Funeral Industry Press Releases

United We Stand: Funeral Service Comes Together for NFDA's 2012 Advocacy Summit

January 20, 2012

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United We Stand: Funeral Service Comes Together for NFDA's 2012 Advocacy Summit

Brookfield, Wis. — Representatives from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), Cremation Association of North America (CANA), National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association (NFD&MA), KAVOD — Independent Jewish Funeral Chapels, the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), and Selected Independent Funeral Homes (SIFH) will come together with one voice in the nation’s capital during the 2012 NFDA Advocacy Summit to advance important federal legislation that impacts funeral homes, small business and families served by funeral homes. The 2012 Advocacy Summit will take place March 7-9 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Attendees will meet with their elected representatives to discuss key issues impacting the funeral service profession:

  • Unclaimed Veterans Cremated Remains: Many funeral homes across the country are holding the cremated remains of veterans that have not been claimed by relatives. The associations strongly believe that these remains should be properly identified and given the proper burial or internment along with the appropriate military honors.

  • Codify the SSI Exclusion for Irrevocable Funeral and Burial Trusts: Under current regulations, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program provides that funds set aside by low-income individuals in an irrevocable trust to pay for funeral and burial expenses are not treated as resources when determining an applicant’s eligibility for SSI. If this provision is not codified, it could, at any time, be revoked without input from Congress. Preneed funeral planning saves federal, state and local governments money because it avoids the need for government-funded indigent funerals.

  • Make Permanent the Current Federal Estate Tax: Under current law, estate taxes are paid by the estate of a decedent on the value of assets owned at the time of death in accordance with a graduated scale. When Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed into law, the “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 201” (H.R. 4853), the estate tax was extended for two years; the exclusion rate was set at $5 million dollars ($10 million for a couple) and the tax rate for amounts greater than that limit was lowered to 35 percent. Unless Congress acts, the estate tax will automatically revert to the 2001 exclusion rate of $1 million dollars ($2 million for couples) and a tax rate of 55 percent starting January 1, 2013.

In addition to issues briefings and lobbying opportunities with members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, NFDA has invited several guest speakers.

  • Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.): An NFDA member and CEO of Southerland Family Funeral Home in Panama City, Fla. (invited)
  • Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS): Before being elected to Congress Nunnlee worked in the field of preneed insurance.(invited)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI): A member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee who has been supportive of pro-funeral service legislation. (invited)
  • Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME): Snowe is a sponsor of NFDA’s SSI bill, the ranking member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and a member of the Finance Committee. (invited)
  • Kyle Scherrer: Scherrer, a forensic operations manager with the FBI Office of Victim Assistance, will speak about responding to victims of acts of terrorism and mass-casualty incidents. (confirmed)

The registration fee for the 2011 Advocacy Summit is $95 for members of NFDA, CANA, NFD&MA, KAVOD, OGR and SIFH; the registration fee for nonmembers is $160. A spouse/guest registration is available for $45. For more event information about the Advocacy Summit or to register, visit or call 800-228-6332.

Attendees who plan to stay at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel must make their reservations by February 10 to lock in the special Advocacy Summit rate of $279 per night, plus tax. Hotel reservations can be made by visiting and clicking on the “Hotel/Travel” link or by calling the hotel at 800-468-3571 and mentioning the “NFDA Advocacy Summit”

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 43 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit