How To Not Suck… At Pre-Paying For Your Funeral

How To Not Suck… At Pre-Paying For Your Funeral

When I die, I don’t want a traditional funeral. I want a party where my guests can laugh about me, have a few drinks and not be so darned sad. And it should be on a beach. With a Tiki bar and a mix of loud, loud classic rock and Bob Marley on the sound system. [More]

(Corey Templeton)

FTC Approves Formation Of Bereavement Voltron: SCI Can Acquire Rival

If you don’t want anyone to pay attention to a piece of news, be sure to put out your press release just before the biggest holiday of the year. On December 23, the Federal Trade Commission released the news that it has given its blessing for the largest company in America’s “death care” industry, Service Corporation International, to go ahead and acquire the second-largest company in the same business, Stewart Enterprises, Inc. [More]

(KIRO-TV)

Family Shocked To Discover Their Father Had Been Cremated & Another Man Was In His Casket

A family in Washington State had a doubly disturbing shock at the funeral of a man recently, when they found out that not only was the wrong body in his casket, dressed in his clothes and with a photo of the man’s wife tucked inside, but he’d been cremated as well — and he was terrified of being cremated. [More]

(WCPO.com)

Woman Shocked To Find Funeral Home Put Her Son’s Ashes In Walmart Bag Inside Urn

While we might not be aware of where our mortal remains reside after we’re gone, one young man’s mother is upset that a funeral home confined his ashes to a plastic Walmart shopping bag. She discovered the bag job a year after he passed away, and calls it a “disrespectful” move on the part of funeral home. [More]

"Just because we're bereaved doesn't make us saps!" -- Walter Sobchak

Nearly 1-In-5 Funeral Homes Found Violating Consumer Protection Rules

In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission enacted the Funeral Rule, a set of consumer protection guidelines for U.S. funeral home operators covering everything from pricing transparency to casket-handling fees. And every year, FTC investigators go undercover to spot-check the funeral home industry to see if folks are abiding by the rules. According to the latest report, a significant number of them are not. [More]

(taberandrew)

Nation’s Two Largest Funeral Companies To Merge, Form Bereavement Voltron

Back in 2008, Service Corporation International, the nation’s largest funeral-service company, made a bid to acquire the second-largest company, Stewart Enterprises Inc. The smaller company rebuffed its suitor, but reconsidered after an offer this year. The two companies will now form one large mega-death-services-corporation just as baby boomers are about to consider planning–and more importantly, pre-paying for–their funerals. [More]

Who's To Blame For Broken Urn: UPS Or The Crematorium?

Who's To Blame For Broken Urn: UPS Or The Crematorium?

When a California woman went to unpack the urn containing her late brother’s ashes, she found it had been damaged in shipping and the ashes spilled onto her floor. The crematorium that sent the urn blames UPS, which points the finger right back at the crematorium, saying it violated UPS policy by shipping human remains. [More]

Investigation Finds 15% Of Funeral Homes Still Misleading Consumers

Investigation Finds 15% Of Funeral Homes Still Misleading Consumers

Way back in 1984, the Federal Trade Commission established the Funeral Rule, which is actually a list of requirements for funeral homes to make sure that grieving consumers aren’t hoodwinked into paying too much for services or paying for unnecessary items. Nearly 30 years on, an undercover investigation by the FTC found that a surprising number of funeral homes are not abiding by the Rule. [More]

Police Arrest Embalmer For Swiping Gold Teeth From Remains

Police Arrest Embalmer For Swiping Gold Teeth From Remains

When you hand over the body of a loved one to a funeral parlor, you trust that the workers won’t scour the remains for valuables to make a quick buck. But things apparently didn’t work out that way in a Denver-area funeral home, where a freelance embalmer was indicted for swiping gold teeth from remains and pawning them. [More]

