Little do most people know that nearly one quarter of all the funeral homes in this country are owned by large corporations. These firms, some of which are traded on various stock exchanges thoughout North America own dozens or even thousands of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories and other ancillary companies like insurance providers.
So, who cares. As long as the company provides a good service at a fair price and is run by nice people, does it really matter? Maybe yes or no. With a family owned firm, if you have a problem or concern, the funeral home owner in most cases not only works there, but there is a good chance he or she makes funeral arrangements and is present at the funeral or memorial service following cremation. If you have a problem with one of the large corporately owned firms, the process of resolving the problem could take days, weeks or even longer and more times than not, you cannot meet or speak with the final decision maker.
Nationwide, over 20% of funeral homes are owned by these chains, sometimes referred to as the Walmarts of funeral service. In New Hampshire, large corporately owned firms account for about 10% of the 85 or so funeral firms.
Dealing with family owned firms, especially when it comes to something as personal as funeral arragements just makes sense to me. Of course, I am bias as my family has been in the funeral business in our state for over 100 years, just like many of my family-owned competitors.