price list and casket price list to anyone who asks for it. In Illinois…they are not allowed to do ‘packaged plans’…it’s the law.

  83. This is the stupidest article I’ve ever read. Most, if not ALL of these things are not true of most funeral homes. Remember like everything else…you get you pay for.

  84. I plan to be stuffed by a taxidermist and kept in my cousin’s yard as a scarecrow. No need for funerals, caskets, graves, etc.

    1. That’s a good one!! Even my retired Funeral Director/Embalmer hubby like it. Make them face you towards the bad neighbor everyone seems to have. ;-)

  85. If your loved ones have gold teeth, ask for them to be removed. The price of gold today!!!! My husband has almost his whole mouth filled with gold uppers and lowers in the back on both sides. He was a medic/dental tech in Viet Nam. I’ll be darned if I ever allow a dentist to make money off my husband’s teeth. Sounds gross but that’s part of life. My husband is well aware of the issue and totally agrees.

    1. The funeral director will not remove the gold…that’s up to the family to have that done..

    2. Then I would suggest you have his teeth removed, because your funeral director is not responsible for it.

  86. Many grief experts believe that the body needs to be at the service in order for the reality of the death to hit. In addition, many faiths require the body be there. Most funeral directors would be willing to work with those who are of low income to provide them a dignified service.

  87. This article does make one really good point. Why spend all of the money people do on expensive caskets and vaults when the body will decay no matter what? It is stupid. I would rather have the money go to heirs than be wasted like that for a couple of days of service. The same goes for funeral plots. We purchase all of these expensive markers and monuments for what? After a couple of generations, no one ever comes to see the grave site anymore. My family has 18 plots with a huge monument that at this point, rarely ever gets visited. We have six other plots on the other side of the cemetery of my great-great grandparents that have not been visited in almost 30 years now, since their last living relative died. I know I am a direct descendant of theirs, but I have nothing really to relate to them, so I never visit their graves. IMO, all of this is such a waste of resources.

  88. Me being a Mortician myself, I’m simply disgusted with this article and the lack of knowledge and information that went into it!

  89. This is complete bs. I am a funeral director albeit in Canada. I work for the largest funeral home provider in the world and have worked for several small family owned independents. Noone hide caskets in the boiler room or basement. This is a smear campaign against funeral directors

  90. Who ever wrote this article; is a real ignorant person and should get her facts straight!!

  91. I asked an undertaker about gold teeth and fillings left in a dead body’s mouth
    for cremation. He said gold teeth were considered the undertaker’s “tip”, even
    when they were worth enough to pay for the complete funeral. Just another
    unethical practice by a profession considered by many to be on the same level
    as muggers and pickpockets. They DO take ’em out, and KEEP THEM.

    1. That is untrue.He is why the funeral industry gets a back name..one of the 1% that are crooks.

  92. The REAL 13 things a funeral director won’t tell you.

    1.      
    “Yes, please invest in a preneed with our
    funeral home, but just know in advance, if we go out of business, you are
    SOL..” WHY a funeral director won’t tell you this… He’d be LYING!!!!! It is
    illegal for a funeral establishment to keep preneed funds in their own accounts;
    they must be placed in a trust or held by an insurance company. If the funeral
    home in question goes out of business, the preneed is transferrable to another
    funeral establishment. Obviously Ms. Crouch needed to do a bit more research
    before writing on this particular subject.

    2.      
    “I don’t feel burial in a veteran’s cemetery is
    truly a fitting way to honor your loved one.” Why a funeral director won’t tell
    you this… Because for one, most funeral homes do NOT own cemeteries, so what
    profit is there in it for them to steer a grieving family away from a savings
    of anywhere from $400 to several thousand, which won’t affect the funeral home’s
    bottom line by a single cent. Secondly, honoring veterans is something most
    funeral professionals take a great amount of pride in doing. After all, their
    sacrifice is the reason this country remains free.

    3.      
    “Please, check out casket prices at Wal-Mart,
    Costco, or online before you make a selection from our display room.” Why a
    funeral director won’t tell you this… Please… Have you ever had a salesman at
    the Ford dealership recommend you buy a Chevy?? While funeral directors do get
    fulfillment from helping families through a very fragile time in their lives,
    and will help them cut costs to a minimum if the family is in a state of
    financial stress, recommending they go to the competitor is a LAST resort, but,
    even so, it does happen.

    4.      
    “Oh no, you don’t want to use our rental casket,
    that just wouldn’t be appropriate for your loved one.” Why a funeral director
    won’t tell you this… He’d be insane!! Once a rental casket is paid for, every
    rental beyond that point is pure profit for the funeral home, and a cost saver
    for the family… Win / win situation. But shhhhhhhhh. We don’t want our
    families to find out we have one, we might make a little money off of it, and
    save them some in the process. Gosh Ms. Crouch, I sure hate you let that cat
    out of the bag.

    5.      
    “Now, we are going to have to embalm your mother
    because we don’t have a refrigeration unit here at Shyster and Sons Funeral
    Emporium.”  Why a funeral director won’t
    tell you this… He can’t. Embalming is not required by law except under certain
    conditions, lack of refrigeration not being one of them. One condition, if a
    family is having a PUBLIC viewing, embalming is required. Again, your research
    needed to go a little deeper Ms. Crouch. Second condition, a body must be
    embalmed if shipped across state lines (with a few exceptions I won’t go into
    here). So your statement that a body can be presented for viewing nicely bla
    bla bla is inaccurate. A PRIVATE family viewing may be conducted without
    embalming, but that is a limited event, just immediate family for a short
    period of time. Which Waffle House did you do your research at BTW?

    6.      
     “I’m sure
    you want the best for your Mother, she would be offended if you placed her in a
    casket you can actually afford.” Why a funeral director won’t tell you this…
    He’d be an idiot. Precious few funeral establishments do any in house financing
    anymore, reason being, it isn’t like selling a car or a house, you can’t
    repossess a casket or vault. If the family doesn’t pay, all you can do is write
    off the loss. Any funeral director with any common sense and concern for the
    family’s needs and desires will try to arrange a service which both pleases the
    family, and for which they can afford to pay, which doesn’t always happen,
    because a lot of families want champagne service on a beer budget. But I would
    rather see a family have to downgrade services and merchandise and be able to
    eat next month, than to get in over their heads. Better for them, better for
    the funeral home. Common sense

    7.      
    “I would recommend both a gasketed casket and a
    tongue and groove vault for maximum protection of your loved one’s body,
    despite the fact that build up of gasses might cause an explosion!!!”  Why a funeral director won’t tell you this…
    Man, they really lay it on thick at those anti-funeral director seminars at Waffle
    House! Caskets exploding??Never heard of such in my 10+ years in the biz, nor
    has anyone else in this profession I have spoken with. Nor is the stopping or
    postponement of decomposition a selling point any funeral director in his right
    mind would use. Ashes to ashes dust to dust is going to happen no matter how
    well you embalm a body or what combination of burial containers a body is
    placed in. We try to avoid the discussion of decomposition when talking with
    families as most would consider it distasteful. A gasketed casket or tongue and
    groove vault is to help prevent water from entering the casket. That is the
    selling point. If a family is not concerned about it, a non-gasketed and a
    grave liner will do nicely, and save the family money. And if a family does
    inquire about the decomposition process, I tell them just what I told you. Ashes
    to ashes, dust to dust.

    8.      
    “If you absolutely insist, I will show you the
    lower cost caskets we keep hidden in the basement”. Why a funeral director
    won’t tell you this… See # 6. Also, in this day and age most funeral homes are
    corporate owned. The director who is sitting across the table from you at an
    arrangement conference is salaried and DOES NOT receive any type of commission
    on sales of funeral merchandise. Point being, he has no reason monetarily to
    sell you any merchandise you do not want or cannot afford. Yes, some corporate
    funeral homes teach directors to use a “top down” sales technique, which means
    to start at the high end and work downward to the less expensive, but this doesn’t
    usually require a trip to the basement. Again, the goal is to satisfy THE
    FAMILY first.

    9.      
    “Now, we can return the cremated remains of your
    loved one to you in this temporary container, but don’t you think he/she
    deserves better?” Why a funeral director won’t tell you this… Boy those folks
    at Waffle House really know the funeral business inside and out. The plastic
    container of which you spoke IS by definition a TEMPORARY container and must be
    stamped as such by state law. And if a family simply desires to scatter or bury
    the cremated remains then the temporary container will more than suffice in
    most instances. And yes, I do try to sell certain families a more expensive urn
    IF they express to me their desire is to display the cremated remains on the
    fireplace mantle. BUT…… If they bring me a vase, a wooden box, or even a coffee
    can to place the cremated remains in, I do just that. In short, we sell the
    family what seems appropriate for their need/desires. If that includes an expensive
    urn, that’s what we sell them, if not, we are glad to provide a temporary.

    10.  
    “Shop around.” Why a funeral director won’t tell
    you this… see number 3. Also, firstly, most families already have. Secondly.
    The firm I work for actually caters to families who can’t afford higher priced
    goods and services and I get families frequently who have been recommended to
    me by pricier firms. So, please inform the members of Waffle House Society that
    we in the death care industry DO encourage comparison shopping.

    11.  
    We remove pacemakers because the batteries will
    explode and damage our crematory. Why a funeral director won’t tell you this… Actually,
    we tell families exactly that!! There is a disclosure concerning pacemakers on
    the cremation authorization from which the next of kin must sign before we are
    legal to cremate a body, and the next of kin must initial said disclosure.
    Again, your researchers at the Waffle HouseSociety need to be a bit more thorough.

    12.  
    “Now, you don’t need to see the general price
    list, this package price is saving you a bundle, trust me”. Why a funeral
    director won’t tell you this… You’ve already got the price list in your hand.
    The Federal Trade Commission requires that a funeral director present the
    family with price lists BEFORE the arrangement conference begins. We all do
    this because ANY of the families you meet with could be an FTC shopper, and
    fine you if you don’t present the GPL. And, if the family selects a package
    which includes a service they do not want, need or require, I will deduct it
    from the package price. Again, satisfied families perpetuate business.

    13.  
    “Doesn’t funeral director have a nicer ring to
    it?” Why a funeral director won’t tell you this… Because undertaker, mortician
    and funeral director ARE NOT synonymous. I am a mortician, which means I am
    licensed as both a funeral director AND an embalmer. If you are ONLY licensed
    as a funeral director, you ARE NOT a mortician. The man who owns the firm I
    work for is not licensed as either, HE is an undertaker. So, the person who you
    meet with to make arrangements IS ALWAYS a funeral director, he may also be a
    mortician, he may not. The Waffle House Bureau of Investigation has once again
    dropped the ball!!!

     

    Post Script. In your article it is insinuated
    that funeral directors are sleazy, dishonest, manipulative, conniving con-men/women
    who will take every opportunity to rip a consumer off that presents itself.
    Granted, just like in all businesses there are a few dishonest people in the
    death care industry, but by virtue of the title of this article you are lumping
    us all in with the few. So, let me give you a little information to share with
    the Waffle House Society concerning the true nature of a death care
    professional. In one word….. SELFLESS…  A
    death care professional is a person to whom the words schedule, holiday,
    vacation, weekend, family outing, etc. have little meaning. Because death
    watches no clock, confers with no calendar, respects no human plans. It occurs
    when it occurs, be it at 3:00 a.m, on Christmas Day, during your son’s/daughter’s
    soccer game, on your birthday, I could go on. A death care professional has to
    report to work on many a morning after having gone without sleep the previous
    night, yet still present himself as if he were well rested and still conduct
    himself in a manner which is comforting to a grieving family. A death care
    professional has to place himself and his family secondary to the needs of the
    families he serves. Every day… If that is how you define sleazy, then I wear
    the title proudly, because when I do get the opportunity to sleep, I rest well,
    knowing that what I do to earn my bread helps people get through a difficult
    and trying time in their lives. If you had entitled your article, “Tips to help
    you in planning a funeral” and refrained from using words like “sleazy” or insinuating
    that all funeral directors are criminals, I wouldn’t have been so harsh,
    because there actually is some useful information in your article. But in the
    future when you write a “Things a professional won’t tell you” article, please
    don’t base your observations on hearsay from Waffle House. Nevermind… the REAL
    facts probably wouldn’t sell magazines.   

     

    1. You hit the nail on the head!!! This is from a wife of a retired Funeral Director/Embalmer with over 30 yrs of service in ChiTown!!!! I think you took the author of this article to task. Kudos to you!!! And I hope you continue serving the public with your professionalism and dignity to the deceased and their families.

    2. I wish I could upvote your comment a hundred times. I do not work in a funeral home (in fact I am adamantly against a funeral for myself) but this article is disgusting. I have been acquainted with people who do work in that industry, and without exception they have been ethical and compassionate. Of course I don’t know everyone who works in this field, but this article is so terribly researched and written that I feel the author must have some personal grudge against someone who works for a funeral home. I’ve never read anything on RD’s site before but if this kind of garbage made it on I don’t see any reason to visit again. Thank you for your comment which detailed several of the problems with this “writing”.

  93. I am shocked at the amount of inaccuracies in this article! I though every good journalist checks facts? Obviously not in this case!

  94. Should I be part of my burial arrangement? Nobody should be involved in the arrangement of his or her funeral. You can’t do anything about it if your desires are not carried out even if you knew. Why bother!

  95. This article is so false! Pacemakers do explode in the crematory, gaskets caskets cannot explode, prearranged money is held in a trust and not at the funeral home so if it goes out of business, it won’t effect the money set aside, and I could go on and on! Whoever wrote this has no knowledge whatsoever of the funeral industry! Yes, Costco sells caskets, but they are POOR quality and definitely not the same as the ones sold at the funeral homes. You get what you pay for, especially in the funeral industry!

  96. Absolutely not true about #5–Running a funeral home without a refrigerated holding room is like running a restaurant without a walk-in cooler.  By law a body can’t be viewed in an open casket unless it is embalmed due to the possible of disease transmission.

  97. Or another incident.  They have changed their computer systems or upgraded them/changed technology and have absolutely no paperwork on your transaction.  So who keeps a receipt for 20 years? No one I know. Happened to my family.

  98. These may be true at hole in the wall establishments, but at reputable funeral homes, many of which have been passed down through the family for generations, these are not true. Specifically, the pre-planned funeral fact. I do not know of a funeral home that does pre-planning on accounts held in house. ALL of the funeral homes I have dealt with use insured accounts through reputable companies, and if the funeral home were to go out of business the pre-planned account is transferrable. Also, I have seen the caskets produced by chinese sweatshops that are sold online, and the quality is not even in the same universe as the ones produced by American companies, such as Batesville.

    1. Why does the quality of the casket matter ? It will go in the ground and decompose anyway .

  99. While there are many people that will take advantage of you there are many good funeral homes out there. Don’t believe that every single Funeral Director is like this. Many work with families to long and hard to cut costs and make life easier on them. 

  100. This is so misleading and clearly written by someone with no inside knowledge of our industry. In Tennessee, at least, when you pre-fund your funeral not one dollar goes into my funeral home’s account. It is put in a trust fund in your name that I cannot touch untill the time of death and begins earning 3% annual interest overnight to cover the cost of any future inflation. We always return any leftover money to the family. That payment is also freely transferable to any other funeral home should you chose to move your arrangements.

  101. When my Dad passed away, the funeral home said they wanted 800 dollars to drive him to the National Cemetery where he now rests.  I had them load the flag draped casket into my Honda Odyssey and drove him myself.  Not only did I drive fearlessly at 90 mph most of the way, I got to park right next to the place where the ceremony was held.

  102. This is absolutely RIDICULOUS.  What total BS the reader’s digest is spewing!

  103. Though many of the things mention above are not true, we should still be careful in choosing a reliable funeral service.  We can still find a funeral services that will provide clients the best of what they have.

  104. and as far as 8, at least in tx, by law the funeral director has to show you a very baseline model in the show room. 

  105. as far as 6, pick a different funeral director. I have never heard one use such phrases, and if they ever did, find a real funeral home

  106. as for #5, many small funeral homes simply cannot afford a multi thousand dollar cool storage. They aren’t trying to rip you off. And as far as viewing within a few days without embalming, yes if you have cold storage you can. If you want to save money, say you want the funeral within 24 hours and don’t want embalming. Most funeral homes should be more than willing to do so, and you can. Any longer than that, and any decent funeral home simply will not let you have a funeral, certainly not an open casket, because, contrary to popular belief, most funeral directors actually do want you to have the best memories of your loved one. Smelling rotting body at the funeral is NOT a memory you want

  107. as for #5, many small funeral homes simply cannot afford a multi thousand dollar cool storage. They aren’t trying to rip you off. And as far as viewing within a few days without embalming, yes if you have cold storage you can. If you want to save money, say you want the funeral within 24 hours and don’t want embalming. Most funeral homes should be more than willing to do so, and you can. Any longer than that, and any decent funeral home simply will not let you have a funeral, certainly not an open casket, because, contrary to popular belief, most funeral directors actually do want you to have the best memories of your loved one. Smelling rotting body at the funeral is NOT a memory you want

  108. the first is flat out false. Like Redheadfolsom said, when you buy a funeral before you die (its called a “preneed”) the funeral home doesn’t even get the money, the preneed company does. Then when the person dies, the funeral home is reimbursed for services. It is all set up specifically to protect the family in case the funeral home were to go out of business

  109. No. 14: “I’m afraid I have to tell you that your Aunt Sophie really wasn’t dead.”

  110. They rarely will tell you that they have sex with the corpse,..but for an extra 500.00 they promise not to.

  111. We, too, live in another state from pre-paid funeral services but I called the Tennessee state department that governs all funeral homes and cemeteries and was helped with resolution of the problem.  Don’t give up!  Our current problem is that the insurance company has been sold 4 times that guaranteed them and I am hot on the trail of the last onel.  Unfortunately, I am afraid it is AIG! But I will not give up.  I will honor our loved ones who bought with their hard-earned money to pay to for these service and will not allow some crook to cheat them out of their money!

  112. Funeral Directors are the LAST thieves you encounter in this world. You’re dead. Don’t pay for a box of dust and bones.

  113. We just had 400 people ripped off by a funeral home in our area who pre-planned their funeral. Don’t believe the baloney it can’t happen and the government is protecting you.

  114. Just wondering.. If you buy a casket from Walmart, where do you keep it before the funeral?  

  115. 53 years ago I worked for a Funeral Home in Oregon City that had been caught cheating on their taxes.  (first hint something was up)  There were 3 partners, one was an alcoholic, one a hugh guy that couldn’t push away from the table, and a sharkskin suit type guy take talked like a New Yorker.  The fat guy used to move caskets from the basement to the second floor and visa versa when folks came in with a little extra $$$ or the oposite if they were short on $. There is a valid reason for this, but then there is the other rational.  I found it amusing with all the musical chairs and the fat guy sweating.  We did do a lot to help people I must say.

  116. I had to laugh when reading this.Lost a lot of respect for Readers Digest. Ms. Crouch should do alittle more homework before printing something like this.  First, you are correct about VA Cemeteries. Most will bury the veteran for free.  They do NOt provide a vault but rather a concrete liner. It does not seal like a vault but does everything else a vault would do. the family would have to pay for upgrading to a vault. Our hometown funeral director explained this to us.  As being called a Funeral Director, some states only allow Funeral Directors to do certain items, like make at need arrangements.  Morticians in that particular state can only prepare bodies ect ect. So Funeral Director/Mortician carries additional meaning depending which state you live in.  As for putting your money away for a funeral. All are set up to go to any funeral home you choose. Protecting the consumer.  So if that funeral home goes out of business, you simply choose another. The clothing we brought in we knew in advance it was too small, but he asked permission to alter it…ie cut the clothing so we wouldn’t have to buy new as our father wanted to be buried in his favorite suit. We were relived!  I would comment on every one, but this article is horrible and this reporter/journalist should be fired! We were taken care of from start to finish with our funeral director. It was very well done and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Thank you for what funeral homes do, because I wouldn’t want to deal with the dead.

  117. KNOW WHOM YOU PUTTING YOUR TRUST IN. AS YOU STATED ALL STATES ARE ON A DIFFERENT PAGE. CALL YOUR STATE AGENCY.. THEY CAN GIVE YOU THE CORRECT INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNERAL HOME IN QUESTION, PERPETUAL CEMETARIES ARE BIG VIOLATOARS OF NO MONEY TO FUND THE PERPETUAL CARE.

  118. Ok as a funeral director/mortician/undertaker..this is The dumbest thing I have ever seen.
    Depending on state law, many insurance companies are just that; insurance companies. Do you think that Allstate and Geico will close anytime soon? Many of them offer more then just preneed insurance. This article would have you believe that places like statefarm ONLY offers car insurance. Not to mention the fact that the insurance is tied to the person, Not the funeral home. Several states make it illegal for funeral homes to even claim the interest that is gained on preneed insurance.

  119. If I am cremated, what happens to the gold and silver in my nouth. Will a glob of melted metal be in my ashes…or will the undertaker snatch it? My dentist and I are more than curious.

  120. The NUMBER ONE THING that they won’t tell you is that there IS no afterlife and that you are wasting your money on spoiled meat.

    1. Do you know that for sure? Are you absolutely positive that there isn’t an afterlife beyond a shadow of a doubt?

  121. The NUMBER ONE THING that they won’t tell you is that there IS no afterlife and that you are wasting your money on spoiled meat.

  122. #9…….the plastic tempory container that the cremains come back in to the family is temporary……..human remains after being cremated are called cremains, not ashes….that tells me a person that is not of funeral orgin is writing this crap! It is the family responsibility to purchase a urn or mayb go to kirkland and purchase a urn or vase to place the cremains i or we can place them, not the funeral home responsibility to buy urns unless they want to!

  123. #7 gee wiz………no a sealer casket cannnot stop decomposition but i can tell you waht will! a thorough embalming , a sealer casket and a sealed outer burial container! gases and moisture cause casket to explode…bull!!!! never heard of that in all my twenty years of being an embalmer/funeral director….thats why medgar evers looked good because of all of the previous elements needed to preserve that body: thorough embalmer…….sealer casket with the rubber gasket around it and a sealer vault!

  124. im a funeral director and # 1 is a lie….if that money goes to a trust , the money is in the trust until the time of death and these trust must be approved by the secretary of state’s office, therefore there is no phony mess with preneeds, we get preneeds on cutomers that we wrote years ago and pow, their money is still there…..preneed is reputable so dont list to half of this garbage printed!

  125. Regarding #13
    Techincally, we are called Funeral Directors and Embalmers. We are trained and tested separately for the two jobs

  126. Regarding #3 if you purchase a casket apart from the funeral home, they will not guarantee the casket(funeral home). If something happens to the casket you will have to go and deal directly with the company you bought it from. The funeral home will also probably ask you to sign a release regarding the casket.

  127. Oh for the love of God some of these are utterly ridiculous and absolutely false!  And the funeral home tells the crematory what to send the cremains back in.  The family doesn’t deal directly with the crematory.

  128. In GA, there are two separate licenses. One for mortician and one for funeral director.

  129. RedHeadfolsom is correct, there are things here that are not true.  Most funeral homes for a “pre-arrangement” use an insurance policy, because its guarenteed if the funeral home goes under and if the family is on a fixed income it doesn’t show capital gaines.  Pacemakers do explode, I have seen them one was round like a rackett ball , most if they explode split in two.  Embalming, not required by law, correct, the funeral home may require it for an open casket viewing, if the person is unembalmed they may require that only famiy members “View” and the casket be closed for the visitation.  Its my unerstanding if the funeral home doesn’t have refergeration and require embalming they must consume the cost (FTC).  Hope this helps (have been a licensed Mortician in one state and a licensed Funeral director in another for over 18 years (its up to the state what the title is)

    1. Also, regarding pacemakers, cremation authorization includes notifying the next of kin that the pacemaker must be removed before remains are put into retort. Also true about embalmng, it is not required but most funeral homes will require it for any viewing that is not immediate.

  130. True for the veteran, but there is a charge to bury the spouse (#2)

  131. The first one is not true of the funeral home. When you pre-pay a funeral that contract is not with the funeral home. It is very important to research the insurance companies that you pre-pay with to make sure that they are reliable, long standing companies. That way even if the funeral home goes under your contract is still valid and can be transferred to another funeral home.

  132. The Federal Trade Commission requires Funeral Homes to prefund funerals through one of thre ways:  Insurance, Trust, or joint bank account payable upon death.  All of these options protect the consumer if one, the business ceases to operate, or if the purchaser moves prior to death.  Funeral homes CANNOT take payment prior to death.

  133. and you can also for the If you or your spouse is an honorably discharged veteran, you can have they type of servise they surved in to come out and fold an american flag and play taps/ 

  134. My mother prepaid $6,000. When she passed away we got exactly what she paid for.
    Trouble is, had she got the Prepaid policy instead of paying it all up front, she would never had to pay that much.  She just didn’t know the difference in prepay insurance and prepay all to the funeral home.   

  135. The instructions I gave my wife after some experience dealing with funeral homes and first hand knowlege of the mark up on caskets and vaults.   Have me cremated and get several prices.  Try to go through a crematory that does not own a funeral home.   Put my remains in a container you find at WalMart or a Mason Jar would be fine since you are going to dump them at the coast anyway when you take your nice vacation on my insurance money that you don’t give the local funeral homes so they can add to their personal fleet of luxury cars and homes or take their own nice vacation.  These people are ‘bottom feeders’. 

  136. Whether the information is completely true or not true is irrelevant. The article gave me information to check into and options I didn’t know about before. In the end it’s still up to me to make the choices best suited for me and try to be as educated about them as possible. Also, I’ve had 2 family members pass who prepaid their funerals and, when the time came, everything went as planned without any problems.

  137. Well I guess its true there are 13 things that a funeral director won’t tell you and I can see (or should I say “cannot see”) they must be written in white “ink” since none are visible .  Only the heading is in “black ink”.  So I imagine those 13 things will stay secret.

  138. I’ve seen and read a lot of misinformation about the funeral industry. as with any business there are a few unscruplous operators. But believe me, this is the most misleading article I’ve seen in quiet sometime.
    A total waste of ink. Too bad it will cause someone to make a poor choice in regards to preplanning a funeral for his/her self or a loved one.

    I

  139. I’ll tell you what “I” told a funeral home. I was not going to put up with any ‘bull’ and they did it “my way”!

  140. “3. You can buy caskets that are just as nice as the ones in my showroom for thousands of dollars less online from Walmart, Costco, or straight from a manufacturer.”

    Burials by Walmart…I can see it now *shudder*

  141. not true about losing your money  for prepaid funeral,in texas.
    money is placed in a bank and is checked every three months,to see that doesn’t happen.
    check your facts before making a statement like that

  142. So does the crematorium remove all my gold fillings before cremation?

  143. My in laws pre-paid for their funerals. When the time came, the funeral director pulled the ‘casket” that came witht he plan out of a closet. looked like a card-board box. Rip off.

  144. Although this article seems to be intended to protect a consumer, it contains misinformation as well as lacks elaboration on several of the items. It depicts funeral professionals as lying thieves, whereas the majority are exactly the opposite. As a licensed funeral director of 15 years, I state with conviction that this article is poorly delivered and riddled with false statements. Consumers should know that the funeral industry is regulated by federal and state laws and the FTC. find a director who is highly regarded, and one whom you feel good about and go over each of the items in this list if you want to truth and the missing details. Shame on readers digest in my opinion.

  145. By the way- Do you really believe that all those Insurance Companies HAVE that 100,000 put away for you to collect when you die for the family, when there are 120 million policies to be settled around the same time, that your insurance policy is to be cashed in ? Really ?

  146. 120,000,000 Americans will die due to the end of longevity by 2024, which is including females who will live to 76 instead of 72 for the men. The Baby Boomers go bust then. If your looking for a business to start, now is not the time for Toys R US or a Diaper Delivery service.

  147. Don’t worry about the rudder seal story the coffins have a two way relief vale to keep the pressure in limits. Otherwise they would blow up or collapse when flown in planes. 

  148. I  had a pre-burial with the funeral home near me.  I  was to pay it like an insurance premium.  I took it out, selected what I wanted  for the burial, coffin, service etc.  My husband died 2 weeks later.  I called to ask if the burial was in effect.  The funeral home called the policy issuer and it had been mailed. Since it had been mailed it paid  75% of my husbands  burial. 75% because he had died within a year of my getting the pre-burial. So 20 years ago I paid  $450 for his burial and service at the funeral home. I had only paid one months premium.

  149. Death has no sting, death has no more dominion over you…not true; the Funeral Parlors do: Dying is a business for them; you pay to live and you pay to die. Put me in a cardboard box butt naked and render me into ashes to ashes. 

  150. I say don’t prepay for your own funeral. giveing money before a event such as this makes no sence who are you protecting? you can buy the ern or casket before hand, check online lots to choose from. and if you can afford to prepay money isn’t your problem I would say. set aside the ern in a closet or rent out a storage bin for the casket.. Only you and the person that has your best interest at heart needs to know. Think about not haveing the service at the funeral home that can be half the expense. Your not saveing anyone the pain to prepay afuneral home they are jst going to make money so why prepay them to make more with interest. I say half these people on here are funeral directors and they want you to prepay. Laws on these things are not followed, and if your dead they could care less shop around, talk to other people it doesn’t hurt to know.

  151. You need to tell veterans that the family must apply for your burial at Arlington after you, the veteran, has passed.    

  152. #18. Why not return the gold caps to the family? I have several and would want them removed and returned to my family. I’m quite sure they aren’t going into the ground.

  153. When it comes to purchasing caskets, yes!There are plenty of discount casket stores; which also sell urns, and tombstones. My sis and I found a nice wood casket for our father. Showroom price at the Mortuary was $5600.00 and the discount casket was selling the same model for $1700.00. Once we finally settled on a package of under $6,000, we informed the F. Director that we would be purchasing the casket, saving us ultimately around $2,000.  (the plot was already paid for) We were then told we could do that, but then that would be breaking the package, and therefore would end up costing us more than the $6000.  So I’d check out what kind of policy they have if you are going to take advantage of a discount store. This was a large, well known cemetery with an onsite mortuary and full facilities.

  154. Who wrote this drivel? I am a second generation licensed funeral director but have not been active in the business for 23 years. As such I have no financial interest in what is being written here. Financial risk is minimal if you preplan with an annuity, trust at an approved bank or trust. Protective caskets exploding? This is shoddy journalism at best. I’m not going to waste my time reading the rest of this crap. 

  155. those pacemakers, artificial knees, and other metal body parts are cleaned and sold back to the manufacturer for melting down or refurbishing for reuse!  this i know for a fact.

  156. I tried to copy “13 Things A Funeral Director Won’t Tell You.”  There are 21 items following this title (?).  19 of the items copied.  Items 15 and 16 did not copy.  I would like to have copies of items 15 and 16.  The 19 copies included the pictures.  I would have preferred to copy the text without the pictures. 

  157. The section about “Doesn’t Funeral Director have a nicer ring to it” is ignorant and wrong.  Many states are unionized and have morticians, directors, embalmers and restorative artists all seperately.  A funeral director is one man responsible for the remains from pickup to burial and everything in between.  A funeral director is not simply a mortician or undertaker, but takes care of the WHOLE funeral; including paperwork, finances and planning.  This is terrible rookie journalism at its worst.

  158. this is a serious issue which has gone unsupervised for more than 20 years.  Firstly, a good friend of mine had prepaid plots here in Southern California, the father had been diagnosed with heart disease in the mid 1940’s passed away not too long after that and was buried not far from their home.   He had purchased a family plot for 3 children, wife and the children spouses.  When her 2 brothers passed away two years apart in the 1980’s, the cemetary  had no problem regarding the paperwork she had showing the plots, paid in full, etc.,  they did bury both brothers respectively.    When the mother passed in the mid 1990’s,  the cemetary refused to bury the mother because the cemetary had been purchased by the conglomorate out of Texas, they had no records of the plots, etc,. and claimed to have remapped the acreage.   She provided the proof yet she was denied due to new policy and then wanted to go check on her brothers and dads grave but all the headstones were removed.   This too was excused by the cemetary office where the only act they did was to cremate her mother after 2 weeks with an unprofessional person giving her the ashes in a cardboard box.   They wanted an extra 280. for the urn they could supply for free.  I regret to say that my friend passed away unable to have any resolve to this issue, was cremated and is with a family member in an urn.  
    Secondly,  no one seems to know ‘who’ those investors are which makes up the corporation who began buying out all funeral homes/cemetaries across the country.   I believe CNN did a story and it basically went no where, never seen or heard of the topic since the late 1990’s.
    Third, even with a majority of laws in place from State to State and should have a director in charge of overseeing this industry apparently doesn’t always provide a safety net for family members at a time such as this or perhaps they don’t know who to contact.   And then look at how the laws providing safety nets for mortgages, etc. has been negated.
    I wonder how there is so much more interest in developing land for golf but no interest in how we are to maintain and respect our loved ones or ourselves in what was suppose to be a permanent resting memorial for generations to come?
    I still want to believe there are funeral directors/cemetaries with business ethics and integrity. 

  159. Ohhh yea i want my ashes crushed into a real diamond, integrated into an underwater coral reef, or blasted into space. lol

  160. yes you can buy a casket on line from other venders. However if that casket does not fit the grave at the Cemetery its not the fault of the funeral home, also some of those caskets are not sturdy and if your love one falls out of the casket, or the handle falls off the Funeral home is not at fault. Furthermore if that casket is not delivered on time for the Funeral and or viewing the Funeral Home is not at fault.  Ive been in the Funeral Service Indusrty for 11 years, I know that funeral’s  cost are high, and you want to save money. Its best to ask the Funeral Home for their least expsensive caskets all funeral Homes have them and they loook nice. This ensures you get a good quality casket from the Funeral Home Vender where the Funeral Home knows the quality.

  161. yes you can buy a casket on line from other venders. However if that casket does not fit the grave at the Cemetery its not the fault of the funeral home, also some of those caskets are not sturdy and if your love one falls out of the casket, or the handle falls off the Funeral home is not at fault. Furthermore if that casket is not delivered on time for the Funeral and or viewing the Funeral Home is not at fault.  Ive been in the Funeral Service Indusrty for 11 years, I know that funeral’s  cost are high, and you want to save money. Its best to ask the Funeral Home for their least expsensive caskets all funeral Homes have them and they loook nice. This ensures you get a good quality casket from the Funeral Home Vender where the Funeral Home knows the quality.

  162. Don’t different states have different rules on embalming? I was told that the cemetary we buried my mother in required embalming.

  163. Never and I mean Never get involved in pre-need purchases. It always costs more than waiting until you actually need a plot and burial. Found this out last year when a parent died.

  164. This is misinformation about an honorable profession that I have been a part of for over 30 years.  By law we are required to get your permission before embalming and to explain that embalming is not required, we are required to not only give you our package pricing, but to put into your hands our itemized general, casket, cremation urns, outer burial containers, price list and you sign a disclosure before you leave that you received these items.  As far as buying our caskets or one from a store, we as funeral homes should have never let this happen, how many restaraunts will allow you to go in, sit down, and bring in your own food, however, you do have this option, although I disagree that these caskets are the same quality for less, many of the store caskets are made from inferior materials in China and Mexico. And yes, I am an undertaker, and a good one.  If someone refers to me as a funeral director, that’s fine too, because I also do that duty as well. I have done everything that the law requires for me to have that dignity, including college, two years of apprenticeship under experiences directors and embalmers.  Our show room does have rental and caskets for sale, the rental is not used for standard burials because most cemeteries require casket and outer enclosures for the casket (this is not our regulation).  Get your facts straight.  Preneeds and pre-arranged funerals are regulated by the State Department of Banking and the State Department of Insurance and those funds are protected and can only be used for the beneficiaries funeral expenses, whether or not the funeral home sells out or goes out of business.  Families can even get most of their money back if they decide that they want to do something else.  A small amount is legally retained for administrative costs.

  165. In the course of my lifetime, I have had to plan 5 funerals and every single time I did, the funeral director asked if the deceased was (or married to) an honorably discharged veteran and then told me the reason he asked was because they’d be entitled to free burial there.  This article isn’t entirely accurate.

  166. One quote was left out: “Before selecting the services and merchandise, keep in mind that your mother may have future bills that will need to be paid. Such as utilities and possibly outstanding credit. We certainly wouldn’t want you to be financially burdened after the services.”  

  167. One quote was left out: “Before selecting the services and merchandise, keep in mind that your mother may have future bills that will need to be paid. Such as utilities and possibly outstanding credit. We certainly wouldn’t want you to be financially burdened after the services.”  

  168. One quote was left out: “Before selecting the services and merchandise, keep in mind that your mother may have future bills that will need to be paid. Such as utilities and possibly outstanding credit. We certainly wouldn’t want you to be financially burdened after the services.”  

  169. I work @ a funeral home.  And Edlermom – you are correct – these people have no life (no pun intended) they work 24/7/365. NOW – some funeral homes have given the rest a bad name – that is for sure- but there are some good ones out there and I work for one of them.

  170. I grew up in a 3 generational funeral home business. My family takes pride in the services they provide in our community. If anyone can think they can do it better, be our guest. Being a Funeral Director or “Mortician” is not all gravy. You work around the clock and console people at their hardest times, DAY IN AND DAY OUT. This article is almost trying to convince the reader that this profession is a money seeking, sneaky group of individuals. I BEG TO DIFFER! 

  171. This is absolutely wrong!!!! I work at a funeral funeral home. If its a FAMILY funeral home they
    may hold a funeral in a “trust” , which could go belly up. But if it is a CORPORATE owned funeral home it is held as a INSURANCE POLICY!!! Whoever wrote this article did NO RESEARCH. If you pre-buy a funeral and it is held by an insurance company, the INSURANCE company will pay it out years form now when you need it. RARELY do insurance companies go out of business. They are usually just bought by other insurance companies!

  172. This is absolutely wrong!!!! I work at a funeral funeral home. If its a FAMILY funeral home they
    may hold a funeral in a “trust” , which could go belly up. But if it is a CORPORATE owned funeral home it is held as a INSURANCE POLICY!!! Whoever wrote this article did NO RESEARCH. If you pre-buy a funeral and it is held by an insurance company, the INSURANCE company will pay it out years form now when you need it. RARELY do insurance companies go out of business. They are usually just bought by other insurance companies!

  173. This is absolutely wrong!!!! I work at a funeral funeral home. If its a FAMILY funeral home they
    may hold a funeral in a “trust” , which could go belly up. But if it is a CORPORATE owned funeral home it is held as a INSURANCE POLICY!!! Whoever wrote this article did NO RESEARCH. If you pre-buy a funeral and it is held by an insurance company, the INSURANCE company will pay it out years form now when you need it. RARELY do insurance companies go out of business. They are usually just bought by other insurance companies!

  174. OH, COME ON NOW.  IM AN OLD LADY.  LOOK ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE. I GOT A KICK OUT OF THIS ARTICLE. WHEN SOMEONE CAN MAKE YOU LAUGH ABOUT DEATH THEY NEED TO BE ON A STAGE WITH A MICROPHONE :o)

  175. Look up the funeral home and cemetery on the Internet.  If they have no history or only laudatory comments, stay away.  There are companies that erase critical comments from the Internet, write blurbs, and otherwise try to mislead.

  176. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  177. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  178. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  179. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  180. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  181. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  182. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  183. This veteran was on active duty during time of war. The gov’t will furnish one burial plot for me and my wife in a national cemetery, open and close the grave site, provide perpetual care, and furnish the marker at no cost to the veteran or the family.  Consult your VA rep for full details.  

  184. whoever wrote this article doesnt know a thing about the funeral industry

  185. Death has now been regulated by the Police State Office of Population Control activated in each of the largest states/cities just look in the Yellow pages.  You have the right to pay taxes, go to jail and give  up all your property upon death otherwise you have no rights….

  186. MOST of everything printed by the author of this article is absolutely INCORRECT AND UNTRUE!

  187. My My, the anit funeral media has hit Reader’s Digest.   Most all of these 13 things are totally false, and all funeral directors (after all, we do direct funerals) I know in Texas would cringe at the thought of any one doing these things.   Most would be against the law, and by the way, preneed funds are regulated by each state, there are no federal laws concering how the monies are invested.  Insurance funded is by far the best choice, as they can be honored by any funeral home.

  188. Apparently the person writing this “list” has not done any homework on the subject!!

  189. Obviously who ever wrote this has absolutely no idea what they are talking about!

  190.  

    The
    days of responsible journalism are done. After a lifetime of being in a family
    owned business w/ 500 death calls a year, one or two of your 13 have some
    truth. For the most part your article is irresponsible. RD is no longer about
    providing its readers great information; it’s about selling subscriptions w/ sensationalism
    and half truths. What happened to the RD I used to know as a kid?

    Stephen Poteet – Augusta, GA

  191. @ redheadfuolsom  is it true cause you read it on the internet?  what about dishonest directors who spend the $$?

  192. This author is quite misguided. Embalming has little to do with making the body “nicely presented” as much as it is to protect the public health and welfare. After life ends, the person becomes a dead human body. That seems like common sense, but what that entails is the body begins to decompose and this is what embalming slows, the effects of decomposition. Refrigeration alone doesn’t do that. Visit a morgue and give it a good sniff if you don’t believe me. This is full of faulty information…

  193. I worked at a funeral home for several years and they have insurance policies for funerals.  I purchased one for my father several years ago. Once it is paid for that it.  I worked with the best people and I can tell you form experience that they are not out to get your money.  We have helped families that were financially unable to pay for the cost of a funeral.  Like everything else, including the cost of the newspaper the cost increases, but you are not getting any  more for your money.  My suggestion is to look into a funeral policy.  You can choose everything right down to the obit in the town you want published.  And the policies can be transferred to different states.  Wow the comments I read here were pretty ignorant in most cases…sad…

  194. I worked at a funeral home for several years and they have insurance policies for funerals.  I purchased one for my father several years ago. Once it is paid for that it.  I worked with the best people and I can tell you form experience that they are not out to get your money.  We have helped families that were financially unable to pay for the cost of a funeral.  Like everything else, including the cost of the newspaper the cost increases, but you are not getting any  more for your money.  My suggestion is to look into a funeral policy.  You can choose everything right down to the obit in the town you want published.  And the policies can be transferred to different states.  Wow the comments I read here were pretty ignorant in most cases…sad…

  195. It’s “losing” people, not “loosing”.. My pet peeve,,,the most mis-spelled word in the American language, yet it’s a 3rd grade word.

  196. # 24 –its CASH up front,  no credit—dont make me chunk him out the back door–i will, pay or else !

    1. Tell me another SERVICE industry that gives you unsecured credit without any collateral?  

  197. Permanent Whole Life Insurance is designed to be there when you die and pay a check within 24-48 hours of the company receiving a Death Claim.  The payment is Income Tax-Free and does Not have to go through Probate delays.  93% of AARP, Globe, Primerica, etc Term Policies NEVER PAY because they END after the 80th year and Most People live to 85!  Would you pay for Car Insurnce if they did not pay 93% of the time???  Term is OK for coverage of things like mortgages with known end dates, but Not Suitable for Death and Burial Insurance because No One knows their hour and time of Death!  Simple!
    Life Insurance is to replace Income…and can take weeks or months to get cleared through Probate…therefore, not appropriate for payng the Funeral Home and Burial costs upfront.

  198. Over all this is a negative article done without proper research.
    The writer is painting our industry with a broad brush in an unfavorable manor.
    Every profession has bad apples. But most and I mean 99% or better of the death
    care professionals have the best interest of the family in mind.  I would wager most of the consumer complaints and
    lawsuits come from the conglomerate funeral home business like SCI, Stewart,
    Carriage and alike. The majority of the funeral homes in the US are mom and pop
    funeral homes and have generations of caring funeral directors who dedicate their
    entire life to the serves of others. I feel this article doesn’t properly represent
    the true majority of the funeral directors who take great pride in their profession
    but instead portrays us as predatory used car salesman.

  199. Over all this is a negative article done without proper research.
    The writer is painting our industry with a broad brush in an unfavorable manor.
    Every profession has bad apples. But most and I mean 99% or better of the death
    care professionals have the best interest of the family in mind.  I would wager most of the consumer complaints and
    lawsuits come from the conglomerate funeral home business like SCI, Stewart,
    Carriage and alike. The majority of the funeral homes in the US are mom and pop
    funeral homes and have generations of caring funeral directors who dedicate their
    entire life to the serves of others. I feel this article doesn’t properly represent
    the true majority of the funeral directors who take great pride in their profession
    but instead portrays us as predatory used car salesman.

  200. Number # 11 Pacemakers do in fact damage the retort in a
    crematory. They Explode. The funeral home must sign a release that stats any
    pacemakers or any electronics with batteries must be removed from a body prior
    to cremation. If the funeral home fails to remove a pacemaker it must pay the
    crematory for any damage caused by the explosion.

  201. The second untruth in this article is #5.  Regarding viewing of the body and refrigeration
    is totally false.  Federal Trade Commission
    Law. No body may be viewed without being embalmed. Refrigeration is only
    required if burial or cremation cannot take place within 48 hours but has
    nothing to do with a viewing. bottom line is if the body is to be viewed it
    must be embalmed.    

  202. Making funeral plans BEFORE an emergency allows you to think clearly and make good decisions!  Funding the plan is a good idea!

  203. When my mother died, my wife and I went with my father to the funeral home.  Harry gave him the hard sell on the casket, the room, the urn.  At 78 yrs of age and having just lost his love and best friend for almost 50 years, he was totally at sea.  My wife and I kept challenging Harry about prices, about rentals, about the memorial hall.  I really felt like I was haggling with a used car salesman.  A few days after the funeral, we had to return home and the last thing my father said before we left was, “When I die, DO NOT let Harry get me.”  When his time did come, we used a different funeral home.  They quickly tuned in to what we wanted and matched up with us:  no hard sales to jack up the costs.  Night and day experience.  Harry is what gives undertakers a bad reputation.

  204. When my mother died, my wife and I went with my father to the funeral home.  Harry gave him the hard sell on the casket, the room, the urn.  At 78 yrs of age and having just lost his love and best friend for almost 50 years, he was totally at sea.  My wife and I kept challenging Harry about prices, about rentals, about the memorial hall.  I really felt like I was haggling with a used car salesman.  A few days after the funeral, we had to return home and the last thing my father said before we left was, “When I die, DO NOT let Harry get me.”  When his time did come, we used a different funeral home.  They quickly tuned in to what we wanted and matched up with us:  no hard sales to jack up the costs.  Night and day experience.  Harry is what gives undertakers a bad reputation.

  205. I know in Oregon it is illegal for a funeral director to remove gold dental restorations (abuse of corpse and, believe it or not, practicing dentistry without a license), but what happens to the gold left after cremation?  Surely it’s not 24k, but there is value there . . . witness what happened in Europe during WWII and the mountains of burlap bags of dental gold later captured by the Allied forces.

  206. 1) Do not dress your best or carry designer purse, or expensive jewelry or expensive shoes to go price funeral homes. Dress DOWN. I don’t mean poverty, but ordinary.
    They look for signs of income in clients & pitch sales accordingly.
    2) INSIST on a on a written individual price list of everything included in the funeral package. Leave if you don’t get one.
    3) Leave if you’re there too long. They deliberately drag out the time. Put a timer on the table & say you’ve got one hour (or two). Then go.
    4) always go to more than one funeral home. My family got a package at a second place that would have paid for THREE funerals over the price of the first place we went (who also did not give us an individual price list which is required by law). My Mother was buying a 2 person plan.
    5) Occasionally go to visitations to see the embalmers work. Go to every one in town. You’ll find
    out who does the best work. Also, a small funeral home may have the best enbalmer who is called
    to help other places when they are overbooked.

    1. Wow, I think you are quite the fibber! It’s those annoying families like you who blow up our nerves and keep us their, as if we want to be in your company that long with an attitude like that ugh!

    2. 1.The way you dress does not dictate a decent funeral director’s “selling” tactics.
      2.You don’t have to INSIST on a price list….we are required by law to provide one to anyone who inquires about pricing…it’s called a GPL or General Price List
      3.Trust me, we don’t want to be dragging out the time trying to get someone to buy something they don’t want or afford.  We have families as well.  We work insane amounts of hours, much of which is “on call” during the night.  We have NO interest in pushing merchandise that a family can not afford…afterall we are the one’s who will be left with a bad debt write off when they can’t pay for it….we aren’t all greedy ghouls.  But do know that the funeral industry is a for profit  business….just like millions of other businesses who work with people during pivotal times in their lives.

  207. Not True.  I’ve worked in the Funeral Industry for 14 years.  The moneys are invested into a trust.  Funds are guaranteed.  These funds are transferable to any Funeral Home. 

  208. I have been at a funeral where they got a casket from a third party distributor and the bottom of it fell out while being carried to the hearse.  If that had been my loved one falling to the ground, I would have wished I had paid for a better casket.

  209. As a FORMER funeral director, I’ll say about 1/3 are true, 1/3 somewhat true and the other 1/3 are absurd. Someone really didn’t do a whole lot of research on this and it sounds like they may have recently had a bad experience….or a vendetta.
     

  210. Usually the state law requires certain things, ie. embalming, if you have an open casket.

  211. Usually the state law requires certain things, ie. embalming, if you have an open casket.

  212. Our Funeral Directors do educate families on how to save money.  One of the first items we ask them about is Veteran Benefits.  This article was titled and named very poorly.

  213. They should have funeral planners that deal with funeral directors and get the best deal for you and oversee the  process. So you can greive properly. Also, at precious metals at an all time high, i would request that any crowns in a deceased love one be giving to you.I cannot believe that a Funeral director do not remove them for themselves.As an Dental Technician i know that my parents had at least 2oz of Gold and other precious metals in there mouth worth today over $ 3,000. And like you, i felt stranged to ask for them. That’s why you need a Funeral planner.

  214. ONE THING THAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT IN S.C. YOU HAVE NO SAY OVER YOUR REMAINS AFTER YOUR DEATH ! YOU MAY DESIRE A NICE FUNERAL AND A BURIAL WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. AN EVIL SPOUSE OR ANY OTHER NEXT OF KIN MAY WANT YOU CREMATED. THEY HAVE THE FINAL SAY IN S.C.!!!!!!!!!!!THINK ABOUT THAT. JOANNE NICHOLS

  215. Our funeral director made it abundantly clear that we needed to bury my dad (a Vietnam veteran) at a nearby national cemetery and he also helped my mother pre-plan her funeral at the same cemetery.  He never withheld information about either of them being buried there.

    Also, when my mother pre-planned her funeral, it was through an independent company that said that the plan was transferrable.

  216. Cremation and scattering of ashes.
    Do you really think that in a hundred years
    someone is going to be on bended knee
    weeping over your tombstone?

    1. Headstones are good for genealogical research. Whenever I find a new person in my family tree, I go and find their grave. It helps me get closer to them.

  217. Savings, your stash, investments or cash is not safe in the bank, in the sock drawer, in the investment profile, in the payables pocket or receivablse pocket or in your pocket unless you are samrt about it. I did not say trusting in yourself or others, I said smart. Don’t sock up more than you need, don’t believe gold is the secret you can’t walk or run very far with gold in your pocket, cahs certificates may not be worth what they speculate when you want to cash them in, don’t believe the markets are going to give you more than you put in and they are not able to giveback to the orginal investor but a smaller percentage of the orginal of even the prginal amount you put in in the first place. The best investment is your health and doing things to promote health like diet, veggies and water and staying fit like walking or working out a feew times every week and getting use to the outside temperture even if it is 100 in the summer and 0 in the winter and good hard work to keep you use to good hard work. Like the lady said yesterday on a PRM interview she visited Washington and they shut dowm the city becuase of a 1″ snow. She is from near the Artic Circle and wants to keep her lands safe from oil spills so they can hunt whale and an under ice oil spill is only months away after they strat drilling in the frozen tundra and they have to get out and go regardless of the conditions so choose what you want, healt and work or investing and crying. Natue wins hands down every time nd she is just now warming up to get going. Laws don’t matter when it comes to investing in ones-self first and friends and family and friends next. Funerals cost way to much when planting us in the ground will work, it recycles and allows bacteria do it’s work of hygene and decompostion. Bruying cost as much as getting born and that is a shame on us, not the lay makers or provacators of burying, we let it happen and pay for it out the wazoo. Many a spirit gets burried when it should run free and embalmbing stops process of natural decay after the living process has been denied l ife anylonger which is much of the process of living, recycling and renewal.

  218. We buried our sister for about $3000 in Kaufman County, TX. Per her wishes, she was not embalmed and the cheapest casket was a polished pine with minimum “frufru” which she hated. The casket was not on the showroom floor but in a catalog. It was beautiful and we were glad since we didn’t have much money. I have to say the funeral director helped us a lot on a very stressful day and we will always appreciate his kindness.

  219. As a licensed funeral director in West Virginia, I find these “facts” that you have published to be very misleading to the general public. When money is entrusted to a funeral home for “pre-need” it is insured and filed with the Secretary of State; we file VA forms for our clients and do not own our own cemetery so it would be pointless to keep the burial benefit from the family. In addition, the benefits for Veterans are available to anyone so why would a funeral home try to hide such? We have no refridgeration unit and do not need one. We show rental caskets, lower priced caskets and even offer a price for a pine box, should the family want that option. I could argue with all of your points here and feel that  this information does not represent that majority of funeral homes.

  220. The emblaming part is pretty much true. If a body is kept in a cooler for a few days it will still look fine in most cases 72 hrs after death. I lost a brother & he was thousands of miles away & I had not seen him in ten years. The funeral home will try to not show u the body just to try & talk u into the whole inbalming shabang. But on a limited budget they can let u see an unembalmed body. After seeing two close relatives right after death I can say the body looks ALOT more natural without the embalming. its just a bio hazard & u shouldnt touch or kiss the deceased. But for cremation purposes the body does not have to be imbalmed. One funeral home said the body wont burn in the retort if its not imbalmed. Apparently the retort will still cook a person in either case. Just so folks know. Also u can buy your urns & caskets online it just takes a clear head & alot of funeral homes make money because they know most wont question the prices they charge when youre emotional. I’m all for saving folks money!

