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Flashcards in Panorama of Modern Funeral Practice Deck (65)
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  • Rise in the standard of living
  • Urbanization
  • Rising mobility of people
  • Growing centralization of government
  • The decline of literacy
  • The penetration of technology
  • Changes in family life
  • Changing patterns of religious belief

Significant Changes in American Life That have Occurred Since the Great Depression


The middle class.

Rise in the Standard of Living


A continuing exodus from rural to metropolitan areas with a resultant ______ of a much larger segment of the population. (Less Farming).



Within the country due to employment patterns.

An Increasing Mobility of People


With the role of goverment constantly expanding into the lives of people. (FTC, OSHA, ADA, EPA, etc.)

Growing Centralization of Government


And the rise in general education; two years beyond high school.

The Decline of Illiteracy


Into the work place and the home. T.V., computers, and other technology dispensing an incrediable amount of information to the consumer. Internet- change.

The Penetration of Technology


In terms of form and function of the family unit, specifically smaller family size whose members are less dependent on each other for survival. (Welfare funeral, divorce rates).

Certain Changes in Family Life


Including the rejection of Judeo-Christian traditions but still a concern for human relationships redefining death beliefs. (Possible rejection of the traditional funeral).

Certain changing Patterns of Religious Belief


Friends, neighbors, and relatives who prepared the dead for funeralization as a simple matter of community duty.

Missing Today:


Family traditions and the rememberance of all the actions necessary to the occasion of a death of one of its members.

Missing in the Culture of Each Family


  • Missing friends, neighbors, and relatives who prepared the dead for funeralization as a simple matter of community duty.
  • Missing family traditions and the rememberance of all the actions necessary to the occasion of a death of one of its members.

A Dependence of the Funeral Service Licensee Became a Phenomenon due to This


The vast majority of deaths occur here. Usually health care related, away from the home. Most will die alone. 

Institutions of Some Kind


Most calls come by telephone, very few walk-ins (Most walk-ins come if Funeral Home is near hospital).

First Call


From the standpoint of consumerism will be most important.

The Arrangement Conference in the Future


  1. Gathering vital statistics
  2. Arranging from religious, or non-religious humanistic, service.
  3. Arranging fro the disposition of the remains; interment, entombment, inurnment.
  4. Arranging for a death notice and/or obituaries in local newspapers.
  5. Determining what merchandise is to be used for the funeral; the casket, vault, burial garments, urns. etc..
  6. Determining transportation needs; rolling stock charges, and use of facilities charges.
  7. Determining what death benefits, federal or other the deceased was entitled to.
  8. Arriving at a professional service charges for preparation of the remains and funeral directing including all paperwork involved in funeralization.
  9. Use of facilities charge.

Areas Included in the Arrangement Conference:


For the death certificate and filing the certificate with the Board of Health and securing the burial and transit permit. Also obtaining enough certified copies of the death certificate.

Gathering Vital Statistics


Religious, or non-religious humanistic.

Arranging Type of Service


Interment, entombment, inurnment.

Arranging for Disposition of the Remains


And/or obituaries in local newspapers.

Arranging for Death Notice


The casket, vault, burial garments, etc..

Determining What Merchandise is to be Used for the Funeral


Rolling stock charges, and use of facilities charges.

Determining Transportation Needs


Federal or other the deceased was entitled to.

Determining what Death Benefits


Including all paperwork involved in funeralization.

Arriving at a Professional Service Charge for Preparation of the Remains and Funeral Directing


Use of ______ charge.



During the early days of the great depression (around 1929), funeral service billing changed from full itemization to:

Unit Pricing


Unit Pricing translated to mean "_____ ______," with the casket as the variable, this peaked during the late 1950's as other methods of funeral service pricing developed.

Packaged Funerals


  1. Multi-unit or Full Itemization
  2. Bi-unit Pricing
  3. Single Unit Pricing
  4. Tri-unit Pricing
  5. Functional Pricing

Methods of Funeral Service Pricing that Developed in the Middle of the 20th Century (Around 1950):


A seperate charge for each major component of the funeral and also for items within one or more of the components. (Most traiditional form, FTC wanted to return to this system after 1984).

Multi-Unit or Full Itemization


A separate charge for each major component of the funeral and also for items within one or more of the components.  (Most traidtional form, FTC wanted to return to this system after 1984) Historical method (oldest method).

Multi-Unit or Full Itemization


There is a charge for services and facilities and a seperate charge for the casket. (Popular for small funeral homes using a casket display company) (2 prices).

Bi-Unit Pricing


The price on the casket or associated with it, includes the casket, services, and facilities of the funeral establishment. (The fault is that there is an over emphasis on the casket) (Allowed by FTC if less than the sum of its parts).

Single-Unit Pricing (Packaged Funeral)


Three separate charges for (a) services, (b) casket, and (c) facilities.

Tri-Unit Pricing


Similar to tri unit but lists four parts or prices: (Simplified way of presenting services).

  • Professional service charge for funeral directing, preparation of the remains, and support staff.
  • Use of funeral home facilities
  • Rolling stock and transportation costs (i.e.- removal and shipping)
  • Retail casket price and all other merchandise itemized- like FTC price list requirements.

Functional Pricing


These charges can be priced seprately or packaged into other charges.

Rolling Stock


Always listed as a separate item and never packaged in.

Cash Accomodations (Cash Advances)


  1. Preparation of the remains for a wake.
  2. Some kind of funeral service organized along religious or philosophical objectives.
  3. Disposition with a formalized committal ceremony either cremation, interment, entombment, or inurnment.

