Kavod v'Nichum and Gamliel Institute provide resources, education, and training along the Jewish end-of-life continuum: from visiting the sick and pre-planning, to care for the body after death, to providing comfort to the mourners.
Home  »  Funeral Industry Articles
Wellsphere Oct 2009 California Man Receives Sentence For Falsifying Records For Harvesting And Selling Human Tissue For Medical Implants
FindACase Sep 2009 DEBORAH PRISE AND HEATHER RADY, PLAINTIFFS, v. ALDERWOODS GROUP, INC., BURTON L. HIRSCH FUNERAL HOME, INC., H.P. BRANDT FUNERAL HOME, INC., AND H. SAMSON, INC., DEFENDANTS.
Washington Post Jul 2009 Worker Fired For Describing Conditions at Funeral Home
Palm Beach Post News Apr 2009 After 8 years, 350 victims’ families share $40 million from Menorah Gardens cemetery scandal
Times Publications Jul 2008 Dead Wronged and Dead Wronged II
AZCentral.com May 2008

Funerals: Inconsistent costs, wide confusion

WTAE.com Pittsburgh Aug 2007 Corpse Abuse Alleged After Man Found Near Coffin
New Jersey Record Jan 2006 “Funeral homes in N.J. tied to probe” – “A Fort Lee biomedical company under investigation for allegedly harvesting body parts illegally from a Brooklyn funeral home worked in New Jersey funeral homes as well, a spokeswoman for the state funeral directors association said Wednesday.”
Motley Fool Dec 2005 “Do You Need “Pre-Need” Funeral Insurance?” – “The downside, and a reason to think twice before plunking down pre-need money, is that it tends to be a lot of money. And that pile of money will be out of your hands and earning interest — for the people you paid, not for you.”
Motley Fool Dec 2005 “Death: Get Over It” – “When you die intestate, you’ve passed on to the great beyond without leaving behind a will or trust. …When someone dies intestate, that’s lawyerese for, ‘Oh boy, let’s see how much I can get out of this!’.”
Oklahoma City Journal Record Dec 2005 “Oklahoma funeral directors respond to casket controversy” – “Oklahoma funeral directors routinely mark up the retail price of caskets by as much as 600 percent above wholesale cost.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette Nov 2005 Ex-funeral home employee files discrimination suit “The recently fired supervisor of the Burton L. Hirsch Funeral Home has filed a federal complaint alleging religious harassment and discrimination against the facility’s parent company.
Globe and Mail Nov 2005 “Plan ahead, yes, but prepaying may not add up” – “At the advice firm Kerr Financial, they suggest clients prearrange, but not prepay.”
CNN Money Oct 2005 Body snatchers tied to allograft firms? Alleged New York-area ring investigated for selling parts to corpse tissue harvesters.
Crain’s New York Business Oct 2005 “Funeral homes dig in; Discounters pose grave new threat; putting an end to cheap burials. – The recent emergence of discount casket retailers is putting many of New York City’s 300 independent funeral homes, which have long relied on caskets as their big earner, in grave peril.”
Daily Record, The (Baltimore) Oct 2005 “Commentary: Explore options to prepay a funeral” – “Preplanning your own funeral, while difficult for most of us, can help ease the emotional and financial burden for your survivors at a stressful time. But should you pay in advance for your funeral”?
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Oct 2005 “Helping a Surviving Spouse Carry On” – “…there are some things you can do now to help make your passing easier for your surviving spouse and heirs.”
Birmingham Post; Birmingham (UK) Aug 2005 “Personal Finance: Pre-Paid Funerals Are Grave Concern”
Motley Fool Jul 2005 “Saving Money on Funerals” – “Here are some smart ways to go about funeral planning.”
St. Petersburg Times Jun 2005 ‘Personal feeling’ wins out
CBS Evening News May 2005 “Friday Consumer Alert: Group Sues Funeral Homes, Casket Maker” – “A consumer group is suing the nations three biggest funeral home chains and a leading maker of caskets, accusing them of conspiring to fix casket prices.”
