What Is the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society®?

FCGS Logo

When planning a funeral, many people aren’t sure where to begin. Who should be contacted first? What needs to be done now rather than what can be put off until later? What funeral preparations are available? How much will it cost?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have any experience planning a funeral.

The Funeral Consumer Guardian Society (FCGS) was founded in 2000 to provide professional guidance to families during the funeral planning process: they make sure families have the information they need to make informed decisions. Since their founding, the FCGS has helped thousands navigate the ever-changing funeral industry.

 

How the FCGS began

The FCGS was founded by Joe Kraft, a former funeral director whose family operated a funeral home for many years. The Kraft family spent years earning the trust of the community they served, offering comfort and guidance to hundreds of grieving families.

After the Kraft family sold their funeral home in the late 1990s, Joe began working as a representative of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company® – the leading final expense insurance company in the country. Sometime later, the Kraft family opened another funeral home and Joe returned to the family business serving as a funeral director.

Upon returning to the family business, Joe realized much had changed in the industry. Where once funeral homes were operated by families such as his, serving small communities and multiple generations of residents in those communities, much of that had changed. In many cases, it was now large corporations operating local funeral homes, and the personalized service that smaller family-owned businesses once offered had become less common.

Following this realization, Joe decided consumers needed someone on their side – someone who knew the ins and outs of funerals and cremations and would help them make informed choices. Out of this vision came the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society.

 

What the FCGS does for families

As an independent consumer advocate organization, the FCGS helps its members save hundreds – even thousands – of dollars on funeral costs. The FCGS is not affiliated with any religion, funeral home, cemetery, or any particular funeral approach.

When someone dies, there are countless funeral preparations that need to be made so everything can go as smoothly as possible. This is where the FCGS comes in. It helps its members proactively document their final wishes prior to the time of need, helping to ensure those final wishes are honored.

When it’s time to implement a member’s final wishes, the FCGS will help price shop services of several funeral homes in the area to help find affordable services that reflect the decedent’s wishes. Once a funeral home has been selected, the FCGS will review the funeral contract to make sure all pricing information is accurate.

With the average cost of a funeral now costing up to $9,000, the FCGS provides a much needed service to families handling their loved one’s funeral arrangements. With the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society, families save an average of $1,800 on traditional funerals and up to $600 on cremation services.

 

How the FCGS and Funeral Advantage™ help your family when they need it most

As noted above, the FCGS helps members with their final wishes, meaning membership is required prior to death.

For many years, Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company and the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society have worked together as partners to ensure consumers are treated fairly when planning a funeral.

Together, they created the Funeral Advantage program. It’s a one-stop solution that ensures seniors can protect their loved ones from rising funeral costs, while making sure their own funeral preferences are respected.

Funeral Advantage is the only final expense life insurance program that includes a free membership to the FCGS.

The Funeral Advantage program has two key components: a life insurance cash benefit from Lincoln Heritage and family support services from the FCGS.

Following the death of a Funeral Advantage policyholder, cash benefits are paid within 24 hours of claim approval by Lincoln Heritage while the FCGS assists the family with getting all the information they need for planning the funeral, including a list of the policyholder’s final wishes.

 

Next steps

The funeral industry is constantly changing and families may be at risk if they don’t have a trusted partner to help them through this highly emotional time.

That’s why Funeral Advantage was created. It’s the leading final expense program in the country and the only life insurance policy that comes with a free membership to the FCGS. Last year, Funeral Advantage helped save policyholder families thousands of dollars on funeral costs.

If you’re interested in protecting your family when you pass away, learn more about the benefits of Funeral Advantage.

< Back to Consumer Resources