Colorado Funeral Directors Association

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In Memory

  • Wednesday, November 23, 2016 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In a surprising development, a federal judge in Texas granted an emergency injunction late Tuesday afternoon blocking the implementation of a new overtime rule that would have given more white-collar workers overtime.

    Judge Amos L. Mazzant from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas held a hearing November 16 to decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction delaying the December 1, 2016, effective date for the new Department of Labor regulations. Many observers believed that Mazzant, a recent appointee by President Barack Obama, would not issue the injunction in the Nevada v. U.S. Department of Labor case. However, it has been widely noted that the U.S. District Court in East Texas has been very plaintiff friendly. 

    “Due to the approaching effective date of the Final Rule, the court’s ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits is in jeopardy. A preliminary injunction preserves the status quo while the court determines the department’s authority to make the Final Rule, as well as the Final Rule’s validity,” Mazzant wrote in his 20-page order. 

    The rule, issued by the Department of Labor, was to take effect December 1 and would have doubled, to $47,500, the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay. 

    “While this does not kill the DOL regulation, it is definitely on life support,” said T. Scott Gilligan, general counsel for the National Funeral Directors Association. “Given the strength of the judge’s ruling, it is very unlikely that he will later change his mind and uphold the regulation. Moreover, when his decision is appealed, it goes to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is very conservative and is unlikely to overturn Mazzant’s decision.” The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans blocked Obama’s executive actions on immigration in 2015. 

    Gilligan said that another factor that will come into play is the change of administrations that takes place at the end of January. “It is likely that the Justice Department under Trump may simply drop the appeal and allow the judge’s ruling to stand, which would kill the regulation.” 

    Some 21 states and more than 50 business groups filed suit to block implementation of the rule, alleging that it would cause significant financial harm. “With the Final Rule, the department exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’ intent by raising the minimum salary level such that it supplants the duties test. The department’s role is to carry out Congress’ intent. If Congress intended the salary requirement to supplant the duties test, then Congress and not the department should make that change,” Mazzant said in his ruling.

    Click here to read the entire article in the Memorial Business Journal.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2016 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CFDA's executive director, Steffani Blackstock, and CFDA's Legislative/Advocacy chair, Chuck Bowman, attended the Rulemaking Meeting hosted by the Dept. of Regulatory Agencies offices in downtown Denver on October 31. 

    Testimony was given about the drafted rules pertaining to positive identification and chain of custody. Once adopted, funeral establishments and crematories will be required to:

    • Review and modify release forms for removal and transfers of deceased to ensure minimum standards are satisfied according to state law and DORA rules.
    • Confirm positive identification of the deceased before removal from a hospital, hospice, other care facility, coroners' office, other location or establishment.
    • Require signature from an authorized representative to attest to the identification and release of the deceased to the custody of a registered funeral establishment or crematory. 

    If an authorized facility representative or coroner fails to sign the required release form to attest positive ID or transfer of custody, a registered funeral establishment or crematory should exercise caution to protect itself from liability and may refuse to make the removal.

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016 3:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Colorado General Assembly established the sunset review process in 1976 as a way to analyze and evaluate regulatory programs and determine the least restrictive regulation consistent with the public interest. In 2016, DORA's Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform (OPRRR) conducted a Sunset Review of Colorado's Division of Insurance regulations. This section includes regulations and licensing for Preneed Contract Sellers.

    The report was issued on October 17th and contains some recommendations that will impact funeral establishments that sell (or offer to sell) preneed funeral plans.

    Recommendations from the OPRRR include:

    1. Amend preneed contract license fees based on costs to administer the program. (Currently, annual license fees are specified in statute from $100 to $2,000.)
    2. Authorize the Commissioner to conduct examinations of preneed contract sellers periodically or as often as the Commissioner deems necessary. A complaint would not be the only method to trigger an examination of  the books and records of a preneed contract seller. 
    3. Examinations of preneed contract sellers to be conducted by Division staff if the company is located in Colorado.
    4. Create a preneed recovery fund to mitigate losses for consumers and repeal the surety bond requirement of preneed contract sellers. 
    5. Require any interest and other earnings from a preneed trust account to remain with the principal. This recommendation will significantly impact the manner in which trust funds are being allocated by funeral establishments by requiring that all interest earnings remain in trust until after the death of the contractee. 
    6. Preneed funds that are not utilized to fulfill the requirements specified in a preneed contract, or remaining funds that are not claimed or returned to a beneficiary, must be transfered to the state's Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. 