Consumers’ Research May 2005 “Are Consumers Getting Fair Funeral Deals?” – “The following provides two perspectives that serve to outline areas of concern and offer some data on the overall consumer experience with the industry.”
Reason Apr 2005 “Coffin break: funeral home protection” – “MEMORIAL CONCEPTS Online sells an oak coffin for about $2,000, roughly half the average price at funeral homes in Oklahoma, where the company is based. But in Oklahoma, where only licensed funeral directors are allowed to sell caskets, such competition is illegal.”
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report Dec 2004 “Make Sure Your Estate ‘Team’ Knows the Plan” – “…have you given your estate plan a “test drive” to make sure it runs smoothly in accordance with your wishes”?
Motley Fool Dec 2004 “What Funerals Cost” – “The average cost of a funeral, as of July 2004, is $6,500 ….you can spend a lot more or a lot less, depending on the decisions you make.”
Motley Fool Oct 2004 “The Facts of Death” – “However, you can save a lot of money on funeral arrangements if you do a little research. Here are some smart ways to go about funeral planning.”
CBS Interactive Business Network Aug 2004 Last Wrongs
Indianapolis Business Journal Aug 2004 “Adding personal touch to the funeral service”
Journal of Consumer Affairs Jun 2004 “The economic burden of health care, funeral, and burial expenditures at the end of life” – “Discussion focuses on what role consumer educators can play in helping families better manage end-of-life expenditures.”
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report May 2004 “If You Want to Donate Your Body to Science” – “The donation of a human body for humanitarian and scientific study is a noble act….”
Financial Post Mar 2004 Funeral home giants forced to retrench – Chains that spent freely to acquire assets now find themselves in a cash crunch
Episcopal Life Archives Feb 2004 Why the steep prices?
Womens Wall Street Feb 2004 “Plan your own funeral?” – “Many don’t want to think about it, but a little advance work will give both you and your family some peace of mind — and save money.”
Globe Syndicate Jan 2004 “The Sandwich Generation . . . Helping Your Aging Parents: DON’T PREPAY FOR YOUR FUNERAL” – “…Now the funeral home claims she only put down a substantial deposit; she didn’t pay for it all; and we owe them $2,800. What should we do”?
USA Weekend Jan 2004 “Plan your own funeral?” – “Many don’t want to think about it, but a little advance work will give both you and your family some peace of mind — and save money.”
Chattanooga Times/Free Press Nov 2003 “Head of National Funeral Home Group Expects Consumers to Be Price-Conscious” – “If you’re in the market for a new Crown Victoria, you’re not going to stop at the first place you visit and pay $26,000… You’re going to go to two other dealers and see what they’re selling… Why not do this with a purchase that may top $10,000”?
Montana Jones Sep 2003 Canadian Corporate Predator – The Alderwoods Group formerly The Loewen Group
Forbes.com Jul 2003 Six Feet Under – Service Corp. International made a pile selling “pre-need” funerals and caskets. Competition, debt and the growing trend of cremation nearly buried the company. Now, how to dig itself out?
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report May 2003 “ESTATE PLANNING, Making Final Plans” – “TELLING YOUR FAMILY what kind of final ceremony you want can enable those you love to focus on remembering you. …shield your spouse or children from dealing with funeral salespeople who may push products and services on them at a vulnerable moment. … resist the temptation to pay for funeral expenses in advance – that’s generally not a good idea.”
Operations & Fulfillment May 2003 “‘Overpaying Is Not Dignified’ (online marketing of low-cost funeral supplies) ( Funeral Depot Inc.)” – “…low-cost distributors of funeral supplies are finding that consumers are more than willing to flock to the electronic medium.”
