The recent discoveries of mishandled human remains at facilities across the country are deeply troubling. The most egregious case being the cremated remains of at least 30 people found crammed in the crawl space of a former funeral director's home.

While these incidents are horrible, they also present an opportunity for ethical funeral home owners.

The spate of cases has exposed a dire need for more oversight and higher standards in the funeral industry.

Is Colorado Alone in this?

As one of the only states with no licensing requirements for funeral directors, the current system has allowed unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of grieving families.

Fortunately, efforts are underway to reinstate licensing mandates through the state legislature.

As funeral business professionals, we must vocally support these measures to help restore the public's faith in our industry.

We should contact our local representatives to share stories of families hurt by unethical funeral homes and explain why proper oversight protects vulnerable consumers.

Your Funeral Home Opportunity

At the same time, these scandals allow reputable funeral homes to highlight their own responsible practices.

  • How are you showing clients your professionalism?
  • Is your business digitized?
  • Do you have full chain-of-custody tracking?
  • Do you keep good records?

Just like buying from any other business, your competitive advantage comes from actually doing better than your competition. 

If you want to win your market then you have to have the best service.

So ask yourself, "what would my clients value tremendously?"

Define those values and install them into your business and you will beat out the competition.

Obviously, we believe that digitizing your business and using modern software tools like MorTrack Funeral Business software is key.

Moving Forward To Rebuild Trust

As the legislative push unfolds in the coming months, you can communicate directly with customers to reaffirm your commitment to compassionately caring for their loved ones.

Whether speaking to community groups, talking to past clients, or updating your websites, you must be proactive in distinguishing your standards from those of troubled facilities like the one in Penrose.

Do not allow your business to end up on the news like this...

While certainly not all funeral homes have mishandled remains, the spate of horror stories has created distrust, especially as Colorado residents learn how easy it is to set up shop without expertise.

However, in seeking new business, we must balance empathy with ethical care, not exploiting this chance for profits alone.

Providing special community outreach or support groups could help both generate new clientele as well as rebuild confidence among consumers shaken by allegations against other funeral homes.

Ultimately, it is our responsibility as industry leaders to advocate for legislation holding all funeral directors to higher standards of practice - it is the only way to root out those unfit for this sacred work.

Illinois is leading the nation with the introduction of the Reestablishing Integrity in Death Care Act.

Whether you like it or not, government regulation is coming.

Question is...

Are you ready?

Will you lead or follow?

We must lead by example, whether implementing training programs or helping lawmakers craft sensible "grandfathering" clauses for upstanding existing homes.

The cases of horrific mismanagement have exposed gaps allowing the unscrupulous to prosper.

By supporting reform efforts and refocusing on compassionate client care, ethical funeral home owners can help rehabilitate our industry’s tarnished reputation across the state.

 The time has come to heal these wounds and ensure Colorado families receive the dignity a final farewell deserves.

Funeral Home Horror Stories are Becoming More Frequent:

Nearly 200 bodies left to rot as Colorado couple blew funeral service cash on cars, crypto: court docs

Colorado funeral home owner accused of selling body parts and giving clients fake ashes is sentenced to 20 years in prison

Funeral director’s license suspended after 4 bodies found decomposed

Detroit funeral home kept horrific secrets buried inside

Further Reading For You:

The Future of Funerals: How SB2643, the “Reestablishing Integrity in Death Care Act,”  Is Changing the Game
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