  221. The emblaming part is pretty much true. If a body is kept in a cooler for a few days it will still look fine in most cases 72 hrs after death. I lost a brother & he was thousands of miles away & I had not seen him in ten years. The funeral home will try to not show u the body just to try & talk u into the whole inbalming shabang. But on a limited budget they can let u see an unembalmed body. After seeing two close relatives right after death I can say the body looks ALOT more natural without the embalming. its just a bio hazard & u shouldnt touch or kiss the deceased. But for cremation purposes the body does not have to be imbalmed. One funeral home said the body wont burn in the retort if its not imbalmed. Apparently the retort will still cook a person in either case. Just so folks know. Also u can buy your urns & caskets online it just takes a clear head & alot of funeral homes make money because they know most wont question the prices they charge when youre emotional. I’m all for saving folks money!

    1. Embalming isn’t a requirement but it does cost more and it does preserve the body in case you have not secured an immediate date for services.

  222. Undertakers aren’t any different than car salesman, trying to sell extended warranty or stain proofing seat covers etc. This in my opinion is predatory to people who are grieving and not at their best mentally. 

  223. Another way of saving is to drive the body yourself if you have to go out of state.  Our family has done this a couple of times.  My husband’s brother died in Tennessee, but the funeral was to be in Ohio.  We just took the casket with his body in it in the SUV and drove it to Ohio.  That can save considerable money.  Just FYI.

  224. Another way of saving is to drive the body yourself if you have to go out of state.  Our family has done this a couple of times.  My husband’s brother died in Tennessee, but the funeral was to be in Ohio.  We just took the casket with his body in it in the SUV and drove it to Ohio.  That can save considerable money.  Just FYI.

  225. I wouldn’t trust a funeral home director anymore than I would a used-car salesman

  226. Actually, much of this article is completely correct.  When my father passed away two years ago, he left me with very little with which to pay his final expenses.  Fortunately, some friends of the family who happen to run a local funeral home helped me plan a tasteful, and inexpensive veteran’s funeral for him.  Embalming is only necessary and required by law if you have an open casket service or wake, which we didn’t plan on, so we skipped it.  Cardboard was available, but I found it distasteful so they helped find a low cost casket I could afford ($700).  Since the cost would have been raised considerably to transport the casket from the funeral parlor to the church and then to the cemetery, we did this:  We skipped a wake and went directly to the national cemetery (being a veteran made everything a great deal easier and less expensive), where we had a short and simple graveside service for family only.  Afterwards our church allowed us the use of their facilities for a memorial service and dinner for all of Dad’s friends, family, and co-workers.

    Our total cost was under $1200 (mind you, it would have been more if he hadn’t been a vet), and I know that was not discounted for the sake of friendship because they had entire binders with low cost options for those without a lot of money, which they carefully helped me and my objective friend (that’s an important tip, no one thinks clearly after losing a loved one!) go through each one and choose our best options  There’s a reason they are the most popular funeral home in the city I live in and well loved and respected members of the community:  They have a policy of honesty, compassion and integrity that the people around here have come to trust in times of sorrow.

    Shame on those taking advantage of the grieving to line their own pockets!

    1. If your dad was a veteran, the DOJ should have covered it.  You don’t have to be active duty for this.

      1. Ladybug94, that statement is not even REMOTELY correct.  It is not the government’s job to bury anyone AFTER they completed their service.  However, after your enlistment is up, you are eligible for a veteran cemetery plot, which comes with a grave liner and grave opening for no charge.  You are eligible for a grave marker for no charge.  Outside of that, you are on your own.

  227. Wow! I can bury my wife in a cardboard box? That’s the good news. The bad new is that I will probably have to wait until she dies. More bad news. I think it is illegal to bury a spouse in the back yard. That’s OK. the ground is too rocky to dig in anyway.

  228. Having worked in the profession for 24 years, this has to be one of the most ill-informed articles I have ever read.  Not sure where Ms. Crouch got her information, but most of what she relates is just not true.  Shame on Reader’s Digest.

  229. Many of these are not true. Take it from a funeral director. You cannot legally be shown at a visitation without embalming and as for the pace makers, if those blow up when the retort door is opened, the funeral director can up with some serious injuries.

  230. Many of these are not true. Take it from a funeral director. You cannot legally be shown at a visitation without embalming and as for the pace makers, if those blow up when the retort door is opened, the funeral director can up with some serious injuries.

  231. Once again more poor journalism by a reporter who choose not to do the proper research. This article is full of false statements and outright lies.

  232. Once again more poor journalism by a reporter who choose not to do the proper research. This article is full of false statements and outright lies.

  233. Once again more poor journalism by a reporter who choose not to do the proper research. This article is full of false statements and outright lies.

    1. im donating my body in the hope that someone else might live a (better) or longer life.  maybe help someone to see better and what ever else the doctors can do with my remains. i hope i can help at least one person.

      1. if you want to donate, make sure you contact the medical college in your area to obtain and complete the necessary form so that your request is actually honored (your funeral director should have the form you are required to complete).  in my state, our medical college makes it a tedious process to accept a donation if the papers were not completed ahead of time by the deceased….why….I don’t know.  i just wanted to you make sure you did everything that may be necessary in your state to make sure your wishes are carried out.  ;)

  234. This article has not been researched at all.  I am a licensed funeral director.  Reader’s Digest should be ashamed of this article.  I posted a lengthly reply to this article over the weekend and they erased all of it.  Shame on you Reader’s Digest.

  235. Keep this in mind…Funeral Homes are one of the most Federally regulated businesses in the United States.   Don’t believe all you read, I’m disappointed in this article.  Most FHs are well run, it’s like any other business in that a few are not but, at least they are Federally regulated and you have the government to fall back on.  How many other businesses can you say that about?

  236. Keep this in mind…Funeral Homes are one of the most Federally regulated businesses in the United States.   Don’t believe all you read, I’m disappointed in this article.  Most FHs are well run, it’s like any other business in that a few are not but, at least they are Federally regulated and you have the government to fall back on.  How many other businesses can you say that about?

  237. Check onyour state laws on embalming/refrigeration…many states require embalming. 

  238. Most Funeral Homes have discounted caskets, vaults and the like and are readily available.  Various costs are available just like any other business.  Many states require vaults and that adds to costs considerably.  One-day funerals/wakes are cost-cutting also.  Price lists are available per law, shop around!!

  239. Most Funeral Homes have discounted caskets, vaults and the like and are readily available.  Various costs are available just like any other business.  Many states require vaults and that adds to costs considerably.  One-day funerals/wakes are cost-cutting also.  Price lists are available per law, shop around!!

  240. Most Funeral Homes have discounted caskets, vaults and the like and are readily available.  Various costs are available just like any other business.  Many states require vaults and that adds to costs considerably.  One-day funerals/wakes are cost-cutting also.  Price lists are available per law, shop around!!

  241. Most families are aware of veteran benefits and the FD will work with them and the local VFWs, etc. to make a wonderful tribute funeral.

  242. I am a funeral director and my family has been in the funeral business for well over 100 years.  Your information regarding pre-paid funeral plans is poorly researched.  Consumer protection laws have nearly eliminated any possibility of an individual losing their investment. 

    You also mention the consumer being able to purchase caskets at Walmart/Costco.  This is true, but you claim the quality of make to be just as high as what funeral selection rooms provide.  Granted this may vary from business to business, but caskets are just like any other product.  There are large variances in the quality of make based on manufacturing.  Many funeral providers choose to carry caskets lines of high quality.  They feel they are doing an injustice to the consumer by offering a poor product.

    I know personally the tips you have provided our business shares with the public on a daily basis.  Having funeral services and memorials will always have value.  In my opinion the media continually does the public an injustice by encouraging people not to view their loved ones.  From my own experience, it was extremely important to me that I had the time and ability to properly view and grieve my father and grandfather.

    Are there bad folks in the funeral industry? Why yes I’m certain there are.  Are there bad folks in any and all businesses around the world? Why yes I’m certain there are.  My best advice to the consumer, do your research as you do with any other major purchase.  There are many wonderful and caring people in our industry.  Seek them out, they will help you down the path that is best for you, your family, your memories, and your budget.

    1. Bad people like you!!! “Poor product” really? To burry a dead body? Who’s complaining? A persons life is now judged by the “quality ” of the box the remains are buried in? How does this affect the after life or lack there of? Maddog is a good name for some one so despicable as you are for saying that ones remains need a box of (hidden) quality. If it looks respectable and gets buried, job well done!! Sell them some mag wheels for the box buddy! and dont forget the stereo charge for music to be played at the  funeral. The $500 stereo used thousand of times a billed for, every time. The whole industry is sick, but show me someone in pain and I’ll show you someone who will take advantage of them and rip every penny from there wallet . SCUMBAGS

  243. Check on the pay-on-death accounts, sometimes these are quite expensive.  Most funeral homes have guarantees on the pre-pays, there are very strong and accountable rules on these.

  244. We found an amazing company that made our memorial porcelain pictures,  custom portrait urn with picture and marbling made by Porcelains Unlimited. They offered a funeral home that was closest to me to purchase and we were truely happy with the variations they offered and customer service. Thank you Porcelains Unlimited for the amazing vibrant porcelain photos  or cameo and urn. Your company has the most unique offerings to the memorial art industry. 

  245. Paul – I agree that Adnil clearly has no idea what is involved in coordinating a funeral. To continue your thread, did Costco:

    1) Schedule the church, minister, organist, soloist and anyone else required for a church service?
    2) Write up and submit the obituary to the various papers?
    3) Schedule the opening of the lot at the cemetery (if applicable)?
    4) File for federal death benefits on the family’s behalf?
    5) Make prayers cards and copies of funeral programs (if applicable)?
    6) Procure certified copies of the death certificate for the various organizations that will require it from the family?
    7) Arrange transportation if the person dies out of the area?
    8) Help referee the family if they are fighting – as often happens?

    ……And I could go on…and on… and on….

    Someone once said that planning a funeral is like planning a wedding…in just a few days. I think that says it all.

    1. We skipped the funeral home all together when our dad passed.   Hospice took him to the crematory, I picked him up, took him home & put him in a lovely antique box he’d had for years & there he sits on the marble top sideboard in the dining room.  We met w/ the church & planned the funeral, we wrote the obit & took it to the newspaper, got 10 copies of the death certificate & gave them to the proper agencies, etc…Saved a bundle, just like Dad would have wanted!

      1. YAY! Glad to know Hospice transports bodies now, I don’t have to get up at 3am anymore…and what state is it that does not require a statement of death by FUNERAL DIRECTOR to be sent to the Social Security Administration? Yes a family can submit their own obituary but before it’s printed the newspaper editor must contact the FUNERAL DIRECTOR to confirm the death. What state is it that allows death certificates to be filed without the signitire of a FUNERAL DIRECTOR? Yes, you may have bypassed a funeral home, but if a body is buried or cremated, a FUNERAL DIRECTOR must be involved, BY LAW!!! Also, concerning obituaries, every funeral establishment I have ever worked for composes and submits obituaries as a courtesey to the family at no extra charge..aside from what the newspaper charges. So in short, you bypassed a funeral home, but don’t insinuate that you bypass FUNERAL PROFESSIONALS!!!! These things I know as I manage a Mortuary service which provides exactly the services you describe on a daily basis.

        1. Apparently hospice also has the wherewithall to obtain a Burial Transit Permit…..something is way wrong with the simplicity of Lori’s experience…..she must have missed the Funeral Professional who completed everything that is required by all state laws to transport, report, and cremate a deceased individual….hmmmmm

      2. YAY! Glad to know Hospice transports bodies now, I don’t have to get up at 3am anymore…and what state is it that does not require a statement of death by FUNERAL DIRECTOR to be sent to the Social Security Administration? Yes a family can submit their own obituary but before it’s printed the newspaper editor must contact the FUNERAL DIRECTOR to confirm the death. What state is it that allows death certificates to be filed without the signitire of a FUNERAL DIRECTOR? Yes, you may have bypassed a funeral home, but if a body is buried or cremated, a FUNERAL DIRECTOR must be involved, BY LAW!!! Also, concerning obituaries, every funeral establishment I have ever worked for composes and submits obituaries as a courtesey to the family at no extra charge..aside from what the newspaper charges. So in short, you bypassed a funeral home, but don’t insinuate that you bypass FUNERAL PROFESSIONALS!!!! These things I know as I manage a Mortuary service which provides exactly the services you describe on a daily basis.

  246. Funny, I posted a detailed rebuttal of most of these points and they did not have the courage to let it appear here.

  247. A lot of this is wrong.  You don’t have to be embalmed if you are going to be cremated, but many states have VERY specific laws about how a dead body must be handled.  Check your sources people!

  248. A lot of this is wrong.  You don’t have to be embalmed if you are going to be cremated, but many states have VERY specific laws about how a dead body must be handled.  Check your sources people!

  249. Good we bury underground and as of sand we came from sand we return
    Thank you Allah

  250. Good we bury underground and as of sand we came from sand we return
    Thank you Allah

  251. Good we bury underground and as of sand we came from sand we return
    Thank you Allah

  252. Good we bury underground and as of sand we came from sand we return
    Thank you Allah

  253. Good we bury underground and as of sand we came from sand we return
    Thank you Allah

  254. Good we bury underground and as of sand we came from sand we return
    Thank you Allah

  255. the creamation is in my name and the funeral director is giving the ashes to another member of my family all the funeral is in my name aswell and i registier my brothers death aswell can the funeral director give them with out my premssion 

  256. It’s usually less expensive if the body is not present for the funeral. — YEAH – so is a wedding without a Bride.  – but isnt that the point.  I’d be kind of miffed if I wasn’t invited to the one party held in my honor.

  257. Just as I thought. A bit of research reveals that this author has no expertise in the funeral profession.

  258. The picture of the funeral home with the blurred out name is in my hometown.. Springfield, Ohio… Littleton and Rue…they are the most reputable that I have ever had to deal with… they have been in business since the 1930’s….they ARE NOT big company owned..NOR HAVE THEY EVER BEEN… they are LOCAL FAMILY OWNED!! The only one our family has ever used…

  259. Your facts are WRONG.  I  am a licensed funeral director.  It is ILLEGAL to view an unembalmed body for anything other than quick identification.  State health regulations prohibit the funeral home from allowing the public to come into contact with a deceased human being without being embalmed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Yes, we have cooling facilities; these are to hold bodies that are going to be cremated.  They are also kept cold when we are trying to find next of kin or when a family is trying to decide what course of action they want to take.  Also most people want the same services for their relatives; we do not pressure them into something that they cannot afford.

    1. B.S. The funeral homes i have dealt with all have used guilt tor get us to pay for more than we wanted to.

    2. What state are you licensed in? It is certainly not illegal to view an unembalmed body in Calif. Your cooling facilities should also be used to hold bodies that are going to be buried but not embalmed. FTC Funeral Rule states: Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial.

  260. Some true, some not. I would NEVER prepay a funeral plan. Many people have lost their money doing that. Much better to just put it in a savings account. Buying your casket from a third party will piss off the funeral home and they will make up their losses somewhere else. My state requires embalming unless you are being cremated or have religious exemptions. The best way to save money is by being firm about what you want. Don’t buy more casket than you want and DON’T waste money on an upscale burial vault. Most cemeteries require vaults but a plain concrete one is just as good as an expensive custom vault. 

  261. Some true, some not. I would NEVER prepay a funeral plan. Many people have lost their money doing that. Much better to just put it in a savings account. Buying your casket from a third party will piss off the funeral home and they will make up their losses somewhere else. My state requires embalming unless you are being cremated or have religious exemptions. The best way to save money is by being firm about what you want. Don’t buy more casket than you want and DON’T waste money on an upscale burial vault. Most cemeteries require vaults but a plain concrete one is just as good as an expensive custom vault. 

    1. Prepaying for a funeral 10 years ago would have given you a better return on your money than CD’s, bonds, or the S&P 500 once you account the inflation of funeral costs over that time (thank the rise in health care coverage!). Generally it is the funeral home that loses money when you prepay for a funeral, but it does secure the business. The money has to be placed with a third party trust of in an insurance product by law. Here is what funeral directors really do not want to talk about: 5% profit margin. That was what the average funeral home makes. Apple has over 30% profit margin. Hospice companies have a 10% profit margin. Yet, by public perception largely based upon poorly researched articles like this one, it is the funeral director who is trying to rip people off. Most families that own a funeral home (the vast majority of funeral homes in this country are own by a local family) could make a better living investing their money doing something else. They would have a lot more time with their family, better hours, and better pay. But, out of an act of kindness and a calling to help people through their difficult process of grief, this is the profession that they choose.

  262. I am extremely disappointed in this article. I am a funeral director and I find this very dissatisfying and not true. Rental caskets are JUST for cremations. It is illegal to put a decedent in a casket and use the same casket for someone else. The cooler issue is not the issue. In most states there is a 48 hr law which states if a body hasn’t been to its final disposition by 48 hours, for sanitary reasons, the body has to be embalmed. After a certain amount of time the body starts to decompose and becomes harmful and toxic to its environment and the people around them. It is articles like these that give funeral directors a bad name.

    1.  Get your facts straight Ms. Melissa Funeral Director:  How do you think bodies that are autopsied are preserved during the process?  The answer is refrigeration.  Embalming my arse….

      1. Al, you are extremely misinformed or incredibly ignorant.  Based on the way you responded to Melissa, I am going to guess the latter.  Bodies are autopsied fairly quickly.  They are often disinfected with bleach to limit any potential bio hazard issues.  While yes, they are refrigerated in the short term, that does NOT stop the decomp process.  Yes, it may slow it down a bit for a little while but it does not do what embalming can do.  Trust me.  I have seen it first hand. Refrigeration alone does not stop nature from taking its course. 

  263. Most of this is not true. Of coarse for some strange reason the funeral inustry is the only buisness that it is a sin to even think of asking for payment.
     As for as bodies holding up 3 to 4 days after death to be viewed unembalmed. Obviously the author should do more research on health hazards. Depending on death and type there of, that is about the dumbest statement ever made.
     I have no compassion for people who claim they have no money to bury. Maybe people would have money to bury if they made it a priority. People do not and would rather have toys and such as opposed to planning their funeral.
     Point blank, no money, no burial!!!

    1. not true. my dad held up from a sunday til a friday with just refrigeration. get your own facts straight wiseass.

      1. I call shenanigans on that.  NO CHANCE that body was viewable after 5 days. 

        1. Sorry Dave and Seamus, I have to agree with Pamelarene65. I commonly hold private viewings for unembalmed bodies up to a week after death. If you can’t, I strongly suggest you take a look at the temperature setting on your refrigerator.

      2. haha! wow Pamelarene, I do not believe you one bit! Refrigeration provides zero preservation. Talk about health hazards…

        1. What is the use of refrigeration if it provides “zero preservation”?

          1. Refrigeration will delay the process of decomposition.  I apologize for the example i am about to give….as this is the only way to give an accurate understanding of the importance of refrigeration with unembalmed human remains (for those who have not experience the unpleasant sight and sell of a decomposd human body…it is like leaving a steak on the couter for a couple days, the bateria quickly begins to go to work doing what they do and the steak would quickly begin the process of breaking down as the bacteria multiplies, it would not be pleasant.  Placing the steak in the cold fridge/freezer until the day is to be removed to the can will retard the process, slow the multiplying of bacteria, and preventing the impendingt horrific odor that accompanys decaying meat.  Now, equate that to a deceased person lying in wait for their disposition….this is common and appropriate practice when one’s wishes were for burial without embalming or cremation.  It is necessary to protect everone involved.  So, “zero preservation” by refrigeration is correct….however slowing of the decomposition process through cooling the body is the appropriate way to proceed when embalming is not an option or desire.

    2. No money, no burial Dave??? Then where do you think the body should go?? 

    3. No money, no burial Dave??? Then where do you think the body should go?? 

    4.  My Dad worked HARD up until the last 3 years of his life when he was too ravaged by cancer to work.  He barely made enough money to make ends meet from week to week, let alone save for anything or buy “toys” and had to use up the little retirement funds he had those last three years to eat and pay the utilities.  I find your lack of compassion disgusting!  This doesn’t mean I don’t think a funeral has to be paid for, I know it does, but attitudes like yours make me sick, you make it sound like only the affluent deserve any dignity or compassion.  Glad that I personally know some decent folks in the industry, so I know that the little my father was able to leave me paid people who actually deserved it.

      1. I see both sides of this problem.  While I understand some people do go through tough times, especially today, the purchase of a simple term life insurance policy years ago could have solved this situation.  What often ends up happening is that family members of the deceased show up to make arrangements in their fancy cars and whatnot, claim to not have any money but yet demand to have the most extravagant services.  

        You can’t walk into a restaurant and ask for caviar when you don’t even have 6 bucks in your wallet and expect to get away with it but for some reason, folks think they can do that to a funeral home and that just isn’t right.  

        1.  My Dad had several small life insurance policies that paid for his funeral, and the remainder went into my Mom’s bank account. So I think life insurance is the way to go to pay for your funeral, instead of prepaying for the service.  Even if the Funeral Home is very trustworthy and of long business life (like the two in our town), things do happen to businesses, unfortunate as it sounds.  Just be sure you get enough to cover the future expenses.  I think that $10,000 should be enough to cover costs in twenty years, eh?

    5. Wow, that’s really crass.  Not everyone has money for life insurance.  Alot of people are living hand to mouth and unexpected situations happen.  Hope they never happen to you.

    6. Wow, that’s really crass.  Not everyone has money for life insurance.  Alot of people are living hand to mouth and unexpected situations happen.  Hope they never happen to you.

  264. Some states have a state law that you have to be buried/viewed within 24 hours of death in order to avoid being embalmed.

    1. That is simply not true. Please research such statements before just posting them as fact. Otherwise, you are being irresponsible, at best.

  265. Well for all of those people saying they remove the gold. Just do what we did. Close the casket with everyone present the morning of the burial and make sure no one climbs into the back of the hearse with the casket .

  266. Walmart has caskets ? That would have been nice to know before my family ripped me off and made me pay for the funeral with MY insurance check. Note to suckers : Do NOT in grief let your family push you around. If the insurance check is made out to YOU that does not mean you have to pay for the ENTIRE funeral with it. Though I wonder how long it would have taken to GET that casket. I had a hard time buying a COUCH and dealing with ignorant customer service in our Connecticut walmart. 

    1. Go the Costco way we had it in 36 hrs delivered,  The undertaker was upset he only made about $1800 for three hrs work.

      1.  3 hours?  Did they pick up the body?  Did they file the death certificate?  Did they make arrangements with everyone to ensure that the burial went as planned?  Did they speak to you and/ or your family? Did they embalm or at least casket the body?  Did they wash the body?  Did they file the burial transit permit?  Did they shift their schedule around to make sure that your funeral was able to be accommodated?  Did they miss out on time with family in order to do the pick up of the deceased?  I can pretty much guarantee you that they did more than 3 hours of work.  I am not saying that none of this article is true, but there is a lot more that goes into it than most people know, and not all funeral directors are money hungry thieves…some, dare I say a majority, do this out of a sincere desire to aid people in one of their most vulnerable times.  However, the funeral home has to keep its lights on and pay its employees just like any other business.

        1. Paul, guess you have never dealt with the green-eyed undertaker of Plainfield NY. 

        2. Paul, guess you have never dealt with the green-eyed undertaker of Plainfield NY. 

    2. Go the Costco way we had it in 36 hrs delivered,  The undertaker was upset he only made about $1800 for three hrs work.

    3. Go the Costco way we had it in 36 hrs delivered,  The undertaker was upset he only made about $1800 for three hrs work.

    4. I never knew any Wal-Mart sold caskets or couches.  I worked at a Wal-Mart and they never did.  Not even the Super Wal-Mart.

      1. You can purchase caskets from Walmart only online, and they are subject to be delivered within 48 hours. What if it arrives damaged? Wait another 48 hours for a replacement?

    5. Your insurance check? It was the dead person’s life insurance, so the check was made out to you. Why would you pocket that money and then force others to pay for a funeral with other money? You sound like a greedy piece of trash. ME ME ME MY CHECK

      Someone died, you didn’t win a lottery. THEIR insurance, THEIR funeral, see how that works.

  267. You can bet they will remove the gold and keep it. They remove pacemakers because it will “damage” their cremation system!

    1. The pacemaker thing is legit – the batteries will also produce toxic fumes. As for the gold , not so much.  Getting gold out of teeth is not worth the effort, nor is it something they want to do. They are not ghouls. Trust me it’s much easier to simply fleece the living, and it’s easier to delude yourself about what your are doing, too.

    2. Pacemakers will and do damage cremation chambers. The intense heat causes the batteries to explode and will chip away the protective lining inside. It is a costly fix thing to fix. All cremation authorization forms must list and signed by the next-of-kin stating if a pacemaker or other medical device is present and this gives the funeral home the authority to remove and properly dispose of them

    3.  I can almost guarantee a legitimate funeral home will NOT remove the teeth. If there is no purpose for something within the body to be moved it will not be moved. It’s a shame people honestly think a funeral home will do that. and for what, $10 they will get for a tooth. and who is really going to take a gold tooth for an exchange for money? come on

      1. Maybe a legitimate one won’t do that, but there are hundreds of funeral homes that are not legitimate.  I know of a guy that had a funeral home in my hometown that removed gold teeth regularly.  He had a bucket that he had sitting there where he did the embalming and such, and he would fill it with gold teeth.  He would then take it and sell it. 

        1. wow really i know a guy who knows a guy lol did u personally stand over him when he did this ??? dont stereo type all funeral homes base off tv or a few news stores

          1. Erm, they didn’t stereotype.  The limited it to non-legit funeral homes, with a personal example (yes, anecdotes aren’t “proof” but that doesn’t make them untrue, either). 

        2. I know a guy…   Sounds like “Horse Crap”, why don’t you post the name of the funeral home and the town he operates in? This is the kind of crazy talk that gives the Funeral Business a bad wrap.

      2.  $10 a tooth. As a Dental Tech i can tell you i buried my parents over 12 years ago and they had at least 2 oz of gold and other precious metals in their mouth. Today’s value $3,000 DOLLARS.

        1. Of all people, you should know how much work is required to remove a tooth and how nasty of a process it is.  As a former funeral director, I was asked to do it for a family.  It was a gruesome and grotesque task and REFUSED to do it from that point forward.  If someone wants it done THAT badly, ask a dentist to do it and see what kind of a response you will get.

          1. With all the things The funeral directors do to prepare a body to be viewed how can you call pulling  a tooth grotesque! You embalm a body, suck out all the blood, sew up stuff with super glue such as  skin and eye lids, hid and color skin that is black and decomposed… ” read the American way of dying” and you will see how gruesome and grotesque this business really is! Who are you kidding, lies, lies and more lies you guys will do anything for a buck, Shame on you shame on you! I have been with love ones who are taken advantage of during their most weak time in their lives, I have seen how these blood suckers these so call funeral directors DO HAVE inexpensive coffins in the Basement with dust on them sitting in water I saw that myself it was not hearsay! Shame on you blood suckers , shame on you!

          2. Boss Blackfoot… you are an arrogant, uneducated Moron!.. 99% of funeral directors are compassionate, honest and caring professionals. Don’t paint us all with the same brush…Think before you speak !

