Funeral Director Question:
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Are You Locally or Nationally Owned?

Answer:

Many of the neighborhood funeral homes that were once owned and operated by generations of the same family are now owned by a national conglomerate.

Most notably, Service Corporation International, or SCI, currently operates more than 1,500 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In a practice that some cite as confusing or deceiving, the name, appearance, and even the personnel often remain unchanged after a corporate buyout, leaving the lasting impression that the place remains locally owned. But for better or worse, the local business's policies and procedural controls are usually supplanted by the national corporation's in the interest of consistency.

Other corporations include Stewart Enterprises, Carriage Services, and StoneMor. There are also smaller companies that may be family-owned but not family-operated. For example, a family in Virginia may own several homes in that state and neighboring states. Family owned, yes; but it's still a big company with financial goals that could affect how business is conducted.

If the ownership issue is important to you, ask about it.

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