Tax-Free Tees & Museum Mustard | 4M #47

ENJOY Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup August 8, 2022
4M 47

Tax-Free Tees & Museum Mustard | 4M #47

Welcome to the forty-seventh edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #47, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!

Pay your respects at the 19th hole

A Dartmouth sociology professor didn’t want to believe rumors that Donald Trump would benefit financially by burying his late ex-wife Ivana on his New Jersey golf course … so she decided to investigate. “I checked the NJ tax code & folks…it’s a trifecta of tax avoidance,” tweeted Brooke Harrington, whose specialty is tax research. “Property, income & sales tax, all eliminated.” Harrington then tweeted the entire New Jersey tax code, which offers no stipulation for the amount of human remains required to qualify for the property’s lucrative tax breaks. 

However, only 10 acres can be included; at this time, Ivana is the only occupant of the 1.5-acre cemetery. She also tweeted that, basically, Trump and his children should have thought more of their mother, as “burying Ivana in little more than a pauper’s grave disgraces them all.”

Murder in paradise

The family of a woman who was beaten to death during her Fiji honeymoon were shocked to find that her body had been cremated prior to being returned to the States — and a leading forensic pathologist agrees it is “odd.” Although the family of Christe Chen, 39, had requested that a second autopsy take place on U.S. soil, hospital staff in Fiji insisted that the body couldn’t be transported in the “horrific” condition in which it was found. 

“Lacerations around her eyes were so deep that the hospital advised her family against embalming Chen in order to transfer her remains,” a family attorney said. “The wounds were so severe the morgue attendant feared that embalming fluid might leak out.” Now, you guys know — as did the pathologist — that embalming isn’t required here (it’s the same in Fiji), and a sealed casket would have facilitated secure transfer. The pathologist believes the family was misled. In the meantime, Chen’s loved ones are following the investigation into her murder; at this time, her new husband, is the prime suspect.

What? FEMA’s reimbursing funeral expenses for COVID deaths?

Yes, even though it’s been well over a year since FEMA introduced its Funeral Assistance Program, many families still have absolutely no idea the program exists. My town’s mayor actually asked me if I had heard of this benefit after learning that I wrote articles for deathcare professionals. While I’m grateful he was able to recoup the nearly $9,000 he paid for his father’s funeral expenses, I’m discouraged that it took him 16 months to learn of it. So here’s my personal plea to all of you: Please don’t stop sharing this benefit with folks in your area, and help them complete the application process! There’s no downside; the families you serve will be reimbursed, and they’ll be grateful to you for your consideration, assistance, and kindness.

Speaking of kindness …

Kudos to Tim Grayson and Grayson Funeral Home of Powell County, Kentucky for stepping up to serve the families of those lost in the state’s devastating floods. Grayson announced that his funeral home will waive costs associated with “pick up, embalming and preparing the body, casket, visitation services, transportation to the cemetery and grave digging” for these families. 

Rest in Peace Museum opens in Maine

Although it’s listed as one of the “Weirdest Museums in the US,” the Museum of Funeral History in Houston is a fascinating and popular attraction. (FYI: Other museums on the list include the Idaho Potato Museum, the National Mustard Museum, and the SPAM Museum; apparently we Americans like to preserve the sacred histories of our favorite foods.) If Texas is too far for you to travel to get your fix of mourning photos and ancient embalming tools, though, you might be interested to know that a new deathcare museum is now open in Maine.

The Rest in Peace Museum opened in late July in Island Falls (population 758) in a former funeral home. The first of its kind in Maine, the museum is operated by Tony Bowers, a fourth-generation mortician, and includes items that have been in his family’s possession since his great-grandfather began practicing in 1900. 

The secret’s out

It’s more than likely there is no course on search engine optimization (SEO) in mortuary school. But that’s ok, because the cool kids at MemoryShare know all about it — and they know how to improve yours … while at the same time making streaming services super simple for your staff. Get ready for a little mortuary math here (also probably not a class):

SEO + superior streaming services + super simplicity + safety and security = 

The MemoryShare not-so-secret sauce for success

MemoryShare’s exclusive app makes streaming super easy; you can record your full service with the touch of a button. By sharing these streams with your community, you showcase your excellent service and create name recognition with the viewers. Aaaannnd that’s not all, folks. Because MemoryShare videos are embedded on your own website (and not on the site of a separate streaming provider) your site gets more views, which results in street cred with the search engines. 

Two things funeral homes need in 2022 are visibility and increased call volume. MemoryShare provides both of these things as well as a team of REAL people you can talk to if you ever run into trouble. So what are you waiting for? Learn more about  MemoryShare today!