Your Lawyer for Life

Radio C

Radio C Transcript

 
 

Dustin:             Hello. I'm back. I'm Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KSTE. I'm an elder law and estate planning attorney. I appreciate you tuning in today. Today, I have Craig with me. Craig Strunk is the owner of Sierra View Funeral Chapel in Carmichael. Craig, how are you doing today?

Craig:              I'm doing great.

Dustin:             Oh, that's good. Tell me a little bit about what you do or tell me a lot really about what you do. What do you do at Sierra View?

Craig:              Well, I am the owner, operator. I'm a licensed funeral director, licensed crematory manager, day-to-day oversee my staff. I have two licensed funeral directors that work for me and our secretarial staff that runs the facility.

Dustin:             You're a funeral home?

Craig:              Funeral home. Correct.

Dustin:             Okay. The type of services that you provide ... Do you do the cremations or what?

Craig:              Yeah. We are a fully licensed funeral establishment offering traditional funeral. When I say traditional funeral, that means where you have a visitation of the deceased followed by a funeral ceremony, followed by ground burial, and then we go into also providing cremation services.

Dustin:             Okay.

Craig:              Cremation services here in Sacramento County is about 70% of the population opts for cremation.

Dustin:             Wow! That's a ton. I'd never would have guessed though it was that high.

Craig:              Yeah. It continues to grow annually.

Dustin:             Okay. I wanted to have you in here today because I talk a lot about senior issues whether it's money or health care, whatever, but this is just a major issue and I don't think most people have this nailed down, so I wanted to talk about what consumers should look for when they're out looking for funeral arrangements when somebody has passed away or maybe before. I guess we should start there really.

Craig:              Yeah. Well, my recommendation is think about this before the time obviously because you need to know what that person who may be terminally ill is, wants to do after they pass such as, is it going to be a traditional funeral? Do they want cremation? They don't leave written instructions, then obviously the surviving family is unsure of what to do, so that's the huge question mark and that's a ... I heard that most families don't want to have to go over.

Dustin:             Do a lot of folks come in and plan or pay for it, plan before they pass away? You got all the stuff taken care of?

Craig:              Not a lot but quite a few.

Dustin:             Okay.

Craig:              Some people come in and they want to take this burden off of their families. If something happens unexpectedly, we have a file in our file cabinet that says exactly what they wanted, what type of services they are wanting.

Dustin:             I find that ... Not a lot of my clients really have ... I don't think many have done this pre-planned, but I know they should and I counseled them to all the time. What I find though is that family members ... You're right. They don't know how to deal with mom and dad. They don't know what they want.

Craig:              Yeah. That is so important to let somebody know or even that person can come in and do it themselves. If they come in.

Dustin:             That's the best way to do it.

Craig:              Yeah. There is no doubt as to, are we doing the right thing?

Dustin:             In my family, my dad, prepaid for a cremation somewhere and I told my sister about it because I don't think anybody really knew what my folks wanted, so I said, dad wants to be cremated and she said, "Oh no, he doesn't. I'm going to bury him." Do you ever see conflict?

Craig:              All the time. [inaudible 03:38]

Dustin:             How do you deal with that?

Craig:              We have to go with the legal next-of-kin. If this person comes in and this is what they wanted, then we have to follow. It's a binding contract. If they come in and sign on their own and do all the paperwork, pre-fund it. There is nothing that can be done because that's a binding contract between the funeral homes and that person.

Dustin:             It's good you say that because I'm glad to tell my sister now ... tough luck.

Craig:              Yeah. Unless you convince his dad at there is something else in writing.

Dustin:             Oh yeah.

Craig:              Good luck on that.

Dustin:             Which means she has to go down tonight. Really, she's trying to talk to me on that in spending a whole bunch more money. If I'm a consumer, I come in and see you. What are some questions that I should or some information that I should be asking or learning about to make this happen?

Craig:              First of, you are going to kind of sit down and you as a consumer, we're going to ask you.

Dustin:             If I'm doing it for me?

