What If You’re Dead Wrong?
Knowing Your Legal Funeral Right & Options
Local Consumer Watchdog Group Hosts National Director
MEMPHIS, TN — The MidSouth’s local chapter of The Funeral Consumers Alliance announced today it has chosen to bring its National Executive Director Josh Slocum, to Memphis to speak to the community at its Annual Open Meeting on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 2425 Germantown Road. “Inviting Mr. Slocum to our city will allow us to acquaint Memphis with the most current information available regarding the consumer’s rights and options, as well as the valuable work being done on their behalf.” said local chapter President Furniss Harkness. “Josh shares in our commitment to provide access to consumer-focused educational information and resources and is knowledgeable of the most up-to-date information on funeral laws both nationally and specific to our area.”
The Funeral Consumers Alliance (www.funerals.org) is a national nonprofit consumer education and watchdog group that has advocated for consumers’ rights and provided free educational materials for nearly 75 years. As its national executive director, Slocum has been consulted by legislators and the media around the country as an expert in funeral law and consumer advocacy. He has submitted testimony to support local Funeral Consumers Alliance legislative reform efforts in nearly a dozen states. In 2009, he participated in a working group that developed the toughest cemetery regulations in the nation, Illinois’ Cemetery Oversight Act. Slocum also offered commentary to Congressional staff that helped shape the Bereaved Consumer’s Protection Act of 2009, a bill to expand funeral consumer safeguards. He later testified before a Congressional committee on the need to bring cemeteries, crematories, and all death industry vendors under the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, currently the only national legal protection for funeral consumers.
Slocum has appeared as an expert commentator on funeral issues in national media such as 60 Minutes, the New York Times, CNN, AARP Magazine, and CBS News. He worked with 60 Minutes to produce a report on cemetery fraud and tax regulations, “Final Resting Place,” aired in May, 2012, in which he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper.
Slocum has written numerous articles in mainstream and funeral trade publications, including a feature article on funeral fraud for Consumer Digest magazine. In 2011 he published Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death with co-author Lisa Carlson. Final Rights combines a journalistic investigation of the funeral industry and how consumers navigate it with practical information on how to avoid funeral fraud. Library Journal called the book “an essential purchase for consumer-protection collections.”