Funerals

What To Do If Someone Dies

The Body in the Library Clues to Your Next Step There are few things more disconcerting than waking up to find a dead body in your home.  It might be helpful to know what you should do next.   What To Do If Someone Dies If you are certain that the person is dead, then do not move the body or otherwise disturb the scene. If the deceased was enrolled in hospice, then call the hospice...

Cemetery Plot Sales and Laws

Picture yourself walking through a peaceful cemetery at dawn, light filtering through the leafy canopies of ancient oaks onto an array of crumbling carved gravestones.  In the distance you see a small mausoleum fronted, jarringly, with a white sign saying FOR SALE BY OWNER.   That’s probably not going to happen, at least in Texas where cemetery plots are controlled by a confusing mixture of state law and local rules.  When you...

Privacy for the Deceased: Law Provides Limited Protection

Suppose your father, an intensely private person, dies as the result of a bizarre murder-for-hire scheme. The press is everywhere, demanding family public statements, autopsy results and funeral arrangements.   Some fanatic even sends out a tweet soliciting protestors for your father’s graveside service. You wonder what you can do to secure your father’s privacy after death. The answer starts with the general principle that a person’s right to privacy lapses at his...

A Funeral Scam: Prepaid Contracts Compound Family Grief

Funeral planning is helpful.  Buying a prepaid funeral contract – not so much. That is because there is a huge potential for being scammed in the process.   In one example, a company called National Prearranged Services, Inc. (NPS) victimized 97,000 people and numerous funeral homes in 16 states when it ran a Ponzi-like scheme on prearranged funeral contracts.  Six people were sentenced to federal prison in 2013 for their role...

The Family Cemetery: Backyard Burial Wrapped in Red Tape

It is Halloween, which means that front yards everywhere are filled with plastic tombstones, monstrous animated spiders and tissue-ghouls hanging from trees. Which brings up an interesting question: why not have the real thing in your backyard? You could have your very own cemetery containing real dead people mere steps from your back patio.  Just think of the convenience for all involved. It turns out that, while family burial plots are not...

Five Tips for Funeral Planning

Don't get scammed in planning a Texas funeral. Many people, in the stress of planning a funeral, spend more than they can afford or purchase unnecessary goods and services. here are some helpful tips. 1. Prepare in advance. In Texas, you can leave written Burial Instructions and designate a person or company to handle all of the arrangements. If you wish to donate your body to science, then contact the...
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