June 27, 2024

Why Your Pre-need Program Isn’t All It Could Be… And What You Can Do to Change It

Written by Wanda Sizemore, Homesteaders Director-Training & Development I have been fortunate to work in many funeral homes throughout my career, from all across the country. I have found that the differences between these businesses are significant, but in a lot of ways all funeral homes are alike: We are all here to serve families when they need us most, and that is true no matter what your role is in the funeral home. Like many of you, I came to the profession through personal tragedy after the unexpected loss of my mother and brother-in-law. In the days that followed, my family was understandably overwhelmed with grief and stress. When it became clear my boss at the time was not able to offer me the time and space I needed to process these catastrophic losses, I left my employer and […]
June 27, 2024

The FTC’s Proposed Regulation of Junk Fees and The Effects on The Funeral Profession

Written by the lawyers of WRW Legal, PLLC:  Wendy Russell Wiener, Lauren Pettine and Hank Thompson. Over the last few years, consumers and the federal government have grown critical of “junk fees” in a variety of industries and professions. As a result, the Federal Trade Commission is promulgating new regulations designed to address junk fees.  The funeral industry is wary of the FTC’s efforts here, and rightly so, which seem to go hand in hand, philosophically, with the potential revisions to the long-established Funeral Rule. Our office has been monitoring the discussion on junk fees and reviewing the proposed text of the regulations with an eye toward impact on the funeral industry. Junk fees are defined as mandatory fees which are omitted from advertised prices by businesses. All businesses will be subject to these regulations, if they become effective. The […]
June 27, 2024

Legal Case Study #7

Scenario: Oren Gibson is a fourth-generation owner-operator of Orville H. Gibson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sevierville, Tennessee. The business has been serving their community for over 100 years and is deeply and successfully entrenched in Sevierville with a sterling reputation. One Tuesday morning, Oren completed a routine monthly meeting with his entire staff and had just sat down at his desk to approve some invoices when he received a call from the receptionist. A lady named Missy was there to see him, and she had an urn in-hand. He peeked at his calendar and saw that there was not anything that had been scheduled, and the name “Missy” did not ring any bells. He had one funeral director on maternity leave and his other funeral director was off. Oren got up and braced himself for either what could […]
June 27, 2024

It Pays to Plan

Start your succession game plan today by addressing these five critical items in your current business operations. I have recently finished watching the hit TV show “Succession,” and I can’t recall how many times I thought to myself, wow, this is stressful just watching. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s based on the Roy family, which owns a large media business and whose father, the CEO, is reaching the age of retirement and looking to identify his successor. Multiple sons and daughters, along with some trusted advisors, all fight for pole position to be named the ultimate successor. While this show has clearly been over-dramatized, there are many things we can take from its premise, the first one being that it pays to plan for the future. From the 2023 NFDA Member Succession Planning Study, it was found […]
June 18, 2024

The 2024 Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study

2024 Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study Insights Summary DOWNLOAD NOW Tracking and predicting consumer attitudes, opinions and behaviors about the funeral and cemetery profession. The goal of our Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study (FCCBS), now in its fifth year has been to capture the opinions, attitudes, and behaviors of consumers regarding the funeral, cemetery, and cremation business. More than 5,000 consumers participated in the 2024 study, providing insights into how perceptions of the death care profession have changed. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, we have measured the perceptions of deathcare business insiders to get a better understanding of the gaps between our perception compared to actual consumer experience. This year, more than 240 Profession members shared their feedback. Download our report today to learn how to adapt and thrive in the future of funeral service by meeting the […]
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