    This Sunset Review is likely to spur legislation to enact these recommendations. CFDA encourages its members to carefully review the report and determine the impact these recommendations will have on their business. 

    Please share specific comments via email with CFDA office so we can determine a position and formulate a plan for anticipated legislation.

  • Friday, September 30, 2016 5:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CFDA representatives and Colorado funeral directors attended a stakeholders meeting with Karen McGovern, new program director for DORA's Office of Funeral Establishment and Crematory Registration, and other DORA staff on September 29 to discuss proposed definitions and rules pertaining to positive identification and custody according to the Mortuary Science Code. Stakeholder input is crucial to achieving DORA's mission of consumer protection and effective licensure and enforcement, without unnecessary impediment to the economic market. 

    Representing CFDA, Chuck Bowman and Steffani Blackstock explained practical applications for determining positive identification and documenting chain of custody, including scenarios in which a party is unwilling to sign a release to confirm identity or transfer custody.

    Also discussed was what constitutes the end of the chain of custody, thereby ending responsibility by the funeral home or crematory. 

    The law states that the funeral establishment/crematory is responsible for tracking human remains from the time it takes custody until (a) final disposition has occurred or remains are returned to the person who has the right of final disposition; or (b) human remains are released in accordance with the instructions given by the person who has the right of final disposition. By definition, "final disposition" includes entombment, burial, cremation or removal from the state. Burial, entombment and removal from the state are more divisive in establishing the termination of custody and responsibility; the end of a responsibility for cremation cases was unclear. 

    Recommendation was offered that a specific date be confirmed when making cremation arrangements in which the authorized next of kin must claim the cremated remains, and that retrieval date concludes responsibility for those remains on the part of the funeral home/crematory.

    Changes to the proposed rules will be presented to the Director for approval and a rulemaking hearing is expected to take place in early November. 

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Don’t Get Burned

    Fire Prevention Week – October 9-15, 2016

    Every year, fires costs business owners billions of dollars – and that number doesn’t even begin to measure the impact fires have on businesses and families of employees who are injured or killed by the blaze.

    Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2016, is a great opportunity to remember that preventing workplace fires is not a yearly, monthly, or even weekly activity—it is a daily activity. Investigations reveal that most fires can be prevented if businesses consistently pay attention to a few, very specific hazards. To help you and your employees make it home safely each day, your Federated Insurance team is excited to share a new resource: a customizable, fire prevention checklist. (The latest full version of Adobe Reader is required to open and use the customizable checklist.)

    Made available to all association members through our partnership with Federated, the checklist helps you identify and implement fire prevention practices that are needed most and can significantly impact your business. It also includes a few common fire hazards and also allows you the flexibility to add the unique risks and exposures your business faces.

    For Federated Clients, create your own customizable checklist by logging on to Federated’s Shield Network® at or contacting our Risk Management Resource Center at 1.888.333.4949 or  At Federated Insurance, It’s Our Business to Protect Yours®.

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2016 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Colorado Public Radio aired an updated this morning on the news show, Colorado Matters, about the Montrose funeral home owner who discovered unclaimed cremated remains left behind in the funeral parlour he had recently purchased. 

    The building had served as a funeral establishment since 1931 and previous owners had accumulated more than 5 decades worth of cremated remains, stored in various types of containers in the basement. 

    Many of the remains were thought to have been buried or scattered; others were not identifiable, or had no family in which to retrieve them.

    The story began with honest intentions. In an attempt to repatriate the remains, a list of the names of the deceased in a local newspaper so that family members would have the opportunity to reclaim their loved ones' remains.  Despite the public outrage and disgust, many of the remains were returned to family members. The unclaimed and unidentified remains were given a proper send-off with military honors at a local memorial service held in June.

    CFDA's executive director, Steffani Blackstock, reported about the association's efforts to restore regulatory oversight to Colorado's funeral business.

    Listen to the podcast online at Colorado Public Radio. (This story begins 30 minutes into the 1 hour program.)

  • Monday, August 29, 2016 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CFDA will launch its new education program, “The Basics of Colorado Funeral Service Laws”, at the upcoming Fall District Meetings. 

    Space is limited. Click here to Register Online now. 

    This program, developed by the Colorado Funeral Directors Association, provides a brief review of Colorado Revised Statutes and federal laws that pertain to funeral service. The class will be a great refresher for the experienced professional and an excellent primer for new employees to learn basics about the funeral business in Colorado.

