When the bodies of two of his friends were delivered to his funeral home in downtown Champaign on a single day in June, Chuck Vaughn said he looked at one of them and “about lost it.” This particular man had been an organ and tissue donor, and his heart, kidney, liver, part of his lung and the long bones of his legs had been surgically removed, or recovered, for donation, said Vaughn, the owner of Heath & Vaughn Funeral Home.
Funeral homes are looking to expand their businesses as the industry has become, er, sickly in recent years. They’re helping people tie the knot, as opposed to simply honoring the dead.
Probate fees on settling estates — a legal process that determines the authenticity of wills and the administering of a deceased’s assets — have risen, resulting in invoices that could top $100,000 or even $1 million.
Creating new markets, leading through change and engaging employees will be the focus of the three keynote sessions at the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s 2015 Fall Management Conference, September 30-October 2 in Tucson, Arizona.
Funeral home owners can now protect themselves against low interest rates, thanks to a new pre-need product from Physicians Mutual. Cornerstone Index Advantage allows funeral homes to earn equity index-driven growth rates instead of a fixed rate set at the discretion of the carrier.
Answering Service for Directors recently enhanced the company’s training facilities to include a state-of-the-art Group Training center for new employees. With synced computers and a large projection screen, ASD’s Group Training center provides trainees with an in-depth look at ASD’s sophisticated computer systems. Question and answer sessions ensure new hires advance through the training program at the same level.
This is one question constantly (and rightfully) posed by funeral home owners and vendors. Does investing in an active presence on Facebook pay off in terms of business gained? We will take a stab at providing some answers in this article.
The way that we grieve is different from culture to culture and person to person. Losing a loved one is something that one cannot prepare for, and in many cases do not expect when it happens. Needless to say, it is a difficult experience, and preparing a funeral or memorial service can be overwhelming to say the least. As society changes over time, so too do the ways in which we choose to express our grief and engage with the memory of those we have lost. This process of change is one that is exemplary in the changing landscape of funeral trends.
Male funeral directors who routinely work with embalming fluid might be at increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study finds. Those whose jobs involved continual exposure to the formaldehyde in embalming fluid were three times more likely to develop the neurological disease, compared to people never exposed to the chemical, researchers reported in the July 13 issue of the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
It’s hard to face the business of death when you are busy living. According to one survey, 51 percent of Americans aged 55 to 64 don’t have wills. Even if they have prepared estate documents, their adult children often have no idea where to find them. Fresh from the latest Y Combinator batch, Willing is a startup that takes on the $20.7 billion per year U.S. funeral industry by making arrangements simple and painless (or at least as painless as anything that involves contemplating your mortality can be).