Category Archives: Burial

One on One Funeral Planning Consultation

As of December, 2016, I have temporarily removed my book from sale while it’s undergoing revision.  In the meantime, you can still get excellent Funeral Planning Advice from me by making an appointment to talk with me on the telephone for a maximum of one-half hour for $35.00.  During that time I will show you how to save money when making Funeral Arrangements, among other areas of importance.  Doing it this way will be faster than the consumer sitting down and reading a book.  We can get to your areas of interest right away.

Please contact me for more information.  Just email me at


Will Online Competition Affect the Funeral Business?

What effect, if any, will online competition have on the funeral business?  Will growing online sales of funeral goods and services  change the industry in any way?

I think the funeral business has been slowly changing to reflect online competition, and more importantly, the trend towards immediate cremation rather than a traditional funeral, but I do not anticipate any huge change or disruption in the near future.

Funeral providers are already forced to be transparent in their pricing.  According to the FTC Funeral Rule, a funeral home is required to provide a written price list.  They must accept a casket purchased elsewhere, and are not allowed to apply a markup or service charge to it.  Cremation providers already advertise their prices in various publications, and discounting is common in that area.

Regardless, even if consumers purchase their own caskets, they are usually obliged to go to a licensed funeral provider for other services needed, be it embalming, preparation, transportation and burial of remains, etc.    So profits have been declining while costs are increasing, but I don’t believe the industry will change drastically.  I recommend the best way to save money is for consumers to always price shop before the need arises.

If you have any questions about funerals for either humans or pets, ask the expert!  Email Mike at


Cremation Tip!

How can consumers save money on cremation services?

Try the following:  Go to a local telephone book or search on the Internet in the area where the cremation will take place.  Look up “Cremation (or Memorial) Services” ,  and “Funeral Homes”.  Call several of them.  You should be able to receive price information over the telephone without the need to visit each facility you call.

Have a question about funerals or funeral planning for humans or pets?  Ask the expert!  Email Mike at



Funeral Jokes and Funny Stories Wanted

I need jokes and amusing stories about death, funerals, and related topics for both humans and pets to post on my website, and I’m willing to pay for it! Just talking about death related issues can be  boring, and I would like to spice it up!  May sound bizarre but funny jokes and stories exist, and I would like you to contribute!

Here is how it works:

You submit any of the above to my email, , and if I select your submission for placement on my website I will give you a complimentary one-half hour interview ($35.00 value) to talk to me personally about your funeral planning questions or plans, be it cremation, traditional funeral plan or whatever. It’s that simple! I will give you the best advice possible to help you in your decision making process.

Putting a funny side on a serious subject may help ease the tension of wanting to talk about the subject and allow the consumer to acquire more information about death before it occurs, to their benefit!

Let’s make it work! Consumers helping consumers better understand a very difficult subject in an upbeat manner.

All jokes and stories must be your original work only.  Please do not submit previously published material.



U.S. News Article on Planning for Funeral Expenses

I was interviewed recently for an article in US News about the importance of planning for funeral expenses.  Here is an excerpt:

Death and funerals are taboo topics but ones worth learning about, says Mike Boyd, a former funeral director who founded the website “Funeral homes can capitalize on a family member’s unfamiliarity with the products they’re purchasing,” he says. “Odds are, they will make funeral arrangements one to three times per lifetime, so consumers should become as educated as possible.”

This is the message I am constantly trying to get out.  Consumers need to learn about the economics of funerals before the need arises.  The more you know, the more you can save, and the less are your chances of overspending or being taken advantage of when purchasing funeral goods and services, at a time when you are grieving.

If you wish to read the entire article, here is the link.

Have questions about funerals or funeral planning for either humans or pets?  Email


Good News for Pet Lovers!


More and more pet cemeteries nationally are allowing pet owners to have their cremated ashes in an urn be buried with their pet(s).  I recently spoke with a pet cemetery representative who told me their cemetery has three sections: one for humans, one for pets, and one for humans who wish to be buried with their pet(s).  Times have changed in favor of pet owners staying with their pet(s) even in the afterworld.  Long overdue!

If you are considering this type of final resting place, be aware that laws governing this type of funeral plan may vary from state to state. I suggest you do some research by contacting pet cemeteries in your area, ask questions and find out if this type of final resting place is for you and your pet.

Need additional help, please feel free to contact me at


It’s Not Our Loved One in the Casket!

A family went to a Florida funeral home only to find the person in the casket was not their loved one.  To make matters worse, the funeral home staff had dressed the stranger in the clothes the family had selected for their relative.  OOPS!   Within a short period of time the situation was corrected by the funeral home staff. Hopefully, the funeral home provided new clothing including undergarments at no charge to replace the clothing the family had provided.  A lawsuit in the works?

Have questions about funerals or funeral planning? Email Mike at

Can Radioactive Seed Implants Prohibit Cremation?

Radioactive Seed Implants are sometimes used to treat prostate cancer. If cremation is being considered and the deceased has had radioactive seed implants, the crematory may not allow the deceased to be cremated unless the seeds are first surgically removed by a physician. If you have further questions on this topic, contact a Cremation Society, a Memorial Society, or a Funeral Home.

Have questions about Funeral Planning for both humans and pets?  Email Mike at

Court Rules Remains Can’t Be Divided

A recent Fourth District Court of Appeals ruling in Florida said that a deceased’s ashes are not “property” and cannot be divided between his feuding parents.

The young man was tragically killed in an automobile accident, and his parents, who are divorced, have been fighting over his ashes, disagreeing on where they should be buried.  Fortunately the court recognized that these are, in fact, the remains of a human being, not the family silverware.

The three-judge panel then issued an ultimatum: find a way to dispose of the remains in 30 days or the court would appoint somebody to do it instead. The case will now likely go back to the lower trial court.

Have questions about funeral planning for either humans or pets?  Email Mike at




Unique Places to Scatter Ashes

The following is a guest post by Steve Wyso of My Cremation, serving Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but parting with their ashes can be an emotionally freeing experience. If the departed has chosen to be cremated, finding a location to scatter the ashes can be a confusing situation. Read on to discover suggestions on unique locations to scatter ashes.  

Private Land: Many families have privately owned land that has been passed down from generation to generation. Casting your family member’s remains on your families land is appropriate, particularly if your family spent a lot of time there. For example, your family may own a farm or vacation home. Scattering ashes in these private locations will keep your family member close to your heart forever. 

Landmark:  A landmark can take on a variety of meanings, including a national landmark or a personal landmark. If a loved one travelled a lot, or travelled to a particular destination often, scattering their ashes there would be fitting. Popular landmark locations in the United States include the Washington Monument and the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. Personal landmarks can take on many forms. A loved one may have been particularly fond of a neighborhood park or lake. Scattering their remains there will commemorate them in a unique way. Be sure to check the local laws before scattering.

Sea: Casting ashes at sea has grown more popular in recent years, and a popular choice for family members who were fond of boating. Common locations include the Chelsea Piers New York Harbor, Cape May New Jersey, Daytona Beach Florida, and Maui Hawaii. Your family can hire a company to hold special services at sea to commemorate the life of your loved one before casting their ashes into the ocean.

Stadium: Scattering ashes in a famous stadium or at a local sports club would be fitting for a departed sports lover. In this situation, speaking with the groundskeeper or management at the facility is paramount to be sure you are allowed to scatter the ashes there. Many of these facilities have strict policies set in place, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  

Outer Space:  Many people dream of journeying into space, but not many consider becoming part of the earth’s orbit. Astronauts now have the ability to take a sizeable portion of ashes and send them into earth’s orbit, deep into space, and even onto the surface of the moon. Special celebrations called launch events are held where friends and family can gather to watch the ashes be brought up to space.

Celebrate the life of your friend or family member by casting their ashes in a unique place. For more information on cremation and cremation services, contact My Cremation.


Rising from the Dead

Recently a man believed to be dead in a body bag at a Mississippi funeral home shocked the funeral director when he began kicking to get out!  A coroner had pronounced the man dead at his home, but the alert funeral director saw that the man was, in fact, alive and he was rushed to the hospital.

Have questions about funeral planning? Email me at

Fake Funeral Notice Can Be Deadly – For Your Computer

The FTC has put out a warning that scammers are sending bogus emails that appear to be from a legitimate funeral home, but that actually can install malware on your computer.

Read all about it at

Undercutting the Undertaker

I was recently interviewed for an article in the Deseret News entitled “Undercutting the Undertaker: Reducing the unavoidable expenses of dying”.  I want to thank the reporter, Michael De Groote, for a good article featuring Funeral Director Ron Henderson and myself.

You can read the entire article here:

If you have any questions about funeral and funeral planning for both humans and pets, contact me at

FTC Fines Funeral Home for Noncompliance with Funeral Rule

A New York funeral home and its funeral director/owner agreed to pay a $32,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for violating the agency’s Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to provide information consumers need to compare prices and buy only the funeral goods and services they want.

The FTC conducts undercover inspections every year to ensure funeral homes are complying with the Funeral Rule, which gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements.  The Rule, issued in 1984, requires funeral homes to provide consumers with itemized price lists at the start of any in-person discussions of funeral arrangements, caskets, and/or outer burial containers.  The Rule also requires funeral homes to provide price information by telephone on request.  It also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service.


Live Radio Talk Show

On 12/11/13 I was a guest on Dr. Jeanette Gallagher’s BlogTalk Radio show discussing the need for Funeral Planning education before a death occurs.  We covered many areas including pre-planning, pre-financing, and what consumers should know and understand prior to purchasing funeral and final disposition goods and services.

*****  If you would like to listen to the hour-long program, click here.  *****


“60 Minutes” Highlights Cemetery Problems

I watched a “60 Minutes Special Edition” report on 5/20/12 hosted by Anderson Cooper on cemetery problems in the United States. It was most interesting and detailed problems within the burial (final disposition) industry.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enacted the Funeral Rule in the 1980’s to help protect consumers nationally when making funeral arrangements at the funeral home level. It is still in effect today. It appears that it is time to consider such a plan for the cemetery industry. The issues pointed out by Mr. Cooper’s report should not be tolerated in that market, as consumers are being hurt at a most vulnerable time in their lives by lax oversight of the cemetery industry. The federal government should step in as it did with the funeral industry and establish rules and regulations to be applied to all cemeteries nationally.

Thank you Mr. Cooper for this most educational and informative report!

Alert to Military Veterans!

I recently saw a newspaper ad directed to Military Veterans about burial in National Cemeteries. What concerned me was that there was a mail-in coupon to a P.O. box without a telephone number for the business. The ad wanted the name, age, spouse’s age, address, city, state, zip and contact telephone number of the person requesting burial or cremation options. In other words, the ad requested a lot of personal information without providing the consumer any information about the company requesting it, not even a telephone number. Be very careful and do not respond to these type ads. Funeral and Cemetery scams are one of the 10 top scams targeting seniors.

FYI: If you have questions about burial in National Cemeteries contact the Veterans’ Administration, a local funeral home, or a National Cemetery if you have one in your area.

Have questions? Email me at


Reselling Burial Property

With the economy where it is today, some consumers who have purchased burial plots, mausoleum crypts or even cremation niches are trying to sell them. If you are in this category, I suggest trying to sell the property back to the cemetery if it is in a buy back position. You may be offered less money than you paid for the property, but it is an option. Next, try advertising the property in your local newspaper, let the local funeral directors know about your property, seek out burial plot brokers on the web (always make sure these type companies are legitimate) and even look for web sites that advertise this type of property nationally.

This type of real estate is not the easiest piece of property to sell, so plan on seeking out as many areas as possible to help you sell the property. If you are a buyer, always check for the title of the property, making sure the paperwork is in place, and get it verified prior to paying anyone to purchase their property from them, just like any real estate transaction.

Have questions?  Email me at


A Party at the Cemetery???

I recently read an article about cemeteries hosting parties to attract future customers. These parties take place on the property and include entertainment, drinks and more. The purpose of these events is to make the locals more aware of what the cemetery offers in an “other than death” experience.  The cemeteries hope to make the public more aware of their offerings and make consumers feel more comfortable about purchasing their goods and services either at-need or pre-need .

The issue here is that to attend these events, consumers must walk over and stand on what has been considered sacred property. The deceased have a right to rest in peace without their resting place being walked over by event participants. 

Have questions or comments?  Email me at


Cemetery Property Maintenance Problems

What do you do if you visit a family member’s gravesite, crypt or other cemetery property, and it is not maintained?  For example, there is moss or mildew growing on the monument, grass is not manicured, etc.

Review the deed to the cemetery property to see what perpetual care should be provided by the cemetery.  The cemetery should be performing the care it agreed to in the purchase contract, and if they are not, this should be brought to the attention of cemetery personnel.  If the deed  is not available to you or if perpetual care is not discussed in the contract, then talk the problem over with cemetery management. 

If you do not get satisfaction there, you could try contacting your local media (TV, newspaper), so perhaps you can get attention drawn to the situation.

Has anyone encountered this problem, and how did you solve it?  Please share your experience and suggestions.