Funeral Home Patrons Find 'Walking Dead' Billboard Offensive For Some Reason

Funeral Home Patrons Find 'Walking Dead' Billboard Offensive For Some Reason

Remarkably, no one at ClearChannel Advertising seems to have realized that it might be a bad idea to post a giant ad for a zombie-themed television program on the exterior wall of a funeral parlor. That’s precisely what happened in the town of Consett in England. The advert for post-apocalyptic drama The Walking Dead has now been taken down, and the company responsible has apologized, but how on earth did this happen in the first place? [More]

Save Money: Get Married In A Funeral Home

Save Money: Get Married In A Funeral Home

Superficially, weddings and funerals have a lot in common: everyone’s dressed up, families get together, some people are crying, and the guests of honor ride off in fancy vehicle to an uncertain future. Funeral homes, though, are large and beautiful spaces that provide a cheaper alternative site for wedding receptions and/or ceremonies. [More]

Funeral Home Director Accused Of Partying Pretty Hard

Funeral Home Director Accused Of Partying Pretty Hard

The Ohio state board that licenses funeral homes has shut down a business in the town of Findlay while it investigates a list of allegations against the funeral director who owns the business. It’s a long list, too, including being naked or half-clothed during business hours, putting on the jacket of a deceased man in front of the man’s family, threatening employees, and being drunk. [More]

Bodies Found Stacked Like Firewood In Garage Of Maryland Funeral Home

Bodies Found Stacked Like Firewood In Garage Of Maryland Funeral Home

Apparently the Chambers Funeral Home & Crematorium in Riverdale, Maryland had more bodies for its crematorium than it could handle, so it stored them in the garage–stacked in piles, with fluids leaking out. A state investigator discovered the stash during an inspection, although to be fair he was warned by an employee, “Don’t get upset about all the bodies in there.” [More]

FTC Catches 30% Of Funeral Homes Violating Consumer Laws

FTC Catches 30% Of Funeral Homes Violating Consumer Laws

Thanks to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers have certain rights when it comes to funerals. Consumers have the right to purchase only the products or services they need, to use the services of a funeral home while declining embalming, to see written price lists before they begin to make decisions, and the right to purchase a casket or urn elsewhere. An undercover FTC investigation, however, discovered that in 30% of the funeral homes they visited, at least one part of the Funeral Rule of 1984 was violated. [More]

Lawsuit: Funeral Home Returns Mom's Brain With Personal Items

Lawsuit: Funeral Home Returns Mom's Brain With Personal Items

According to a lawsuit filed in New Mexico State District Court in Albuquerque, a woman’s brain was returned to her family in a bag of personal effects. [More]

Even In Death, You Can Still Shop At Walmart

Even In Death, You Can Still Shop At Walmart

Walmart now provides for their customers from cradle to grave. Quite literally—since you can not only purchase cribs there, you can now order caskets and funerary urns from the mega-retailer’s Web site.

Don't Let Dad Saw The Legs Off Corpses Or Your Funeral Home Might Get Shut Down

Don't Let Dad Saw The Legs Off Corpses Or Your Funeral Home Might Get Shut Down

It’s all well and good to let your father help out around the family funeral home, but if he doesn’t have an embalming license—and is maybe too handy with an electric saw—keep him away from the important duties. A South Carolina funeral home just had its license revoked because four years ago the owner’s father sawed the legs off a 6′ 7″ body to make it fit in the casket. The owner didn’t tell the family at the time, and they only found out about it recently when an ex-employee told them. (See below for links to cool funk music—yes, it’s related to this post!)

National Funeral Home Lets Hundreds Of Corpses Rot In Hallways

National Funeral Home Lets Hundreds Of Corpses Rot In Hallways

The National Funeral Home in Falls Church, Virginia stores unrefrigerated corpses, including some bound for Arlington National Cemetery, in hallways and garages for months on end, according to embalmer-turned-whistleblower Steven Napper. The Funeral Home’s owner, Texas-based Service Corporation International, told Napper that they were unwilling to pay for refrigeration, which would prevent corpses from leaking and growing mold.