          3. Clearly, you have no idea about the “business” nor are you educated in the history of it. Reading ONE authors interpretation does not mean that you are the final word and know everything. Additionally, the way in which you describe what you think to be true, is distasteful. Embalmers primary responsibility is the protection of public health. The value (not monetarily) of viewing a body for the family is undeniable when it comes to the grief work they must encounter. Embalmers make it less traumatic to view a body, as well as sanitize the remains to ensure public health is protected, so yes, you can kiss and hug your dead relative if you choose to do so). It is disgusting how people blame the funeral industry as being “dastardly crooks” when it is their own feelings of death denial that is the main issue. If you choose to take on the job of a funeral director and embalmer for your close family members, who may or may not have died in a very tragic or disfiguring way, please be our guests. Then and only then can you come back with any IDEA or notion of what the true VALUE of what funeral professionals do everyday!

          4. I am shocked that Readers Digest would attach their name to an article like this!!! I have been licensed in the funeral industry for 30 years. Out of the 22 or so statements made by Michelle Crouch I do not completely agree with a one. I think she is an idiot. Just because I might misspell a word or use a word out of text doesn’t make me an idiot. Mrs. Crouch I’m sure does spell correct and use good grammar but she is still and IDIOT. For the person that made the comment about “I see how these blood suckers work.” Idiot doesn’t even come close to describing you. I might would use some of your grammar now that I think about it, “SUCKER” I am not an undertaker or mortician I am a Funeral Service Professional. I am dual licensed. I take pride in my work, I put the families that I serve “FIRST” and Mr. blood sucker or whatever kind of sucker you are you don’t deserve the compassion and respect that I give the families that I serve. So why don’t people shut up if you don’t know what you are talking about.

          5. You don’t have what it takes to do the job of a funeral director.

          6. I will agree with you that what an embalmer does is not always pretty, but for the basic embalming process, it’s not that disgusting! Surgeons do grosser work on a daily basis than an embalmer does, even when it’s an autopsy case. When I was in embalming school, I was told that “If you can get through this class, you can get through anything!” We had some really bad cases! As for Seamus. Maybe he did find it disgusting! I worked with several F.D.’s that hated embalming. They would rather sit in the front office and push papers than touch a dead body. The last time they touched one was when they were in school. We, as individuals, have our own strengths and weaknesses. I have done some pretty bad cases, the worst was a man that was hit by a train. You give me a case that has maggots on it and I am done! I HATE MAGGOTS! To each their own. I stand by my previous statement in a post above. In any job, there will always be a bad apple or two. For the most part, funeral directors and embalmers do a job for the community that most people wouldn’t want to do. We value our reputations in our communities and we aim to serve our communities with dignity and respect.

      3. Well said. When are people going to use their heads. This isn’t the movies people. Funeral Directors do not go in and yank teeth out of the dead. WTH?

        1. I guess they wouldnt take money from families for years and years telling them they were cremating their loved ones, but in realiity just dumpiing them in a ditch out back huh?

          1. Don’t know of any funeral director ever doing something like that.

    4.  I can almost guarantee a legitimate funeral home will NOT remove the teeth. If there is no purpose for something within the body to be moved it will not be moved. It’s a shame people honestly think a funeral home will do that. and for what, $10 they will get for a tooth. and who is really going to take a gold tooth for an exchange for money? come on

    5. I work in a crematorium and run a retort (cremation machine). The cremator is essentially a brick oven the bricks are heat refractory meaning that they absorb heat and let it out. Pacemakers contain lithium batteries; when these batteries are exposed to high heat they explode. The exploding battery and pieces of the pacemaker hit the brick walls of the cremation chamber and damage them, this causes breakage and cracking of the bricks, which means that they will need to be replaced sooner. Pacemakers are sent to be destroyed, per FDA Law they cannot be reused in patients and its also against the law to ship them outside the US.

      I have heard a pacemaker explode in a cremation chamber, it sounds like a .38 is being fired.

      Dental Gold is worthless. Pulling teeth out of a deceased persons mouth is considered extreme mutilation of a deceased person and is completely unethical. No reputable establishment would ever engage in that practice.

  268. You can bet they will remove the gold and keep it. They remove pacemakers because it will “damage” their cremation system!

  269.  They really need to check their facts on most of the info in this. The better part of it is completely wrong.

  270. Alot of these r just not true. Lets start with the very first one. if u give ur money to a funeral home federal law requires that it must be trusted with an APPROVED bank or trust comp. This law passed in April/200

    1. That still does not stop you from loosing your money if the company goes out of business. This happened to a family member of mine last year. He had all the pre-planned paperwork and had pre-paid for a funeral. I live in another state so when I get home to take care of everything the funeral home had gone out of business a few months prior and no one would return my calls as to what happened to his money.

      1. If the funeral home goes out of buisness, your money is safe if you had it written through Security National or such.

      2. Federal law(not state by state) prevents this, the family member of yours is not taking the correct action. 

        1. You are mistaken,  as preneed funds are indeed regulated by each state.  There are no federal laws concerning how the monies are invested.

          1. in michigan, funeral homes can hold up to 10 percent.  the family would get the rest back, as long as the funeral home isnt doing anything illegal.  cemeteries can take way more than 10%, but i forget exactly how much.

          2. In Texas the funeral homes can only keep the interest made on the policies. If you have a policy from the 1950’s or 60’s they make more than someone who takes out a policy because they have cancer and will die in a couple of years. If a funeral home does happen to go out of business, any funeral home will gladly accept that policy if it is already paid in full and no money was borrowed against it.

          3. No, but they are regulated in the sense that they must be put in a trust or insurance company so that the funeral home doesn’t have it. You can take your pre-arranged funeral insurance to any funeral home you want. Not to mention, the funeral home’s prices are guaranteed not to go up with a fully funded arrangement.

          4. Not entirely true: a funeral home can up-charge on certain prepaid funeral services. Some will and some won’t. It all depends on their ethics and credibility.

          5. It has nothing to do with ethics/reliability. Some of the arrangements the home makes are with outside parties may go up in price – e.g., cost to dig a grave, engrave a stone, play the organ at the church. The home has no control over those cost increases, nor should they be expected to make up the difference in their profits. They’re not charities.

          6. You are correct. I have prepaid for my funeral, and the money is entrusted with a bank that is not only holding onto my money, but is also giving it yearly interest increases. Also included with my payment is prepayment to the cemetery that I will be buried at. It is true that neither the funeral home or the cemetery cannot increase their prices to me, but if taxes go up, the interest that was paid into my account will cover those increases. If by chance there is any money left over, that money will go to the beneficiary that I signed into the account holding my payment. So if the funeral home does go out of business, my money is protected. If the bank goes out of business, it will inform me that they will be sending my money (along with anyone else who has any kind of account at that bank) to a bank who bought them out. I’m safe either way.

          7. I just buried my father who had a CD to cover his funeral. We were told by the funeral home that any money left over from the prepaid funeral automatically goes to the State. In this case the state is Iowa. We used up the money by paying for things not included in the prepaid funeral arrangements such as flowers and the funeral lunch.

          8. You should not have taken the funeral home’s word for that. It’s not true. Any remainder would go to the heirs.

          9. If the person was on Medicaid, in most states any excess funds would go to the state. In some states, though, the excess funds go to the named beneficiary.

          10. You should have checked this out before hand. CDs are governed by federal law not a funeral home. A funeral home does not have control over a CD.

          11. We just buried my father last month too. The funeral arrangements had been paid for back in the 1990s. All can say is that it is a very thoughtful gift to your family to have everything pre-planned. All we had to take care of were flowers and the luncheon. The military supplied the plot. I don’t know how people deal with such a loss when there are no arrangements made in advance and the death is totally unexpected as was this one. When you’re grieving and can’t think straight is no time to make decisions.

          12. It’s hard if you have to do it yourself; my dad & I managed mom’s funeral together. No it’s just him, and me, his only kid – so we pre-planned. Without pre-planning small details that the deceased would have liked to have happened at his/her funeral are often forgotten and not carried out.
            Things are a little easier if the plots were bought & headstone installed. But, the latter can be delayed with a temp marker until the ground settles – and that’s a good thing, so survivors have time to cope, shop around and determined what monies are left for the stone, engraving & installation.
            But make no mistake – everyone should be responsible and have at least a life insurance policy for enough to cover the type of funeral he/she wants – no one, not even family, should be expected to chip in.

          13. My husband died suddenly. I went to the funeral home, told the director I wanted the least expensive funeral that would not embarrass me. I stuck to my guns, and had a nice service.

          14. You clearly had an intelligent, knowledgeable and compassionate funeral director who placed your needs above those of the business! You were both so blessed under the circumstances! They are sadly, too rare.

            I hope that after a few months, after you have mourned and grieved for as long as you possibly need, that if you still feel your funeral director helped you stick to your guns and have the service that was most important to you, I hope you will find the strength to go back and express your appreciation…

            Too often, we don’t recognize the importance and compassion that or funeral director’s summon just for us and our situation.

            Anyway, just a thought.
            In the meantime, my deepest prayers and sympathies go to you for your irreplaceable loss. Having been there, I hate the cliche, but things can get better and for you, I pay they do!!!

          15. That would only apply if your father was on Medicaid.

          16. I think that is only under certain circumstances, like if the funeral home goes out of business. Otherwise, some scummy “loved ones” would do things like change the nice $12,000 funeral the deceased wanted to the cheapest possible and pocket the difference. That’s why the pre-payment goes into an irrevocable trust.

          17.  I think so too, this is a State issue not a Federal one and it is “Buyer Beware”

          18. As a person who works in this industry, I have to say that Cowboy fan is completely correct. In NY and NJ the funds go into a state insured fund and the funeral home does not recieve the money until the funeral home presents a death certificate. If you are going to present an article you really need to do your research.

          19. most funeral homes will not proceed with services until they have been notified ahead of the person passing away, including death certificate. In terms of money, request(s) are made in the will and/or given to other family listed as beneficiaries. Along with surviving family members (whenever applicable)

          20. Wrong… its regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.

      3.  If the funeral is funded through an insurance policy that the funeral home provides to you, the cost of the funeral is guaranteed.  If that funeral home goes out of business, any funeral home can service the contract.  Though they will not be able to guarantee the contract at the prices of the year you bought it, the insurance will have grown to cover most of the cost. 

        A funded prearranged funeral plan is a good emotional and financial gift to your loved ones! 

        1. The first item is not true. Every State as its own pre
          funding laws. New Jersey requires 100% trusting and must be revocable at
          anytime the family wishes. Florida on the other hand is the worst for funding.  Florida has the most law suits filed and
          buyers should beware. This article is falsely painted with a broad brush. In
          truth do your homework based on what state you live in  

        2. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with you. The issue in question is how such preneed arrangements should be made, funded and handled.

        3.  There are going to be loop holes in all businesses, it doesn’t matter the nature of the business.  There are going to be dishonest people in all types of business.  Investigate who you are dealing with, know the people and the firm.  I do work for a preneed company.  We sell all over the united states.  All of our contracts/policies are backed by insurance.  If the funeral home goes out of business and we go out of business the money is still available for the contract/policy.  There are federal laws that govern how the business is handled and each state has its own set of laws.  Our company is audited every year by 2 different government entities.  Funeral Homes are audited every year.  Preneeds are good because you are not purchasing items during an emotional crisis or at the last minute.  Read your contracts and ask questions.  Just like any other business funeral homes have to make money or they wouldn’t be able to provide a service.  As far as whether you call the person in charge a mortician, or undertaker, both names sound a little morbid.  Funeral Director covers it all.  They are licensed individuals and they do direct the funeral. 

        4. The total funeral cost on a prepaid funeral is not guaranteed. Funeral homes are allowed to up-charge on certain services when those costs have increased for the funeral home.

          1. Not in the State of Florida. Once a pre-need contract is signed, those prices are locked in. The only exception being cash advance items. Those are items that are not the charges of the funeral home, such as obituary, death certificates, medical examiner fee, etc.

          2. Maybe in some states. Certainly not in most. That’s one of the mail benefits of prepaying – no increase in price.

          3. The prices ALWAYS increase over time. That is why the funds are placed in a growth vehicle, either insurance or a trust. The increase is to cover price increases. Read your contract.

          4. Shaggy247365. Where did you get your info? Funeral Homes cannot upcharge once you make your arrangements.

          5. Funeral homes can “upcharge”, as you term it. The law allows it and no funeral home could provide a funeral years down the road without collecting the growth on the funds set aside.

          6. What are you talking about up charge? If you pre pay in my funeral home for a funeral for 5k and in 5 years the services are 7k you do not pay anymore, you locked in the prices and there is no up charge. We do keep the interest that the policy or trust received! We usually do not put cash advances on our contracts since you cannot keep them constant since it is not our charges. All states are different in Florida there are Funeral Trusts and Insurance Policies, a Funeral Home may take out 30% of the trusted money from the trust, but if that person dies they still have to guarantee that contract no matter if that FH took the 30% of funds out. I advise people to pre plan not pre pay, make your money work for you not me! And yes this is coming from a Funeral Home owner! Tell me what other business lets you pay for services at todays prices and will honor them 20 years down the road? YES, nobody else!!!!

          7. 15 years ago I prepaid for my cremation in FL with my contract being $1200. I recently had to close out that account and have my money sent to MI where I now live. My pre-arrangements here cost $3400. More than twice what it cost 15 years ago. Once a contract is signed, that price is locked in but moving it to another funeral home opens up the pricing again.

      4. Then you must not have had the proper paperwork…ALL funeral homes are regulated by the federal trade commission. Your family member’s money is sitting in a bank somewhere…you can always call the state board of funeral directors in that state &they will tell you what trust company that funeral home used….it’s the 21st century…there’s always a paper trail.
        I’m so sick of these reporters putting out wrong information making the funeral business look bad when in truth it’s the public who is afraid of death what to believe this crap. What would you do without funeral diectors? Would you want to do their jobs??. I highly doubt it!!!!you should feel privilege that people are there that care enough to take care of your loved ones in this time of need.