Business Record (Des Moines) Apr 2003 “Lower mortality rate killing funeral business. (Money)”
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report Apr 2003 “Create an Estate Plan to Put Your Faith In” – “…your plan can do much more. PLAN YOUR ESTATE to honor the goals of your heart, and cherish your family by letting them know what’s important to you. … I’ve seen fist fights over which funeral customs to observe…”
Motley Fool Apr 2003 “Tough Talk” – “It seems like human nature to wait to tell people our true feelings until they (or we) suffer a near-death experience — or a really, really bad haircut. …Life is full of difficult conversations. One of the toughest is talking to a parent or older relative about their final financial wishes.”
National Catholic Reporter Apr 2003 “Do-it-yourself funerals. (Letters). (Letter to the Editor)” – “…start thinking outside the box. For example, you don’t need a priest to do your memorial service. …Plan to have a celebration of life or fond farewell party at a hotel, (or) a family member’s home….”
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report Mar 2003 “Sensible Ways to Get Organized” – “For Heaven’s Sake, Get Organized. Whatever your motivation, it pays to centralize and organize estate papers and personal collections.
Regulation Mar 2003 “Breathing life into the funeral market: are state regulations impeding innovation and harming consumers in this very meaningful sector of the economy? (Deregulation)” – “…regulatory-protection of rents and the status quo can happen in almost any market… One such example is the market for funeral-related goods and services.”
Motley Fool Jan 2003 “Prepare for Your Demise” – “You can save …a lot of trouble by writing down …information. Your after-death preferences: …buried or cremated? A fancy, plain, or very plain casket? A memorial service or a funeral? Flowers or donations to a charity? “Amazing Grace” or “Muskrat Love”? Who should be invited to various services”?
Federal Trade Commission Oct 2002 “Are State Funeral Regulations Burying Online Casket Sales? “
PR Newswire Oct 2002 “Consumers to Benefit in Settlement of Funeral Abuse Lawsuit” – “194 pre-need funeral contract purchasers — potential victims of funeral home abuse — will benefit under the settlement of a lawsuit brought by outraged family members of a deceased victim.”
Star-Telegram (Dallas) Sep 2002 “Burying on a budget eases financial grief” – “The 57-year-old entrepreneur is an industry maverick, in his words a “black sheep” of the family, because of his unorthodox merchandising and outspoken criticism of what he calls funeral homes’ predatory pricing.”
Motley Fool Aug 2002 “Save on Funeral Costs. What should I know about cremation?” – “Funerals are difficult enough without managing the financial burdens of traditional burials. Consider cremation. It’s much less costly than traditional burials and is more environmentally sound, too, using less land.”
Motley Fool Jun 2002 “Saving Money on Funerals” – “Take the time to get informed about the industry now.”
Seattle Times Apr 2002 “Consumer Group Keeps Watch on Funeral Industry” – “As the cremation rate increases and they’re not getting the funerals, they’re finding other ways (to make money).”
Motley Fool Mar 2002 “How Much Does a Funeral Cost?” – “Here’s a breakdown of average costs, nationwide, according to a 1999 National Association of Funeral Directors survey.”
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Feb 2002 “Give Pre-Need Funerals the Last Rites” – “That fellow on the phone in the middle of your dinner trying to sell you your “memorial estate” is a not a funeral director, although he may pretend to be one.”
Fox News Dec 2001 “Gruesome Photos, Video Show Bodies Discarded in Woods Behind Cemetery” – “Funeral Operator Accused of Dumping Corpses in Woods.”
Dallas News Nov 2001 “Revenge of the Casket King” – “Bob Davis thought his dad’s funeral was a rip-off – and he did something about it.”
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Oct 2001 “UNTIL DEATH DO US PART, ER, PARTY. (funeral services)” – “SPENDING, More Americans plan for happier endings, pulling the plug on traditional FUNERAL SERVICES. LEAVE IT to babyboomers to flout convention….”
Utah State University, Financial Fitness Oct 2001 “Preplanning a funeral” – “While consumer advocates acknowledge the value of advance planning, they caution that handing money over to a death-care provider rather than saving or investing it may be unwise.”
Mother Earth News Aug 2001 “The LAST THING you want to do” – “Guess what? You’re going to die. Not today (with luck), not tomorrow (you hope), but some day. …let me tell you the problem with death denial (those undertakers who happily profit on death fears can stop reading now). Ignorance may be bliss when it comes to mortality, but it’s going to cost you.”