Craig:              Yeah. What do you want, what type of services are you wanting? Are you wanting cremation? Are you wanting traditional burial or traditional funeral? Once we get that answer to that question, then we're going to go down ... There's quite a lot of paperwork involved, so we're going to need vital statistic information for the death certificate which consists of obviously if you're doing it for yourself, you know all the answers to the questions, which is just your full name.

Dustin:             Your address, your Social Security number, your date of birth.

Craig:              Yeah. The two hardest questions are going to be the name ... Well, you're going to know the name of your parents, but if you don't leave that information and you're not a tight family, then ... We've had families come in and we're like, what was mom or dad's parents names? They were like, I have no idea. Just personal information which.

Dustin:             All that stuff that we go on the death certificate because you're the one filling that out. Personally, I'd probably want a cremation. I think it's much cheaper and probably a little simpler. Am I right or wrong?

Craig:              A lot cheaper. I was ... There is nothing simple in death because paperwork is very extensive. There is more paperwork involved in the cremation arrangement than there is a funeral but more details in a funeral. There's nothing simple about dying. As you know on your side probably paperwork, nothing simple in paperwork.

Dustin:             As soon as you ... I guess as soon as you get the government involved, they're going to just make it as complex as possible.

Craig:              Yeah. Legality issues ... If you select cremation, so for instance, if your father had never done arrangement and he passed away unexpectedly, and then you had your sister who wanted burial and you want cremation, so then, the state law says that the majority of the children have to make the decision. So the majority.

Dustin:             Does the surviving spouse have a rule?

Craig:              Oh yeah, I'm sorry, back-up yes. Surviving spouse would be first but if there was no spouse then you go to the children and then the majority of the children have the right to make the decision. So, if there is five children, you need at least three that says, "Yes, we want cremation."

Dustin:             I'm sure there are some times that you can't break the tie, so then where do you .

Craig:              We have to, yeah. If they're saying lest the majority wants cremation, then we're at the standstill. We can't do anything from that. Unfortunately, we as the funeral director look like the bad guy because we can't move forward without the majority, so families get upset with us times, but a lot of them ... At the end they understand. This is not a subject that everybody wants to talk about.

Dustin:             No. I think this is a tough subject. In fact, not too long ago, I just had a family get together and I just kind of blurred it it out in front of everybody, "Hey, grandma! What happens when you die? What are we going to do with you?" I don't think anyone talk about that.

Craig:              No. Nobody wants to talk about that subject.

Dustin:             She had it all planned out. Everything from where she's going to be buried to ... We've got to truck her body across the country which.

Craig:              I can help you with that. You don't want to use a truck.

Dustin:             Is that FedEx?

Craig:              No. No FedEx. We have to go with air, common commercial airline.

Dustin:             We can arrange that. That is easy to do.

Craig:              Yeah. We can take care of that for you. Yeah, not a problem.

Dustin:             Okay.

Craig:              No FedEx or UPS.

Dustin:             Can we put her in the back of the truck?

Craig:              There is no law that says you cannot do it. If you came to me and said, "I need a permit to get my grandma taken out of the State." We get you the permit. It would be a long ride, but a law says, you cannot do it.

Dustin:             I could just imagine if you're going to pullover. What are you hauling there, sir, son?

Craig:              Yeah, that is awkward.

Dustin:             I don't want to tell you. That's pretty funny. Okay, I come in and see you and I'd choose cremation. The biggest hurdle is just getting all the vital statistics to you?

Craig:              Vital statistics and then we have ... First, we'll obtain all that information then there is like eight different forms that we're going to have you as a consumer signed, so there is going to be a release form saying, "When I pass away, I select Sierra View Funeral Chapel to take care of the [inaudible 08:35]." If you pass away at a hospital or a skilled nursing facility, we have that documentation. Our driver would take that to the facility, so we could transport you into our care. There is a ... California Law says, "Embalming is not required whether it be for cremation or burial." We always have ... The consumer has to sign that embalming authorization stating that they do not want embalming.

Dustin:             Now, tell me ... I should know this as my grandmother and grandfather were funeral directors and morticians back years ago, but tell me what embalming ... Why would we want or not want that? What is that?

Craig:              Embalming is just a replacement of our natural body fluid to the chemical preservative that is going to slow down the natural deterioration of the body when it passes away. It's not going to stop everything from happening. It's going to slow down that process. It's going to make you more ... look better for the viewing. After that, we would do cosmetics, hairdressing, things of that nature.

Dustin:             But it's not required.

Craig:              It's not required. Right, it's not ... Years ago, it was a requirement and then the State changed that law years ago. The general consumer who doesn't want to talk about death and dying, a lot of us still think embalming is required, so we just have to have that form signed, making it clear whether they want it or they do or they don't.

Dustin:             Okay. Then I get all these out of the way and then I got to pay it. I guess I'll ask. Can I ask you, what that's going to run or what kind of the package did you have?

Craig:              Like immediate cremation package starts at $695.00. When I say starting at $695, that means if you would pass away at a skilled nursing facility or a hospital, that's 695, that includes the transportation, refrigerated storage, all necessary paperwork, the actual cremation. We do have our own crematory on site, that's how we can keep our cost down.

                        In the industry, you'll see the price range from or more on the low side due to the fact that we're locally owned. We have our own crematory on-site. We don't have to hire things out to an outside company, but you'll see it ranges high as $2500.00, depending on where you go.

Dustin:             Essentially the same service?

Craig:              Exactly. Yeah.

Dustin:             What am I missing? To me, that's a big deal as a consumer to know what kind of service I'm getting for the 2500 to 700. That's a kind of a big spread.

Craig:              Yeah. Unfortunately, I have to explain if I get families asking me, "Why are you so much ... Why are you less?"

Dustin:             Well, I'm actually asking you why they are so much higher like what are they doing different?

Craig:              A lot of the societies over the years and a lot of the larger funeral homes in the area being bought out by the three corporations who purchased up majority of the funeral homes in the area. Unfortunately, the consumer ends up paying for that acquisition of that property, maybe that previous owner was $895. They sold their firm for extra amount of dollars.

Dustin:             We've got to raise the rates.

Craig:              They got to raise the rates. Yeah, correct. A lot of those corporate owned or sales driven.

Dustin:             With commission sales people.

Craig:              I don't ... They don't "commission" [crosstalk 11:43] but they get us " probably some type of bonus" if they sell more products. First is, we are service-oriented. We want to know what that consumer wants, educate them and then help them accomplish that goal and keep the cost down

Dustin:             Then you also have the ability to hold the funeral right there if that's something ... If I don't want to be cremated, if I want to have a traditional funeral.

Craig:              Exactly. We have a private viewing room for families that ... who just want to keep it more intimate then we have a large chapel that will accommodate 120 people where you can have the ceremony there. You can have memorial service or you could do that at your church, so we would accommodate the family at either location.

Dustin:             Okay. That's pretty straight forward and then you also manage the ... What's it called when you put somebody in the ground?

Craig:              The burial.

Dustin:             That's a difficult term. I've seen interment.

Craig:              Yeah, interment. We would just help them find out what area they live in, what cemetery. Majority of these people know what cemetery they want to head towards, if they live in Carmichael, Fair Oaks area. There is a Fair Oaks District cemetery that's nice, intimate. You have to live in that district, but it is owned by the county, so a lot of the families.

Dustin:             You have to live there to get into the cemetery.

Craig:              Yeah, you have to be a resident of that district. They have district zones.

Dustin:             I had no idea there were cemetery districts.

Craig:              Yes, yes. Yeah. Exactly.

Dustin:             Are you kidding me?

Craig:              No.

Dustin:             Right here down the street from my office is the Fair Oaks Cemetery?

Craig:              Correct.

Dustin:             I have to live in Carmichael or Fair Oaks to be buried there?

Craig:              Well, not just those two. They have a zip code list that you have to live within. If not, you would pay an out-of-district fee.

Dustin:             Transfer fee.

Craig:              Yeah. If you live out that district, there is Sylvan District Cemetery, which is at Auburn Corners at Citrus Heights, so you would fall into that if live further out into that zone.

Dustin:             I know this stuff. You think there is common knowledge. Look, we've got to take a quick commercial break.  I'm Dustin MacFarlane. I'm here with Craig. We're on Talk 650 KSTE. We'll be right back in just a couple of minutes. Stick around. We're back.  I'm Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KSTE, elder law and estate planning attorney.

                        I just realized I didn't give my phone number out last segment. If you want to get a hold of me or if you want to track down Craig Strunk and talk about getting your final affairs in order. My phone number is 855-588-5887. That's 855-588-5887. Give me a call and if you want to get a hold of Craig, I'll put you in touch with Craig as well.

                        During the break, we're just ... We were just talking about district or what they are called? Cemetery districts. I didn't realize that there were publicly owned cemeteries and then privately held cemeteries.

Craig:              Correct. Even the Catholic Diocese-owned St. Mary's and Calvary here.

Dustin:             There are some church on cemeteries as well. I know that [inaudible 16:16] would die to get in there. Is it tough to get into some these or more expensive?

Craig:              Typically, the district cemeteries are going to be more affordable since you live in that district. You've been paying taxes and [crosstalk 16:29].

Dustin:             I got you. That makes sense.

Craig:              They keep the cost down. They are nice, well-maintained properties.

Dustin:             Can I go to a district cemetery and pre-pay burial there?

Craig:              I believe so. Yeah. You can purchase that.

Dustin:             I can't do that through you? I need to go directly to the district cemetery?

Craig:              Directly to the cemetery. Yes.

Dustin:             Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Getting the stuff in order is ... What's the first step? Just try to walk in the front door, should people call and make an appointment?

Craig:              Yeah. It's best to make an appointment. We'll kind of consult ... Do consultation over the phone, say what they want, gather a little bit of that vital statistic information before they come in, come and put all ... Everything that they want in writing and then refer them out to whatever cemetery, if they opt for traditional funeral with a burial.

Dustin:             Talk to me a little bit about doing the cemetery trust or the insurance policy or funeral trust or insurance policy. Tell me a little bit about that process.

Craig:              There are ... Every funeral home that you would ... Whether you go to Sierra View Funeral Chapel or any other funeral home. If you're going to pre-pay for your arrangements, that money

                        is going to be either funded through a trust or life insurance. The reason [inaudible 17:39] the consumer is concerned about what if that funeral home [crosstalk 17:43].

Dustin:             What if you got a business?

Craig:              Exactly. The money is put into the third party's end whether it be a trust company or life insurance policy, so in the event we did go out of business or the next question I've had from people who pre-arranged is, "What if I'm travelling and I pass away, what's going to happen to that money?" We use companies that are in funeral trust or funeral insurance. If they are travelling abroad, that money will get transferred to whichever funeral home that took care of the arrangements out of State. The only thing ... The drawback is, for instance, if our price was 500, and they were 800, the family will just pay the difference at that funeral home.

Dustin:             That makes sense.

Craig:              We would just release the funds and transfer that trust to that funeral home that would take care of the arrangement, so their money is always protected. That's the biggest concern that I have with families when they come in. What if you go out of business? Is our money protected? That's always a concern, so they are protected.

Dustin:             I think you have a licensed insurance agent in your office.

Craig:              Exactly. We have licensed insurance agent. I myself, I'm not a licensed insurance agent, so if you came in and sat down with me, I'm going to put the money into a trust.

Dustin:             Okay. If you own an insurance product, your agent could do that?

Craig:              Exactly.

Dustin:             They pre-pay and that money is just kind of sitting and waiting for them to pass away to be claimed if you will.

Craig:              Exactly. If they pay the full amount ... You can do payment plan or you can pay it fall at front. If they pay the full amount at front, it's called a guaranteed arrangement, guaranteed trust or guaranteed policy. If our price went up five, ten years from now, the consumer doesn't pay an additional [crosstalk 19:27].

Dustin:             They are locked in today's price.

Craig:              What happens is that money is going to earn some interest during its time in ... Whether it's insurance or trust and the funeral home retains that initial deposit plus the interest that would be earned. That's how we would guarantee the product.

Dustin:             That makes a lot of sense. I always encourage folks because I do estate planning. I do wills and trust. We're always talking about death and dying and that's really ... The question we have is, "Is this nailed down?" Getting the process started, it sounds pretty straight forward.

Craig:              Yeah. It's not that difficult. People have to get over that herald, some people are superstitious. I don't want to do this because I don't want to die but now we have people, we've had people pre-arranged at our facility for ten, twenty years and they are still going. They have that peace of mind knowing that when their time comes, that their family survivors know that this is what mom or dad or brother or sister. We're doing what they wanted.

Dustin:             [inaudible 20:27] is paid for.

Craig:              Exactly. Yeah, big burden off of their shoulder.

Dustin:             It really is. What I see a lot is people can't get access to the money and so they are going through ... Even though we have a trust in place, so there is a will in place, it still take some time for the bank to transfer to the next trustee or whatever. It's already taken cared of, then you're just ready to go.

Craig:              Yeah. It's done. We just move forward with all the file. Everything is documented, the funds are there, and we just talk with the family, the surviving family members as far as when they want to ... If [inaudible 21:03] if it's a traditional funeral, coordinate the final arrangements, estates, times. It's pretty much simplified.

Dustin:             You've seen families have this talks with loved ones. Have you seen an effective way to open up that conversation, "Hey, mom, dad. What do you want me to do with you if you drop dead tomorrow?"

Craig:              You got to be straight forward with the family. This is a taboo subject to talk about. No one wants to talk about death and dying as I said earlier, but it's a subject that we're all going to have to deal with one day. Just talk to them.

Dustin:             Just open it ... That's what I found with my family. Like I said, when I tried to open up with my grandma. She had already thought about everything and she was very ... Returned into a quite comical conversation actually. We had a lot of fun with it, kind of at her expense, but at least now, everyone in the family is aware of what would happen.

Craig:              Yeah, exactly. Most of the families that pre-arranged with us have dealt with the death and they know what ... How difficult it is to deal when you're in the time of grief.

Dustin:             Right. They are saying, "I'm not letting that happen to my kids."

Craig:              Exactly. We say sit down with us when it's unexpected death. The grief and emotions are at a high ... This is the most difficult time in your life dealing with a loss of a family member and then having to go through sit-down with a funeral director. Even though these questions that we go over are fairly simple, but when you're on that state-of-mind, it's difficult. When they through this whole process, they'll call us back 60 days later and say, "I want to do all my arrangements ahead of time because I don't want my family to go through this."

Dustin:             I think it's crucial. I think everyone needs to nail this down. You have a couple locations, right?

Craig:              Correct. Yeah, we have Carmichael. We have one is Sacramento. It has a different name. That one is called Affordable Cremation and Burial Center, that one has been here in Sacramento for ... We've been 16 years now and then we also opened the third location now in Orangevale and

                         that also has a different name that is called Angel Care Cremation and Burial. 

                        Those two facilities more concentrate on the cremation family. They also do direct burial and grave-site ceremonies. All licensed funeral establishments, but Sierra View is what we call, "Traditional Funeral Home," but all the pricing structure is the same throughout the three location.

Dustin:             Okay. That's fantastic. If you want to get a hold of Craig again, you can give me a call at 855-588-5887. We're going to take a quick commercial break.  I'm Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KSTE. Thanks for tuning in. We'll be back in just a few minutes. Stick around. We're back.  I'm Dustin MacFarlane here on Talk 650 KSTE. I'm here with Craig Strunk from Sierra View Funeral Chapel. We're just talking about death and dying today definitely. The number you can reach me is 855-588-5887. Again, 855-588-5887. During the break, Craig and I were just talking about kind of some of the war stories, I guess. You always have ... I don't care what profession and you always have kind of the crazy. There is a percentage that it's kind of like you can't believe what happened to me today. You have some of that, so what if something ... This doesn't always go smoothly, I imagine.

Craig:              No. Unfortunately, that is ... I know we were talking about earlier about pre-arrangements. It's very important even if you ... You can do pre-arrangements, pay your paperwork and file, sign, you don't have to pay. That will simplify things.

Dustin:             Okay. I didn't realize.