        1. what i do know is that for a urn they charge min. of 400.00 and i also know that you can but them at hobby lobby buetiful ones for under 100.00 they charge alot well because they can there is so much you can get outside the funreal home and save ove 80% like chairs for grave side service really 120.00 rental fee for 40 chairs. hell i baught mine at wal mart 50 and it cost me. 160.00 but they are mine to keep not a rental fee same with canopy they over charge for every thing. so shop wisely you DO NOT have to be over charged for everything.

          1. Instead of chairs, you should have invested in a spelling/grammar/punctuation class.

          2. Many people, when posting on a forum such as this don’t waste time on punctuation and use all lower case.

            You must not text as you appear ignorant of trends such as this.

            Don’t be such a snob, what bobbie12 said is true.

          3. You need a comma behind “this”. I am not ignorant, but all lower case and no punctuation is an ignorant trend.

          4. What are you, the grammar and punctuation police? Give it a rest! I can’t stand reading comments from people like you. Again, this person was making a meaningful comment to an article and you have to go on a rant about punctuation. This isn’t grammar school and there are no teachers here!

          5. Can’t stand reading comments from people like me? My advice is, THEN DON’T. Nobody made you read it. Skip on over it next time if you can’t stand it.

          6. Another out of work “Hall monitor” is trying to Police Us All, nunya! Can’t stay on topic or have a normal conversation so nunya does what she does best… Bitc*es!

          7. who cares when you are dead mrs. perfect

          8. Just as long as you get your word across-That’s all that matter’s to me.

          9. That is all that should matter to all of us here… The others need not even waste their time posting nonsense if all they are going to do is tell everybody what they are doing wrong. Not very productive whatsoever
            .

          10. Come on, really!, who cares if you spell, punctuate, or whatever, the bottom line is giving your loved one a decent memorial…one that you can feel good about when it’s all
            said and done.

          11. There is at lease one grammar/ punctuation expert in every forum…Their mind searches to find all the faults of others rather than participating in the discussion..Just ignore and continue with things at hand.. <3

          12. The subject matter (funeral costs) is what the discussion is about. No one anywhere any more writes correct English about anything. If we are discussing funeral costs, that is the subject; why turn this in to a grammar lesson? I like texting messages even in a forum like this, and having been a ‘grammar queen’ I find it hard to make myself not follow rules of grammar; however, that is not what I want to know about here; I want to know about funeral costs – no matter how grammatically incorrect the information is – and BeachN is correct – you cannot have a discussion without encountering those who have to correct someone when they probably don’t even know what they are talking about. I am trying to learn to text messages, and I admire those who know how to do it. However, the cost of the last two funerals I had to help plan for family members was shocking to me, and I hope to help eliminate the shock for next time.

          13. If writing incomprehensible English is a trend, then it is one that should end as soon as possible. Better to look like a snob instead of a stoop.

          14. what a rude comment. This person was trying to make a meaningful comment to this article and you have to be rude. Come on!?!

          15. Oh, so now we have the grammar police on board…trying to make this about her/him instead of original intent of posts…trying to be helpful to others.

          16. omg Stay in school You come across as being completely illiterate…can’t take you seriously!

          17. Making fun of people that have learning disabilities, mental and or physical problems who can’t attain the same level of literacy as others is nothing but shameful.

          18. so now you own those chairs. who is going to set them up and take them down? where are you going to store them? these are also included in that rental fee. I for one do not care to have 40 chairs stacked in my living room that I will never a use for again. As far as the urn goes, just use a mason jar. 6 for ten bucks at most stores.

          19. His point was that funeral homes over charge folks when they have just lost a loved one- that is a known fact. No, not everyone wants chairs stacked in their living room, however he was making the point that they are now his and his money was better spent (in his eyes) owning the chairs rather than renting them.

          20. Great comment Jojowa. Also how are you going to transport the chairs to and from the cemetery??

          21. Cemeteries usually include the tent, chair, artificial grass, and lowering device as a part of their opening and closing charge.

          22. Not in Oklahoma. This is something contracted by the funeral home.

      5. If the funeral home utilizes a burial insurance company then the policy issued is 100% transferable.  This would allow you to take the policy to another funeral home in the event the family moves or chooses to use another facility.  This also protects the funds if the funeral home that was originally used. Every funeral home uses a different vehicle to pre-fund funeral arrangements.  If the consumer has ‘what if’ questions, the funeral home that the services are to be completed through should clarify any concerns.

      6. This simply is not true. If the funeral home went out of business the money that your loved one paid is in an insurance trust account and that policy has a guaranteed side and a non guaranteed side (for the cash advance items) on the Funeral Purchase Agreement.  The guaranteed side (left side) of the contract is the guaranteed side meaning that those items will not go up in price to the consumer, when the price goes up those items are normally absorbed by the interest accrued but the amount of interest is determined by how long the person lives after the agreement is made and paid for.  Every Purchase Agreement that are Pre-Need are written through an Insurance Company, some insurance company for example NGL to name but one company.  If the funeral home goes out of business, which hardly ever happens but it could then the contract your loved one made is with the Insurance Company and insurance funds pay for the funeral.  So, your loved one’s money is in the insurance company not in the funeral home.

        1. But the prices DO go up. What is guaranteed is that your family will not have to pay for the increase in price; the funding vehicle (insurance or trust) does that.

      7. If you have prepaid paperwork, there should be the name and policy number of an insurance company who insured that plan. Google that insurance co. to get their claim telephone number.
        If there is no insurance company and the funeral home placed it in a trust account, that money should still be in that trust account.
        You may also contact the government department that controls funeral home operation in the state this occurred and perhaps they can give you insight as to how to retrieve the funds.
        The department that handles insurance companies in the state can also help you track down the insurance company, even if it has changed ownership.
        As a funeral director, if there was a way I could get all the details, I would be thrilled to help you find your money (at no charge to you).

      8. dont worry…it wouldve been wasted $ regardless. btw…”loosing”? Really? …it’s “Losing”.

    2. That still does not stop you from loosing your money if the company goes out of business. This happened to a family member of mine last year. He had all the pre-planned paperwork and had pre-paid for a funeral. I live in another state so when I get home to take care of everything the funeral home had gone out of business a few months prior and no one would return my calls as to what happened to his money.

    3. You are absolutely correct.The modern pre-paid funeral policies are with bonded and insured insurance companies, and are also portable for use with any funeral home in the USA,,,,,,,

      1. AS LONG AS you have the  documents available to you, you are covered, HOWEVER as with any form of insurance, if they are lost  you have nothing to fall back on

        1. Not true, if you know the insurance company you can call them and any reputable F.H. will have records.

      2. AS LONG AS you have the  documents available to you, you are covered, HOWEVER as with any form of insurance, if they are lost  you have nothing to fall back on

      3. AS LONG AS you have the  documents available to you, you are covered, HOWEVER as with any form of insurance, if they are lost  you have nothing to fall back on

    4. I’m wondering if there is lack of information on most of this article…doesn’t seem too informed.

      1. Of course this article is not informed. I question these kinds of articles on the surface. Look at the source of the article before accepting everything at face value.

    5. haha – Red Head Fool – some funeral homes are not going to abide by the  law.  Heck, lots of lawmakers don’t abide by the law. 

    6. Our experience when mother died with a prepaid funeral.

      The funeral directors had NO information with regard to mother having a pre paid funeral arrangement.  We then produced a reciept for it that mother had carefully put away.  When we produced the document, they then tried to say it was not for a full funeral service.

      Then is when my sister got angry.  She got in their faces and threatened a law suit and disclosuer through the local media.  (My sister had lived in the town all her life and knew most everyone in town,as well).  They finally honored the reciept.

      Do you think any of us would prepay our funeral expenses after that expierence?  OR use that funeral home again?

      There are other ways to cover this expense without relying on the funeral directors.  Our advise is to look into your options.

      1. Sounds like you trusted a bunch of crooks with your money. Don’t let one bad apple ruin it for the other funeral directors out here trying to do everyday honest work.

        1. Now to the list, I’m a vet, why would I not tell you about the National Cemetery? Only a small percentage of Funeral Homes have a cemetery and even they will tell you about it. Rental Caskets are a great thing for the Funeral Home, why hide them. In 20 years I have never seen a Funeral Home without refrigeration. We have signs on every sealer casket that tells you it has not been proven to slow decomposition. I’d like to see a picture of a casket that has exploded in the ground. Every contract, at least in CA, has to be individually priced. The crematory we use has show us the damage a pace maker has done, and finally, yes the author was ill informed and vindictive and not caring about truth, but doesn’t  writer sound better. By the by, My licence says Funeral Director, my other one says Embalmer.

          1. I can tell you of one funeral home I KNOW doesn’t have refrigeration… No JOKE… My family member had to be held in a town 30 miles away until the morning of the funeral.

          2. I worked for a chain of funeral homes and only 2 of the 7 had refrigerator units. We only used the big one as that was where we did all the embalming. The bodies were prepped there and transferred the next day to the appropriate site. I do agree with the advice to shop around. I worked the phones in the evenings and had people call the 4 different funeral homes plus the cremation service we ran and I would give them 3 or 4 different prices, depending on the area in which that particular building was located, the cremation service being the cheapest. The person on the other end never picked up on the fact that it was the same person answering each call! As with anything in life, there are good ones, bad ones and great ones. Educate yourself and ask questions! A good funeral director will give you what you want, whether it be the basic minimum or full blown service. A good F.D. doesn’t want his/her reputation ruined by shoddy work!

          3. Wonderful reply!!!! In Oklahoma, a public viewing of a body (that has not been embalmed) must be viewed within twenty four hours of death. I have never ever heard of an in ground casket exploding…try to google that!! The majority of small funeral homes do not have refrigeration. Those funeral homes either embalm or bury within twenty-four hours.

          4. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of exploding caskets. It does happen.

        2. I totally agree. There are crooked lawyers, politicians, doctors, brokers, etc.

      2. If all she had was a receipt, the whole deal was fishy from the start.
        There are crooked undertakers, just as there are crooked bankers, lawyers, preachers..you name it. Know who you are dealing with, and verify, verify, verify.

    7. Not many laws from the first century are still applicable today.  I’m sure the banking system back then was quite different from today’s structure, but one thing was still prevalent:  the little guy got bent over and the rich got richer.

    8. Not many laws from the first century are still applicable today.  I’m sure the banking system back then was quite different from today’s structure, but one thing was still prevalent:  the little guy got bent over and the rich got richer.

    9. and we are too believe one who can not write in complete words and oh… 4/200 was 1,812 years ago… Also it is not Federal law..

      1.  But we should believe someone who follows absolutely no logical rules of grammar or punctuation, yet criticizes someone else’s online writing? Pot, meet kettle.

    10. And they go broke you can hired a lawyer to try to get your money back….why bother at all…just set up yur own account

    11. State law not federal regulates it. Families should always be given a Consumer Guide as required by state law. It offers SOME info. With 20+ yrs in the funeral industry I have to honestly say, as much as Directors don’t want to hear it, pre-PLANNING is so much more important than pre-PAYING. If you choose to pay in advance it is only wise to pay in full. Interest on the payments is very costly. Also, ask if the business is corporately owned. It might be the most important question you ask. 

        1. In my experience, corporately owned funeral homes have higher prices and employ pre-need sales people are HIGHLY encouraged to increase sales. Each sales person as well as the sales manager are compensated based upon the level of sales. The staff of the sales department are rarely licensed funeral directors. Family owned funeral homes typically will have no dedicated pre-need staff, so the person meeting with you will usually have no incentive to pressure you to arrange a higher priced funeral than you want.

        2. In my experience, corporately owned funeral homes have higher prices and employ pre-need sales people are HIGHLY encouraged to increase sales. Each sales person as well as the sales manager are compensated based upon the level of sales. The staff of the sales department are rarely licensed funeral directors. Family owned funeral homes typically will have no dedicated pre-need staff, so the person meeting with you will usually have no incentive to pressure you to arrange a higher priced funeral than you want.

        3. corporate owned has more than one funeral home, is often located in multiple states if you move, more protection if one place goes out of business.

    12. and if u were to have obtrained a betta educaution u may have no need 2 spells wurds lik a kid.

      Dude, that’s just pure laziness to not press a few more keys and completely spell out a word in the English language.

      ur
      u
      r
      alot

      I don’t believe that anyone would take your posting serious with such spelling!!

      1. People these days are so addicted to texting they can’t help but use abbreviated words or letters. It’s crazy. I agree. I don’t text, because I don’t want to die yet.

        1. I text a lot but I still spell words out completely and use appropriate punctuation. I would guess that many phones also have a little microphone icon on the virtual keyboard used to type a text (my android Galaxy 3 does). You can hit that and just speak your message. If you speak clearly and correctly, most of the time the visual translation will match what you dictated quite well. You can always edit it if the words are incorrect.

    13. This is just another circulation enhancing hit piece on the funeral business. Nearly all  of it is outright false and much is selective “facts”.

    14. This is just another circulation enhancing hit piece on the funeral business. Nearly all  of it is outright false and much is selective “facts”.

      1. Each state has its own preneed regulations. some are more strict than others; some protect consumers better than others.

    15. I am a redhead and I live near a Folsom funeral home in MA. Thank you for standing up

    16. We all know businesses don’t break laws, especially funeral homes. You wish!!! Never mind that they are the worst offenders and prey on grieving families.

    17. Laws are broken and people lose money. Recent article in the newspaper about this very thing. In Ohio there are only two inspectors for over 1300 funeral homes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Reader's Digest Survey

Click on the image above to take our survey