NEWS

Save these dates!!!!!!!!

May 1, 2021 Annual FCSC meeting on Zoom

This year's annual meeting will be held by Zoom; that gives ALL of the Colorado chapter (and others) a chance to hear Josh Slocum, Executive Director of Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA), our national "father" organization; he will speak on "Transparency" of the funeral industry, also FCA's efforts to require funeral operators to post their prices on-line.  The Zoom link is:    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83424457724

 April 14, 2021, at 9:30 to 11:00 on Zoom

FCSC Board President Sue Mackey will be presenting a Zoom Outreach program with FCSC Board member, Larry Clarke.  This is through Denver Senior Coalition.  Save the date; we'll put the link on when it gets closer to the date.

Legislative News

New bills before the legislature:

Two bills have passed as of 4-30-21:  (Both bills have been sent to the Governor and will take effect upon his signature.)

SB 21-006 which allows the use of the natural reduction process for the disposition of human remains---is also known as "Recompose".   (Ed. note:  This bill was signed by the Governor on May 10, and will officially become Colorado law in 90 days.)

HB 21-1169 that prohibits discrimination for organ transplant recipients based solely on an individuals' disability.

 

SB 21-0115 concerning a stipend (a fix sum of money) for veterans service organizations that provides funeral services for honorably discharged veterans is still under consideration in the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee as of April 22, 2021.

 Senate Bill (SB 21-006) was introduced 2-16-21 under the title of "Human Remains Natural Reduction Soil".   This bill would allow for human composting, and is also known as "Recompose". On March 17, SB 21-006 was introduced in the House and assigned to the energy and environment committee.  This Bill has not been passed yet, so it has not reached the governor's office.   

(Ed. note:  This bill was signed by the Governor on May 10, and will officially become Colorado law in 90 days.)

HB 21-1169: concerning the prohibition of discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient based solely on the person's disability. The bill prohibits a health-care provider, hospital, or other entity involved in making a decision regarding a person's eligibility to receive an anatomical gift, organ transplant, or any related treatment or services from discriminating against that person solely on the basis of a disability. The bill passed the House in the 3rd reading on 3/29/21.

 

SB 21-015: concerning a stipend (a fix sum of money) for Veterans service organizations that provide funeral services for honorably discharged veterans.  The bill requires the department of military and veterans affairs to pay, subject to available money, a stipend of up to $75 to a veterans service organization for each time the organization performs a basic military funeral honors ceremony or other funeral-related services for an honorably discharged veteran. The bill is currently in the Senate, State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee.

September 26-27, 2020, 6 pm Eastern/4pm Mountain, 3 pm Pacific.---Funeral Consumers Alliance's first-ever online conference.  FCA is the national organization of FCSC.

Each of the three days will have a live keynote on Zoom video.  Offered will be pre-recorded "break-out" sessions following the keynote. Topics will include creating ritual and mourning at a distance, fundraising and citizen lobbying for FCA groups, and much more.  The meeting will take place on Zoom, and you'll need to register, but it is free---the registration link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvceyorTorHtCN4x4ZZIo2TZsJi577TErM                                                                                                                

The FCSC Board members tried out a Zoom test meeting for their regular date and time (March 26, 2020).  It was carried out, organized by V.P. Sue Mackey (now President), with four “Zoomers”, who were satisfied that we could repeat this for the next meeting time, April 23, at 10 a.m.  (The former Board meetings in 2019 and 2 months of 2020 met in the Englewood Public Library, which is now closed until further notice). 

Neptune Society information:

Here is some interesting information brought to our attention by FCSC's President Sue Mackey:

The word "Society" above does not fit the typical dictionary definition, so may be misleading to your expectations.

The name Neptune Society® is a registered trademark owned by Service Corporation International (SCI), the largest cemetery and funeral provider in the world.

SCI is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and contributes heavily to Texas elected officials.

The Neptune Society® sells a direct cremation as a prepaid funeral contract; tied to another contract for a "memento package"; plus another optional contract for "away from home" body transportation to facilitate cremation. Click the link below for more information:

https://www.fcant.org/neptune-society-fyi     

From People’s Memorial in Washington:  “On April 9, 2019, the Washington State House of Representatives voted to pass SB5001. This historic bill legalizes two sustainable death care options, alkaline hydrolysis and "natural organic reduction" (formerly "recomposition".) This morning (April 19th), the Senate concurred on the amendments made during the session, and the bill officially passed legislature. In the next few days, the bill will go to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee to be signed into law.  (It was signed.)

