Leverage gets the bills paid

August 26, 2013 

It's unsettling to think of cremated remains being held as collateral for an unpaid bill. In the eyes of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, it's unethical.

Still, it's legal. And we can understand why the McDaniel and Lee Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Sparta does it. Once a person's ashes have been released, the funeral home loses most of its leverage in collecting the debt. Otherwise a deceased person's family and friends would have no pressing reason to pay the bill.

This is a good reminder of buyer beware. Grieving families often don't pay close attention to the terms and conditions of services at a funeral home, but it's important to do so. The funeral home presumably disclosed in advance that bills have to be paid in full before cremated remains will be released.

If people don't like the payment requirements, they can either negotiate different terms or choose another funeral home.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service