Louisiana monks win right to make cheap caskets


It’s always been a special issue for me how people get ripped off at a time of great sadness when a loved one dies. You can end up paying far more money for funeral or memorial service than necessary because the industry is so expert at figuring out how to use the emotion and sadness you feel to run up a giant bill on you.

I was furious last year when I told you a story about how Louisiana was picking on a bunch of Benedictine monks who earned their keep by building affordable coffins for more than 100 years. The funeral directors in the state were terrified of these monks because they can offer high quality caskets at a fraction of the markup of what the funeral homes do.

It’s the same issue in state after state with Costco selling caskets and the funeral industry trying to shut that down. Not to mention that a lot of funeral homes defy federal law and try to avoid allowing you — as you are allowed to do — to buy a casket on the Internet at a tiny fraction of what it costs from a funeral home.

Now The Wall Street Journal  reports the monks appealed to the federal courts and won. But this is more a victory for free enterprise and capitalism. The funeral industry should not be able to be a cartel.

Why do I tell you about this story? Because it gives me yet another opportunity to tell you how to take on the cartel. Most communities in America have a co-op you can join at Funerals.org. Find your local chapter and join.

With Funerals.org, you will reduce the cost of a traditional funeral by about 75% in most places. And you take a burden off your loved ones because you state your preferences upfront.

You use the group buying power of your state co-op that goes and negotiates with independent funeral homes that aren’t part of the cartel chains. You arrange in advance whether you want a fancy casket or a basic one, or an over-the-top service or an understated one.  Make sure your loved ones know your wishes! You’ll save them tremendous money and heartache.

And I hope the monks’ victory sends a signal to the funeral industry to allow the free market to exist. What are they doing messing with a bunch of monks anyway? That’s terrible!

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