Craig:              We're talking about how things go wrong. We've had families in the past where the difficult is when they select cremation. Cremation is mostly the simplified alternative although if someone pass away unexpectedly and they don't have any paperwork done in advance such as, an advance health care director, [inaudible 26:46] power-of-attorney for health care and then it goes into having the children.

                        I'd share a story with you. I had a family contact me. This was last year some time, gentleman passed away. I was contacted by supposedly his wife. They got married 30 years ago but separated. Since then, he had married another woman and since then he had married two other women. The first one had contacted me and wanted everything done, expedited cremation.

                        I said, "Well, we can do this but then we had family. I walked in on a Monday morning and I had three wives and I had fifteen children yelling at me wondering why we're going to cremate their father." What it amount is, it went back to the original spouse even though that they were separated.

                        The other children didn't have the right to make a decision, the other wives didn't have the right because.

Dustin:             Wait. What spouse has the right?

Craig:              The original one.

Dustin:             Not the current wife?

Craig:              No, the current wife is really not even a legal marriage because he was never legally divorced. This is probably the worst case but what I'm getting at is you want to make sure that your family member knows what you want done. If you're that person, you know you're ill or you just want to have peace of mind, put it in writing whether it be in a will with you, a trust with you.

                        It doesn't have to be at the funeral home, but it has to be in writing whether you want to be cremated or buried. Funeral is a broad term and years ago, some of the attorneys would just set up a trust or something in this right. I want someone to take care of the funeral arrangements, but funeral arrangements is too big.

Dustin:             Okay. Now, it should say ... In fact, I asked clients, "Do you want to be cremated or buried?"

Craig:              Correct. It has to be clearly stated, because the funeral director were sitting then we see this old will or trust that is fifteen or twenty years old and someone has to ... is the executor of the will but it just says to take care of the funeral arrangement so, but then they come in and say, "We want cremation," well, then we have a dispute. Funeral cremation is just too broad of a word.

Dustin:             You think it's not that big of a deal, but I think emotions run high. When family members pass away, you're itching for a fight if there's any disagreement.

Craig:              Absolutely.

Dustin:             Here's what I'll do, if anyone who is listening and would like, you call me today. You got to leave me a voicemail today. Again, 855-588-5887. I'll just do a very simple advance directive for you. In fact, I won't even ... I'll just give you the form. You can fill it out, but at least it'll identify somebody to make that decision for them.

Craig:              Exactly. You don't even have to select a funeral home. Just put it in writing and say, "this is what I want done," because that is going to alleviate your surviving family members from going through any dispute with family members.

Dustin:             They are going to want to select you, you're local. You privately held. You're not a big company. You're kind of ... I think ... I love the way you do business over there.

Craig:              Okay. I appreciate that.

Dustin:             I think you do a great job. Anyway, give me a call if you want that advance directive. We were talking about who has right or authority to make that decision, and so you said, "First, it's the spouse."

Craig:              Correct. First, it's yourself.

Dustin:             Okay. That's true.

Craig:              Self and then.

Dustin:             If you stop the ability to

Craig:              Exactly. You want to try and do it yourself first and then obviously it's going to go to a spouse or actually someone above the spouse, would be someone advance health care directive or their power-of-attorney could supersede the spouse.

Dustin:             Sure. That makes sense because you got to point somebody else other than your spouse to do it.

Craig:              Correct.

Dustin:             If there is nothing written, then it goes to the spouse and then it goes to the majority of the children.

Craig:              Exactly. Yeah.

Dustin:             Easy enough.

Craig:              Yeah.

Dustin:             Man, I don't know if I'm missing any. Am I missing any major details here?

Craig:              No. Just put it in writing and get it done. Yeah, get it done. If not, there is going to be disputes.

Dustin:             All right. Again, if you want to talk to Craig about getting your affairs in order. Let's just be clear, if you wan to talk to Craig about paying for or planning that funeral or cremation, right? Whether you're going to be cremated or buried or any variation of how you want to be taken care of after you pass away, you can reach Craig through me.

                        My office number is 855-588-5887. I'll get you over to Craig right away. Again, 855-588-5887.

                        You've been doing this how long? Tell us a little background.

Craig:              Well, 34 years.

Dustin:             If you're going to look at Craig, he has a great radio face. You don't look old enough to have been doing this 30 years. You've been doing it 30 years.

Craig:              Yeah. My father was a funeral director within Southern California. Since our family when we got our driver's license, we were the ones who were in-charge of doing the transportation. At age 16, that's when I started. Actually, prior to that, I used to answer the phones at the funeral home.

Dustin:             That's a cool job for a 16-year-old, hauling bodies.

Craig:              Yeah. I wake up at three in the morning to say [inaudible 32:09] transport somebody, but we got used to it. We're on-call. Funeral directors are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're here to help the families. I started at age 16.

Dustin:             Because they want the body out of the house?

Craig:              Exactly. Out of the facility and into the care of a funeral home, so they know where their family member is. Like I said, I started 16, at age 19, my dad sold the family funeral home in Southern California. At age 19, I was self-employed, started the mortuary transportation service, so I did all the transportation for the funeral homes in Los Angeles.

                        Whatever work that they did not want to do, they would call me. I did that for 10 years, but my goal was to own a funeral home. In 1994, after being in business in the transport side for 10 years, I had the opportunity to purchase Sierra View Funeral Chapel in Carmichael. I made the move up to Northern California. It has been another 21 years since then.

Dustin:             You've been there that long, 21 years?

Craig:              Yeah, since 1994.

Dustin:             That's incredible. That's fantastic. You've kind of expanded.

Craig:              Yeah, I opened the Affordable Cremation and Burial Center in 1999 and then we also own a company called ... I also own a company called Nor-Cal Crematory over the independent funeral homes here locally. They don't have a crematory. They use us. They use our facility. It's state-of-the-art, very meticulous and make sure everything is done just the way it's supposed to be.

Dustin:             You're doing for the other funeral homes, you're doing their cremations as well?

Craig:              Exactly. That's why ... I try to tell people, if you don't use one of my establishments, make sure you use one of the independent funeral homes, because there is a difference.

Dustin:             Okay, that's great to know. Listen, I really appreciate you coming in today. Again, you can reach Craig through my office at 855-588-5887. If you leave a voice mail, I'll get you right over to him. If you're going to leave us with something, leave us with a final thought, it would be, get it done.

Craig:              Get it done. Yeah. Talk to your family. Don't be afraid to talk about the subject. It's going to happen to all of us.

Dustin:             It's not that awful of a conversation. It's hard to get started, like in this to having the sex talk with your kids.

Craig:              Yeah.

Dustin:             Once you get the conversation rolling, it kind of takes on a life of its own.

Craig:              Exactly. Then start people start talking.

Dustin:             Can we set up trust for kids too?

Craig:              Yeah, absolutely. Trust for anybody. Yeah.

Dustin:             You can go and take care of that for yourself and your family members as well.

Craig:              Exactly. Yeah, definitely.

Dustin:             That's a heck of a birthday gift.

                         

Craig:              I would think so. Yeah.

Dustin:             All right. Again, thank you very much Craig for coming in today. Craig Strunk from Sierra View Funeral Chapel in Carmichael. You can track him down through my office at 855-588-5887. Just get this stuff done. It's just ... It's so hard because I do a lot of probate work. I do a lot of trust administration work. I work with families who recently lost loved ones and they don't know how to deal with it.

Craig:              Yeah. You can see the aftermath when the people are not prepared prior to what happens after.

Dustin:             Yeah. When they don't have their affairs ...When they don't have the stuff written down. I'm not even saying affair is in order, that is kind of a euphemism for a lot of things.

Craig:              Exactly.

Dustin:             You've got to have this written down in a place where somebody else can find it and they can say, "This is what mom and dad wanted." This is what ... We got to go to this place and is already paid. It's so much easier when it's identified and paid for. We know who is in-charge and what they should be doing, makes life much easier on the family.

                        Again, my name is Dustin MacFarlane, 855-588-5887. I'm an elder law and an estate planning attorney. You know all that wills and trust, and probate and that kind of stuff, I take care of that. Today, we're talking about funerals. Thank you very much for tuning in. I really appreciate it. Have a fantastic day. We'll be back next Saturday right here on Talk 650 KSTE. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

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