FDChat #06 – Funeral Financing with Chuck Gallagher

FDChat #06 – Funeral Financing with Chuck Gallagher

with nancy

Nancy Burban discusses financial options with Chuck Gallagher, COO of American Funeral Financial. Chuck illustrates how the immediate financing of a funeral can be beneficial for the family and the funeral home.

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Show Notes

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Interview Excerpt:

Nancy:  It makes a lot of sense actually when you think about it because funeral directors are not trained in finance. They are trained in service. They are trained in taking care of the client families and they don't do this very well. They don't handle the financial piece very well. And this is probably one of the biggest reasons why independent funeral homes are in trouble right now. Because they try to do something, they try to enter into a field that they really don't have any training or expertise in.

Chuck:  You know Nancy, you are actually a 100% right with the comment that you just made. I have been in this industry since 1991 and with Stewart Enterprises from 1993 to 2008. I have been involved in small operations with 60 interments a year to large with 2400. And the thing that I have found across the board is we as professionals in the funeral industry are trained to provide outstanding and expert service. We aren't bankers. We just absolutely abhor having to deal with that conflictual issue of money. And when a funeral home can bridge that gap, and turn that responsibility over to people that know what to do, how to do it and are efficient at doing it that makes a whole lot of sense.

Nancy:  It does make sense and I think a lot of families don't realize that they will be facing this conflict. And when the funeral director gives them this service, which is going to make it very seamless, they have enough to do with planning the service and the whole bereavement process without having to worry about money or whether they will be able to provide a proper burial for their loved ones.

Chuck: Right. I think that's one of the key components in where we are today. You know, if you look at the funeral service across the board, in all of the components, you have increasing cremation taking place which erodes margins. It changes certainly the complexion of many funeral providers. You have low cost providers, you have the baby boomers who are looking at different options. And the easier we can make it for our funeral professionals to do what they really are great at, which is creating that experience to celebrate a life, unencumbered by having to worry about money and other things. The easier we make it for the funeral professional, the better their service and quality is going to be. And the easier it is going to be for people to see value in the service provided.

Well, one of the things Nancy that we find, and we have had this reported to us from a number of firms all across the country is, if you can make this a cashless transaction for the family by using this policy that mom or dad might have purchased years and years ago. But if you can make it cashless for the family, they will be more apt to buy what it is they want and have the celebration of that person's life the way they want it.

And one of the other things that we do is not only are we able to make that cash available to the funeral home or the cemetery to cover the cost, the services the family has chosen, but beyond that we actually actively cash out many policies through funeral homes so that families can have cash when they need it the most. Because there will be unexpected cash expenses that arise when there has been the death of a loved one.

Funeral Financing with Chuck Gallagher Transcript

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