Virginia Pilot Aug 2001 “FUNERAL HOMES HAVE THE LAW ON THEIR SIDE, VIRGINIA STATUTES LIMIT CONSUMER CHOICES, DRIVE UP PRICES” – “When the end came, she did what a lot of people do, …and called the closest funeral home. The hospital wanted him removed right away. A few hours later, she found herself battling over a $6,000-plus bill.”
USA Today Jul 2001 “Taking the Mystery Out of Funeral Costs. (Industry Overview) (Statistical Data Included)” – “FUNERALS are expensive. They don’t have to be, but most of them are.”
ABCnews.com Jun 2001 “Adding Expense to Grief” – “License Requirement Keeps Casket Prices High.”
Consumer Reports May 2001 “Final arrangements” – “Our investigation shows that you’ll probably pay top dollar for a prepaid funeral. There are much better ways to plan in advance”
Consumer Reports May 2001 “How to Buy a Funeral” – “With so many quick decisions to be made at the worst time, how can consumers protect themselves”?
Courier-Journal May 2001 “Readers’ Forum; Prepaid Funerals” – “To be unprepared in this day of funeral conglomerates, for whom the bottom line counts more than the customer, is to risk being taken advantage of in a very big way.”
NewsNet5 (Cleveland) May 2001 “Prepaying For Funerals May Be Bad Idea” – “Americans have already spent billions on prepaid funeral contracts, but Betcha Didn’t Know prepaying for funerals could cost you more in the long run. …the very companies that are pushing the prepaid plans, are actually charging hundreds to thousands of dollars more than independent funeral homes or small chains.”
Insight on the News Dec 2000 “Lifting the Lid on Competition (retailers of funeral caskets seek to overrule trade restrictions law) (Brief Article).”
Insight on the News Dec 2000 “Funeral Industry Colludes With Clergy to Fleece Laity (Brief Article) (Industry Overview).”
Consumers Union Oct 2000 “Texas problems WITH PREPAID FUNERAL SERVICES” – “Consumers Union SWRO reviewed nearly 300 consumer complaints related to funeral services and found a pattern of problems in the sale of funeral services, as well as problems with the enforcement of existing laws.”
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Sep 2000 When it Comes to Monopoly-Busting, There is No Resting in Peace for the Feds (Even if the Target Happens to be Involved in a Piously Inclined Business)
Assurant Jul 2000 Fortis and Service Corporation International agree on terms of sale of American Memorial Life Insurance Company
Harper’s Magazine Jun 2000 “Last Rites (the art and business of death)” – “When existential becomes the retail .”
Jet Jun 2000 “Funeral Viewing Of Georgia Man Is Held In His Bedroom (Donald Trimble) (Brief Article).”
Federal Trade Commission May 2000 Service Corporation International Divests Roswell, New Mexico Funeral Home As Part of FTC Settlement
Alberta Report May 2000 “Victory over the grave.(Serenity Funeral Service)” – “A group of Edmonton churches unites to provide low-cost funerals”
CFSA Newsletter May 2000 “Gasketed Metal Caskets: Let’s Revisit the Question”
Newsweek May 2000 “Of Death and Rent Seeking” – “If only licensed morticians can sell caskets, perhaps only podiatrists should sell shoes.”
Sojourners May 2000
“We all have to die. But does it have to COST SO MUCH!?” – “The funeral director kept “upselling”–pressing her to consider more expensive alternatives. To be manipulated in that way at that time was one of the most obscene things I’d ever experienced.”
Capitol Hill Press Releases Apr 2000 “GRASSLEY TO FUNERAL, BURIAL CONSUMERS: SHOP CAREFULLY” – “Funeral and burial consumers should shop carefully for what will be one of their largest lifetime purchases…”
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report Apr 2000 “Funerals: Preplan but Don’t Prepay” – “Unfortunately, …it always pays to plan ahead, and it almost never pays to pay ahead,…”
PR Newswire Apr 2000 “California Department of Consumer Affairs: Cemetery Funeral Bureau Revokes AAA Cremation Services’ Funeral Establishment License” – “…gross negligence, gross incompetence, unprofessional conduct and other violations.”
