Funeral Business Under Fire

Archive Report

Issue of Alleged Abuses

Regulation Arising from Abuse Charges

Death, like life, seldom comes easy and is almost never cheap. A funeral will likely be the most expensive thing, after a home and a car, that a family will ever have to buy. Americans spend more than $6 billion a year on funeral-related expenses, and average burial costs exceed $2,571, Growing numbers of people have become wary of the high cost of dying and are finding alternatives to the “traditional” funeral. But most still depend on the advice of funeral directors, who, according to their critics, often suggest and carry out funerals that are unnecessarily elaborate and costly.

The funeral business has flourished against a counterpoint of criticism and a vein of hostility, rooted in an aversion ...

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