3 Basic Functions of Today's Funeral that the Funeral had in Ancient Times:


The vast majority of undertaking establishments were mere storefront operations.

Prior to World War I (1914)


The vast majority of funeral homes were converted buildings, usually large, private homes rezoned and converted for funeral services.

Prior to 1960


Most funeral homes are being built as funeral homes, specifically designed for accomplishing funeralization tasks.



Today's biggest hurdle in establishing a funeral service facility.

Zoning Laws


  • Religious affiliation
  • Ethnic/racial identity
  • Virgin territory to operate in
  • Near a church

Prior to 1955, the Funeral Director Seeking to Establish a Funeral Home was Concerned Only with the Traditional Factors like his Predecessor:


  • How many establishments already exist in the area.
  • How much of an investment will be required to match the competition.
  • How transitional is the population in the area; does any stability exist in the area for possible recall work? (Pre-need is now replacing recall).
  • Would it be better to establish multiple facilities of smaller scale and proportion rather than one huge facility so that more territory can be controlled and losses minimized- this is a newer trend.

After 1980, a New Criteria Must be Considered When Establishing a Funeral Home:


Serving families generation after generation.



The funeral is sold ahead of time and held in escrow.



  1. Policy Making
  2. Management
  3. Other staff
  4. Trade service

4 Categories of Funeral Service Tasks


This group includes owners, proprietors, partners, and active officers of the corporation.

Policy Making


Including those who function within the establishment, funeral home managers, funeral directors, ebalmers, receptionists, comptroller, peronnel managers, and office staffs.



Consisting of attendants, chauffeurs, apprentices, garage mechanics, maintenance workers, handy men, hairdressers, and elevator operators.

Other Staff


Removal and embalming service for various funeral homes and shipping services involving self-employed, fully licensed morticians as independent contractors.

Trade Service


Requiring candidates for funeral director license to graduate from mortuary schools just as candidates for embalmers license were required; followed by ABFSE cirriculum revisions. In September 1977, splitting the cirriculum equally between embalming and funeral director's subject matter; followed by splitting the National Board Examination into two equal parts of 250 questions each by the ICFSEB in 1978 resulted in what we have come to know as a _______ or the single license funeral service practitioner. (now 150 questions for each part).



Has remained about the same since the turn of the centry. Namely caskets, vaults, burial garments, urns and liners. The change or trend of the future seems to be in the area of _________ whereby vaults, liners, urns, and even caskets will be sold to the consumer directly by non-licensed pre-need sales persons. (3rd party sellers). Not good for Funeral Directors and Funeral Homes.



The day may come in the not so distant future when all funeral merchandise will be sold and pre-need or at need by non-licensed sales persons, particularly by cemeteries affiliated with conglomerate related operations. Survival as a profession then would have to depend entirely on _____ ____  and future funeral bills must reflect this charge. The FTC has made _____ ____ charge non-declinable.

Professional Service


Rolling stock has declined since 1945 because most people own their own car. Today a service van and coach, particularly in rural communities, is a minimal but adequate requirement.

Vechicle Requirements


  • Memorial society movement
  • Conglomerate funeral service stock corporations

Alternative Forms of Operation- Competitors


Seeking direct disposition licensure by bassing state boards of morticians, answering only to state boards of health. Their philosophy is the most threatening because they espouse direct cremation followed by a service not in a funeral home but held in churches of their own facilities.

Memorial Society Movement (The Funeral & Memorial Association of America)


That own cemeteries, crematories, fluid, casket, vault, burial garment, fleet auto leasing, monument and marker companies, florists shops, pre-need program, and have telemarket facilities, etc., can compete at a distinct advantage for pre-need and at need funerals, especially against the small volume "mom-and-pop" funeral home.

Conglomerate Funeral Service Stock Corporations


Does not own a funeral home. Makes arrangements to use church through minister. May operate out of a funeral home. Generally has cremations.



One funeral director taking care of everything.



Different people take care of different functions of the funeralization process.



Consists of a group of practitioners:

  • Who are possessed of a body of highly technical or specialized skills or knowlege,
  • Who are set apart so that they may devote their full time effort to this practice,
  • Who are able to bring in others in the critical junctures of human affairs, service, and judgement which is beyond the resources of the average person, based upon their expert professional background,
  • Who cooporate rather than compete with their peers, sharing professional information, enjoying the same privileges and assuming the same risks,
  • Who associate formally to govern their membership, setting standards of admittance, or practice and procedures for controlling those who would violate their code of ethics,
  • and above all, the claims to the professionality of funeral directors must rest upon the necessity of their establishing a relationship of trust with those they serve. Example: confidentiality.




An organized, purposeful time limited, flexible, group centered response to death. In involves personalized rites and/or ceremonies with the body present to commemorate that a death has occurred and that a life has been lived.



  • Memorial society service after or before direct cremation or direct burial is an alternative to traditional funeral service.
  • A direct disposition or direct burial as soon after death as the law allows, with no viewing or attendant rites or ceremonies.
  • Same as above but direct cremation.
  • Church or chapel service only- no use of funeral home facility.

Alternative Forms of Funeral Service that Must be Faced by Future Funeral Directors


In 1968 this act was recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners for uniform state laws. By 1975, every state had enacted the law in one form or another.

Uniform Anatomical Gift Act


  1. Possibility of a service with the body present prior to delivery to the medical school. (No aspiration, inject only). Must work within Anatomy Board guidelines.
  2. A memorial service after delivery of the body to the medical school.
  3. A committal service for the cremains or remains following use by the medical school.

Options of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act