 

The following info is from a March 2017 CBS article about the pricing practices at funeral homes. The Funeral Consumer Alliance and the Consumer Federation of American did a survey of pricing practices at 138 funeral homes across the country. Thirty-five of these are owned by the Service Corporation International (SCI). Though not legally required, funeral homes have been asked to post their price lists on line. SCI has refused to do this. The survey revealed that SCI’s pricing can be as much as 72% higher than that of independent funeral homes. Josh Slocum is quoted as saying “One of the most critical ways families can control their costs is by shopping around, just as they would for any other product, but it’s difficult to do that for funerals.” Today it was noted that SCI owns between 1200 and 1500 funeral homes. Any home which uses "Dignity Memorial" is an SCI home.

Interesting article: 

           With Funeral Home Rules Due for an Update, There's a Push for Online Prices:

Federal regulations that took effect 35 years ago don’t require them — a disadvantage for people who are shopping when....

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/with-funeral-home-rules-due-for-an-update-theres-a-push-for-online-prices/ar-BBVom1d?ocid=spartanntp

Notes from the Newsletter of FCA

(our parent organization), concerning three

national surveys over the past two years:

*  Only 1 in 4 funeral homes posted their detailed General Price List online.

*  16 percent of funeral homes failed to acknowledge/refused to respond to email and phone requests for prices.

*  22 percent advertised a price for direct cremation that did not include the price of the actual cremation.

*  No SCI funeral home websites have disclosed any prices.  FCA has determined this is a national, company-wide policy.

*  SCI's prices in each of 10 surveyed cities far exceeded prices at independent funeral homes.

*  The median price for direct cremation at an SCI funeral home was 72 percent higher than at an independent.

For more info from Funeral Consumers Alliance, go to:

www.funerals.org

On September 30, 2019, Board Member Anthony received information from Jon Haliford of "Return to Nature Burial & Cremation" in Colorado Springs, that they are adding alkaline hydrolysis to their services.  This is the first one in the state to do so, to our knowledge.

More Americans — and way more Coloradans — are choosing cremation, says the funeral industry report.  More than half of Americans now choose cremation. Denver Post, August 11, 2017   http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/DenverPost/Default.aspx

See the National Price Survey (done by Funeral Consumers Alliance) teleconferenced on Monday, October 19, 2015. Click here:

Notice:

FCSC's price survey of Funeral Home Costs in Colorado was printed in the Spring 2015 Newsletter.  See the "Resources & Links" tab on this website, menu bar above.

The 2016 March Bulletin of AARP notes that funeral home prices can be compared by visiting www.parting.com, a nationwide database started in 2015, based in California.  Prices can be searched by location, with a link to their General Price Lists.

 

Lafayette company is helping people die and be buried naturally:

 

"Dust to Dust: Green burials are a growing trend in Colorado"

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/front-range/lafayette/dust-to-dust-green-burials-are-a-growing-trend-in-colorado

Concerning Durable Powers of Attorney, a word of caution:

     Durable Powers of Attorney may, on occasion, lose their power.  Financial (Statutory) Powers of Attorney are sometimes abused by adult children who want access to their parent's funds, or by criminals who forge these documents for the same reason.  Because of this potential abuse, financial institutions (banks, brokerage firms) may balk at recognizing this durable power of attorney and deny access to the funds in question.

     Experts recommend that the adult children who have this durable power of attorney check with the financial institutions involved to determine if this document will be accepted, and, if not, adjust or add to the document as necessary.

     For example, some institutions may ask the account holder (the person giving the power of attorney) to sign separate powers of attorney drafted by their lawyers to allow for easier and smoother administration. 

Information on body and organ donations:  The daughter of two former members informed us that her parents had contributed their bodies to Lone Tree Medical, www.lonetreemedical.com, an organization which receives body and organ donations for medical research.  They will pick up bodies at no charge, as will the Anchutz Medical Center.

Updated and Revised from Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA):

 

• Should You Prepay Your Funeral
• Cremation Explained 
• Veterans Funeral and Burial Benefits 
• Death Away from Home 
• Common Funeral Myths 
• Four-Step Funeral Planning 
• Ten Tips for Saving Funeral Dollars 
• Green Burial 
• Embalming Explained 

They're all available in two forms. 

Click here for articles formatted for online reading
Click here for tri-fold formatted brochures suitable for printing

Looking for publications on other topics?  Drop them a line at fca@funerals.org

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Good news for Colorado in passing SB 21-006  (see below).

HB 21-1169 regarding Nondiscrimination Against Potential Organ Transplant Recipients---was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2021.

On May 11, 2021 the House passed the 2nd reading for SB-21-015 concerning a stipend for Veterans Service Organizations that provide funeral services.