"Reforms aim to end funeral swindles"
This headline on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette on September 30 drew attention to an excellent article by staff writer Dan Crowley. "A state funeral industry regulator is proposing reforms..."
"One proposal would stop consumers paying funeral directors or funeral homes in advance for funeral service arrangements, and direct the money instead to the insurance or trust companies where it is supposed to be invested."
This is good news. FCAWM has long cautioned consumers about the pitfalls of most prepayment contracts. Recent scandals in this state highlight the need for reform. Laws need to change, oversight of the funeral industry needs improvement, and consumers need to be educated about better ways to set aside funds for their final arrangements.
I'm delighted that members of the state Board of Regulation of Funeral Directors and Embalmers have been communicating with FCAWM recently and will participate with us in an educational forum October 15 at 1pm at Rockridge Retirement Community, Northampton. We come from different perspectives, but share a strong desire to protect consumers from abuses and educate them about lawful options. Do join us Oct 15 for a panel discussion: Dispelling Myths of Funeral Prepayments. See flyer (pdf).
Joining me on the panel will be Morgan Mitchell, recent Chair of that state Board, and Seung Cha, elder-care attorney with Bulkley, Richardson, and Gelinas. Peter Stefan, the member of the state Board proposing specific reforms, will be in the audience. Join us for a lively discussion.
See also the article written by Josh Slocum, Executive Director of the national FCA, about problems of preneed contracts: No, it's not 'all taken care of'.
Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed here in "Sandy's Blog"
are written by one individual (volunteer Sandy Ward) and may or may not reflect
the views, opinions or positions of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts.