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September 2017

Dear Members,


2017 District Meetings

PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 11-14 and September 18-21, 2017. We will be offering 3 continuing education credits. This year's speakers will be PFDA Past President Norm Shropshire, speaking about "Funeral Directing: Today, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow Afternoon" - 1 credit and Curtis D. Rostad, CAE, CFSP, FACFEI, former Executive Director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association, who will speak on "How We've Messed Up Funeral Service (And how we can fix it)" - 2 credits. A registration form is enclosed.


Pricing Phone Inquiry Reminder

NFDA is reminding funeral directors that if you receive a telephone call inquiring about pricing, you must provide pricing information to the caller. Under the FTC Funeral Rule, pricing information needs to be provided to every person that calls, even if it's another funeral related business. However, a GPL is only required to be handed out during in-person meetings relating to funeral services, goods, pricing or arrangements. Funeral directors aren't required to fax or mail a GPL to anyone.

NFDA members can contact NFDA General Counsel Scott Gilligan with any additional questions about the Funeral Rule.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, August 4, 2017

Free Funeral Rule Compliance Guide

Failure to comply with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Funeral Rule can result
in civil penalties of up to $40,654 per violation.

The FTC has published a guide entitled "Complying with the Funeral Rule." The guide,
provides detailed information about the Rule's specific requirements for General Price Lists, Casket Price Lists, and Outer Burial Container Price Lists.

You can find the guide on the FTC's website at https://www.ftc.gov/tips
advice/business-center/guidance/complying-funeral-rule. The guide can be downloaded at no cost or you can order free copies.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, July 21, 2017

GPL Review Service

To ensure your GPL is compliant with the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule,
NFDA offers a comprehensive GPL Review Service.

This thorough analysis of your current GPL is conducted by T. Scott Gilligan, NFDA's general counsel, who specializes in the legal format and content of funeral service general price lists and the disclosure requirements of the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule.

The cost is just $225 for NFDA members (nonmember price $400).

Source: NFDA Bulletin, July 21, 2017

NFDA Policy Board Elects At-Large Reps to Board of Directors

Pasquale S. Folino on Connecticut and Douglas R. Nie, II of Michigan, were elected by the Policy Board to serve on the NFDA Board of Directors as the at-large representatives.

Source: Memorial Business Journal, July 20, 2017

BRAVE Act Being Introduced

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Marco Rubio will be introducing bipartisan legislation that will increase funeral benefits for qualified veterans. The Burial Rights for America's Veterans' Efforts (BRAVE) Act will ensure all non-service connected deaths are given the same benefits.

Source: Memorial Business Journal, July 27, 2017


Online Submission of Preneed Forms Change

The online location for submission of Report of Preneed Burial Contracts and Completed Prepaid Burial Contract Reports has changed. The new site is www.PALS.pa.gov. Paper submissions will no longer be accepted by the State Board of Funeral Directors. For question or help please call the Help Desk at 717-783-1087. The State Board notice dated August 17, 2017 is on the PFDA website at http://www.pfda.org/_files/live/Instructions_for_PreNeed_State_Website.pdf.

Free Camps for Grieving Children

Camp Koala, a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity, offers grief support services for children in three locations throughout Pennsylvania. With branches in Carlisle, Mifflinburg and Wilkes-Barre, their services are offered at no cost to the grieving families they serve. Upcoming events include a fall one day camp in Wilkes-Barre (Dallas, PA) on September 16th and a weekend overnight camp in Mifflinburg from October 6 through October 8. They offer support groups throughout the year in these locations, as well as their comfort box program in local schools. For more information, please visit www.campkoala.org or email Lisa Liebetrau, director@campkoala.org.


South African Ministry Scam

There is a fax circulating from Engr. Joseph Miminale, Projects Supervisor under South African Ministry of Minerals and Energy Resources. This is a scam. DO NOT CONTACT THEM.

New Identity Theft Scam

NFDA is recommending that funeral homes advise families of decedents who lived alone, to immediately let the local post office know of the family member's death and file a USPS Form 3575 to have mail forwarded to another address. The form must be filed by the executor or the person in charge of the estate.

Recently in Massachusetts, on the day an obituary appeared in the local newspaper, a scammer filed a change of address form online or at the post office to have the decedent's mail forwarded to an address in Florida. The family didn't know there was a problem until approximately two weeks after the funeral when there was no mail being delivered to the decedent's home.

Source: Memorial Business Journal, August 3, 2017


Funeral Director Faces Charges for Stealing

David Wayne Faust, a Hulmeville funeral director, has been charged with identity theft and forgery, deceptive business practices, theft, and receiving stolen property. Faust allegedly stole over $296,000 from 54 clients that had paid to prearrange funerals, and forged a death certificate for a woman that is still alive so he could gain access to her prearrangement money. In April, Faust was arrested for allegedly signing doctors' signatures on death certificates so he could receive disability benefits. He is currently free on bail from his arrest in April.