USA Today Apr 2000 “Funeral abuses probed Elderly victim paid $132,000; [FINAL Edition]” – “Senate investigators have uncovered what they say are ongoing, widespread abuses in the death-care industry.”
Money Magazine Mar 2000 “The Truth About Funerals” – “Take the time to evaluate the choices, and prearrange the details and tasks.”
National Catholic Reporter Jan 2000 “LETTERS. (Letter to the Editor), Being in charge” – “You do not need people in dark clothes telling you how to bury your dead.”
National Catholic Reporter Dec 1999 “Rituals of grief drained of power. (personal account of a death in the family, and of the following funeral)” – “We’re going to do this our hometown way,” promised Scott, my husband’s oldest and best friend.”
Money Magazine Nov 1999 “Planning your funeral” – “Preparing for the inevitable can relieve emotional, financial stress later.”
USA Today Oct 1999 “Funeral homes fight for life” – “Already burdened by declining profit margins and stable death rates, the funeral industry is facing increased competition …from discount casket stores that began springing up about three years ago.”
Wired News Oct 1999 “Abra Cadaver: A Fight for Bodies” – “…but if they go online, they can find a casket at a fraction of the (funeral home) cost. Increasingly, that’s just what they’re doing.”
Salon.com Sep 1999 The Dying Giant
MSN MoneyCentral Sep 1999 “Sickly funeral industry on death’s door” – “Fewer acquisitions and more cremations are killing the top funeral companies.”
PR Newswire Aug 1999 “Newsweek: Lawyer for Texas Funeral-Home Chain Under State Investigation Says George W. Bush Popped in Meeting and Asked, ‘Are Those People Still Messing With You?'” – “The state’s former chief funeral regulator, Eliza May, has sued the state, SCI and Waltrip, charging that Bush’s aides repeatedly pressured her to end the probe — and that when she resisted she was fired.”
Salon.com Aug 1999 “The funeral scandal time line” – “A chronology of the battle between the Texas Funeral Service Commission and Service Corporation International.”
PR Newswire Jun 1999 “Parents Sue Two Funeral Homes Over Local TV Celebrity Interment; Wichita Falls News Anchor’s Body Improperly Embalmed by SCI” – “suing the world’s largest funeral company after their entombed son’s body began emitting odors and oozing fluids that drew swarms of gnats, as reported by the Associated Press yesterday.”
Good Housekeeping May 1999 “Funeral Finances, You Can Spend Less” – “The problem is, when you’re grieving and vulnerable, it’s easy to forget that funeral directors are salespeople; the more you spend, the better it is for their business.”
Health and Social Work May 1999 “What families know about funeral-related costs: implications for social work practice” – “Results reported here suggest that social work’s role be expanded to provide basic information about local final arrangement options and costs, …half the survivors responsible for final arrangements had no idea what to expect in terms of costs.”
National Catholic Reporter May 1999 “Funeral ripoffs, a diva and a great teacher. (organizations that provide information for affordable funeral services; other brief items)(Brief Article)” – “It is no secret that exorbitant prices and fantastic profits are the rule rather than the exception in the funeral industry.”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Funeral cost: How to survive the maze”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Picking a resting place not easy”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Changing views on death spur new funeral traditions”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “What to think about in planning a funeral”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Non-Declinable Fees”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Cremation”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Direct Burial”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Steel Casket”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Embalming”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Hearse Rentals”
Sacramento Bee Apr 1999 “Compare: Dressing and Casket”
Competition Commission Apr 1999 Summary Service Corporation International And Plantsbrook Group Plc: A Report On The Merger Situation
Austin Chronicle Mar 1999 “Buried in Scandal – Funeral Industry Troubles Could Land Regulators at Death’s Door”
Sun Sentinel Mar 1999 In Surprising Numbers, Chains Are Buying Up Funeral Homes But Keeping The Names, Making It Difficult To Tell The Chains From The Independents.
Tampa Bay Business Journal Feb 1999 SCI must divest two facilities
Business Wire Jan 1999 “State Suspends 16 Loewen Funeral Home and Cemetery Operations” – “… books and records were not brought into compliance, … businesses were operated incompetently, negligently, and in violation of numerous provisions of the Florida Funeral and Cemetery Services Act”
New York Daily News Online Nov 1998 “City Scrutinizing Big Funeral Corp” –
New York Daily News Online Nov 1998 “Fighting the Hard Sell” – “A guide to keeping funeral costs down.”
New York Daily News Online Nov 1998 “Huge Firm Accused of Bias” – “SCI has taken over so many Jewish funeral chapels that it has a virtual monopoly on that business in Manhattan, according to Consumer Affairs Commissioner..,.”
New York Daily News Online Nov 1998 “Why It Costs So Much to Die in N.Y.” – “Global firm is buying funeral homes, raising prices.”
Trial Nov 1998 “Advocates for reform of funeral, cemetery industry are never at rest” – “Funeral industry abuses are the focus of litigation by Florida plaintiff attorney Thomas Carey who states that this industry is terribly underregulated and has business principles that no US retail outlet would be permitted.”
Intellectual Capital.com Oct 1998 The Cost of Death – by Robert Bryce – A review of The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford (Knopf, 1998)
Shoot Sep 1998 “Saatchi goes Down Under with P.O.V. on cost of R.I.P – TV commercial for funeral company No Frills Funerals & Cremations” – “Sydney Agency Employs Humor For No Frills Funerals & Cremations.”
Profits of Death Newsletter Aug 1998 The Blind Spot
USA Today Aug 1998 “Changes forecast for 21st century. (new funeral industry services) (Brief Article)” – “Predictions call for a major change in customs and education, as well as who controls the businesses and how they will be run, all of which greatly will shape funerals in the next century.”
Profits of Death Newsletter Jun 1998 The Commerce Of Corpses
Medical Economics Apr 1998 “What I’ve learned about life – in funeral homes” – “I remind myself of the good, simple lessons I learn from my visits to funeral homes: Life is short. Enjoy the people you love, while you have them. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Profits of Death Newsletter Mar 1998 The Art of Restoring Consumer’s Last Rights or.. . Embalmer, Pickle Yourself!
US News & World Report Mar 1998 “The Deathcare Business” – “Wasielewski is a connoisseur of the techniques many funeral directors use to take advantage of vulnerable people, from exorbitant markups to deceptive sales practices.”
US News & World Report Mar 1998 “Opting Out – A Home Funeral for Her Husband” – “On a winter’s night in March 1981, Vermont housewife Lisa Carlson, mother of two young children, was in terrible straits….”
US News & World Report Mar 1998 “Useful Tips for a Tough Time” – “1. Plan Ahead, 2. Don’t Prepay, 3. Take your Time, 4. Buy the minimum, 5. Don’t be bullied….”
Washington Jewish Week Feb 1998 Funerals are big business – Local ‘Jewish’ homes no longer Jewish-owned
Profits of Death Newsletter Feb 1998 Grave Concerns – A local author exposes the darkest side of the mortuary business
National Catholic Reporter Jan 1998 “Critics recommend alternative funerals. (unethical practices and commercialization in the funeral business spurs Arizona-based Interfaith Funeral Information Committee to offer other suggestions)” – “Exposes of unethical practices in the funeral industry and critiques of the commercialization of the rites surrounding death have, in recent years, prompted campaigns for more careful regulation of the business and for alternatives in death care.”
National Catholic Reporter Jan 1998 “‘Death care giants’ team up with church: relationship raises issues about church role in bereavement” – “The leasing of land for mortuaries by the Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese to the funeral conglomerate Stewart Enterprises Inc raises doubts in the minds of some about the rightness of the alliance which should be lucrative for both concerns. Arguments for and against the scheme are discussed.”
Money Magazine Sep 1997 “The Final Payment – The Funeral Industry is Greedier Than Ever, Here’s How to Avoid a Gouging On….” – “The typical adult funeral now costs around $4,783 and cemetery costs can push that figure as high as $8,000. …a decent funeral should cost less than half that figure.”
National Catholic Reporter Jun 1997 “Buying the dead a dubious undertaking. (greed in the funeral industry)(Inside NCR)(Editorial)” – “Marketing in the undertaking business is built on the weakness and ignorance of the bereaved. An industry of local family-run businesses has now become merger-created giants with revenues in the billions of dollars. Churches must distance themselves from this commercial side of dying.”
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance May 1997 “Paying for the funeral. (Dealing With Dying, part 2) (includes related articles on cemetery plots; family finances)” – “Emotionally vulnerable funeral customers are loathe to comparison shop, but can save substantial sums by being prepared. Tips on keeping costs reasonable, such as shopping for lower professional service fees, and ordering caskets directly.”
Kiplinger’s Retirement Report May 1997 “Estate Planning, You’re the Executor, Now What”?
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Apr 1997 “Dealing With Dying – a terminal illness can obliterate the best-laid financial plans. But sometimes there’s help in unexpected places. (includes related articles)(Family Finances)” – “Resources to investigate when a terminal illness threatens. Tips are given on planning for the future including what issues to see a lawyer about, and the kinds of lists to leave behind for surviving family members.”
Money Magazine Apr 1997 “Don’t Prepay For Your Funeral”
Florida Trend Feb 1997 “Fight to the death: Florida is a major battleground for two corporate giants struggling to dominate the nation’s funeral business. (SCI; Loewen)” – “…while the chapel, and many similar Florida funeral homes, still look like local businesses, their ownership, price structure and profit margins are no longer mom-and-pop.”
New Statesman Jan 1997 “It’s my mum’s funeral, so no jokes please, Dad” – “A writer’s personal experience while on a motoring trip to his mother’s funeral is narrated. The writer’ grief was overwhelmed by the mechanical problems affecting his car.”
Insight on the News Dec 1996 “While grim reaper toils, corporations reap big profits. (funeral and cemetery industries).”
Time Magazine Dec 1996 Fight To The Death – A Battle Between Rival Funeral-Home Dynasties Puts The Spotlight On A Vast But Quiet Transformation In The Way We Bury Our Dead
American Demographics Sep 1996 “Bargain pine boxes. (funeral arrangements; Family Funeral Care)” – “Funeral-home operators are offering discounted products and services for price-conscious consumers”
National Catholic Reporter Sep 1996 “Priest puts funeral prices on the Internet. (‘Funerals and Ripoffs’ web site)”
Profit Magazine Feb/Mar 1996 “The Trial of Ray Loewen”
Consumer’s Digest Sep 1995 “Fraud in the Funeral Industry” – “…your final arrangements are among the most expensive consumer purchases you’ll ever make. But there’s no need to spend thousands if you have the right information and plan ahead”
Consumers’ Research Aug 1995 “How to cut funeral costs” – “prepayment for a funeral represents a major financial commitment and, in our opinion, generally is not a good idea”
Houston Press News Feb 1994 Dying for Dollars
BC Business May 1992 “Entrepreneur of the year (Ray Loewen of the Loewen Group Inc., largest funeral service organization in Canada)”
Money Magazine Dec 1988 “Paying for the big chill. (includes related article on how to arrange a funeral service)” – “But sooner or later you almost certainly will plan a funeral. And most people arrange funerals at the worst possible time: on short notice, with little information and after someone close to them has died. Too often, in the interest of expedience, they make decisions that they may later regret.”
Money Magazine Mar 1985 “10 questions to ask your parents (about their financial situation and funeral wishes)” – “Raising these subjects, however, requires delicacy. One way to initiate the conversation is to talk about your own financial situation and what you would want your parents to do should you meet an untimely death.”