    Few people know more about Colorado funeral service laws than Chuck Bowman, CMSP, CFSP, CCO, long-time chair of Legislative & Advocacy for the Colorado Funeral Directors Association. He has testified in support of funeral service on numerous occasions, helped to write much of the language that now appears in statutes, and continues to serve as a liaison with state regulatory authorities as a resource for funeral service in Colorado. Steffani Blackstock has worked with the CFDA for more than 20 years and has taken an active role in legislative and advocacy efforts since her appointment as Executive Director in 2005.

    The Fall District Meetings will be held in two locations - in Longmont on August 24, and in Colorado Springs on August 31. Western slope members are invited to participate in a two-part webinar series on September 7 and 14. Click here for registration information.

    The Colorado Funeral Service Board has approved 2.5 contact hours of CE credit for this program.  The credits may be applied toward 2017 CFSB certification renewal.

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2016 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Denver Athletic Club in downtown Denver will play host to CFDA's 2016 Annual Meeting on November 10.

    We've packed a LOT of learning, fun and networking into this one-day program!

    • 5+ contact hours of education sessions.
    • Vendor displays
    • Business meeting and elections for the Colorado Funeral Directors Association.
    • Reception co-hosted by the Denver Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association. 
    • Game Night! Engage in a friendly game of billiards, darts and shuffleboard with colleagues, co-workers and friends.

    Our keynote speaker, Dr. Rick Snow is an expert in the field of forensic anthropology. In six years with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Dr. Snow worked more than forensic anthropology cases for more than 80 law enforcement agencies, coroners, and medical examiners in three states. He also conducted more than 60 recoveries of human remains including the excavation of eight wells.

    Now Open! 

    Vendor Registration ($500) includes one (1) admission for the Annual Meeting seminars, lunch, reception and game night, plus one 6-ft. display table. Displays will be set-up in the same room as education programs and refreshment breaks. Vendor set-up begins at 7:30 AM and move-out is at 4:00 PM. Display space is limited!

  • Friday, August 05, 2016 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NFDA members will have the opportunity during the month of August to elect individuals to serve in officer positions on the Board of Directors. 

    The new NFDA governance structure, adopted during the 2015 NFDA International Convention & Expo, brought exciting, historic changes to NFDA, including a revitalized process for electing the men and women who will serve on the Board of Directors.

    Under the new structure, all NFDA members will vote for the officers who will serve on the NFDA Board of Directors – president-elect, treasurer and secretary. Officers serve a one-year term, which will commence following the 2016 NFDA Convention. The Policy Board will continue to elect at-large representatives.

    How Can I Vote?

    The election of officers will take place August 1 to August 31, 2016.

    All eligible NFDA members (firm members and individual members) will have the opportunity to vote for the NFDA President-elect, Treasurer and Secretary.

    • Each eligible member who serves as the primary contact for a firm (main location) will receive three votes in total; two on behalf of the firm and one as an individual member.
    • Each eligible member who is not the primary contact for a member firm (main location) will have one vote.

    Firms/individuals must have been members-in-good-standing by July 20, 2016, to be eligible to vote.

    On August 1:

    • Eligible members who have a unique email address on file with NFDA by July 20, 2016, will receive an email with voting information, a link to their electronic ballot and their login credentials.
    • Eligible members who do not have an email address on file will be sent a postcard via USPS with the link to the electronic ballot and their login credentials. If a person receives a postcard and does not have access to a computer, they can request a paper ballot be sent to them.

    Members are not required to vote for each office. They can abstain on one or more items. Regardless of how an eligible member gets to the election ballot, once they have submitted their vote, they will not be able to change their vote or vote a second time.

    Click here to get started and make your vote count!

  • Thursday, June 09, 2016 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CFDA hosted Mike Nicodemis for NFDA's Certified Crematory Operator Training in Denver on Thursday, June 9, 2016.

    Cremation litigation is on the rise. Protect your firm through cremation due diligence practices and provide your families with the best cremation service possible.

    This program offers a must-have certification for everyone offering cremation to the families they serve. Whether you currently own or operate a crematory, are thinking of opening one, or want to evaluate a third-party crematory, this training is necessary for your success. 

    The recognized certification standard for funeral service professionals, NFDA’s Certified Crematory Operator Program™ covers best practices for safe, proper, and ethical crematory operations, excellence in service to cremation families, and much more. 

    CFSB and APFSP approve NFDA CCO seminars for 7 CE hours; some state approval hours may vary. NFDA has applied for approval as a crematory operator certification training provider in states mandating operator certification; laws regulating crematory operations and certification vary by state.

Colorado Funeral Directors Association,  P O Box 631664, Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-1664 U.S.A. 

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