Cybersecurity and Small Businesses

It's nearly impossible these days for businesses to operate without the help of Internet-connected devices, which exposes them to cybercrime. Small to medium-sized businesses are the most vulnerable because hackers target them knowing they probably won't get caught.

More than likely, names, addresses, and employees' employment information are stored on an internet-connected office computer. Banking, credit, and vendor account information is also vulnerable. Even if this valuable information is not stored on an Internet-connected computer, employees who have access can be scammed into providing it to a hacker.

Best Practices and Security Tips

Tip 1: Train Employees in Information Technology Security. Employees should be instructed to refrain from clicking links or attachments in e-mails, and not to pay an invoice until it's confirmed that the sender sent it. Even if the e-mail appears to be from a trusted source, employees should learn to always copy and paste links or type URLs into a browser to see if the address is valid.

Tip 2: Funds Transfers. Put a policy in place to have an in-person or telephone conversation to confirm e-mail requests for funds or personal information.

Tip 3: E-mail Authentication. Phishing can be substantially reduced by verifying that the e-mail originated from the domain it is associated with.

Tip 4: Change default passwords on your router and other internet-connected devices.

Tip 5: Use a trusted VPN service when using WiFi.

Tip 6: Back up your data regularly both to the Cloud and to a removable device.

Tip 7: Update firmware and software regularly.

Cyber ShieldSM from Federated Insurance is a two-part coverage program designed to help provide essential protection against many of the critical cyber and privacy exposures businesses face. Data Compromise Coverage and Cyber Coverage can help your company recover from intentional or accidental breaches.
Visit federatedinsurance.com for more information or to find your local Federated representative.

Source: Federated Insurance, July 2017


Is Your Funeral Home Website of Value to Families?

The "About Us" page of your funeral home website is the most important page to families. They come to that page to see what the funeral home and staff can provide them and why they should choose you over everyone else in town.

Below are the top five items that need to be on your "About Us" page to better educate families about your funeral home and staff:

1. Introduce Your Staff – have pictures of each team member, each person's bio, and in their bio little details on why they decided to get into the funeral profession or why they believe funerals are valuable to families.

2. Showcase Your Facility – show families the value of your funeral home by highlighting all your unique features and benefits.

3. Tell Them Why Your Funeral Home Best Choice – Show families what sets you apart from all your competitors. Focus on letting them know how you are going to make a difference for them and why you do what you do.

4. Post Family Reviews and Testimonials on This Page - It will show potential families that you deliver great service.

5. Host Community Events at Your Funeral Home - Advertise the upcoming events on social media and throughout your community. You will be able to showcase your facility, meet people and connect with others in the community.

Source: funeralOne, July 26, 2017


PFDA Welcomes a New Member

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest member: Griffith Funeral Home, Inc. Pittsburgh, Pa.

PFDA Office Closure

The PFDA office will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2017 for the Labor Day holiday. The office will re-open on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.


Child Abuse Continuing Education

PFDA will be hosting a two-credit continuing education seminar of Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse. The event will be November 8, 2017 from 10am-12noon at Highmark Caring Place, 620 Stanwix St, Pittsburgh, Pa 15222. A registration form is enclosed.

Forum for Families: Coping After the Overdose Death of a Parent or Child

The PA Family Support Alliance and Highmark Caring Place are hosting a free program that will offer information, support, and personal stories of coping after the death of a loved one due to overdose. The forum will be held Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 9am-12noon at Highmark Caring Place, 3 Walnut Street, Suite 200, Lemoyne, PA. To register email bbitler@pa-fsa.org or call 717-238-0937.

PIMS Graduation

The 155th Commencement Exercise will be on Friday, September 8th and PFDA's President-Elect, Stephanie Doriguzzi, will be the commencement speaker.

Source: Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association, The Bulletin, August 2017

PIMS Job Fair

PIMS will be hosting a Job Fair on Friday, October 6, 2017. Funeral homes can participate to recruit both interns and licensees. For more information, contact Dr. Joe Marsaglia at 412-362-8500, ext. 108.

Source: Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association, The Bulletin, August 2017


Marilyn Lois (Miller) Fink, 91, of Connellsville passed away on August 2, 2017 at Woodcrest Senior Living Community. Marilyn was a licensed funeral director and previous owner of Paul G. Fink Funeral Home, Inc., Connellsville.

Jennie S. Moriconi, 92, of North Cambria passed away on August 11, 2017 at UPMC Altoona Hospital. She is survived by her son, Brian F., a licensed funeral director and the owner of Moriconi Funeral Home, Inc., North Cambria.

Charles Marodi, 88, of Marianna passed away on August 12, 2017, at Washington County Health Center. She is survived by her son Tim, a licensed funeral director and the owner of the Thompson-Marodi Funeral Home, Inc., Bentleyville.

Hazel Braden McCracken, 87, of Ligonier, passed away on August 14, 2017, at Bethlen Home. She is survived by her son J. Paul and daughter-in-law Cynthia, both licensed funeral directors and owners of J. Paul McCracken Funeral Chapel, Inc., Ligonier.

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