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Funeral director talks legislative issues in D.C.

Mar 29, 2012 - By Joshua Scheer, Staff Writer

Jamey Kirkland of the Davis Funeral Home and Crematory of Riverton, recently spent time in Washington, D.C., attending the 2012 National Funeral Directors Association advocacy summit.

The summit, which was March 7 to March 9, brought together members from a number of funeral service associations: NFDA, the Cremation Association of North America, National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, KAVOD Independent Jewish Funeral Chapels, the International Order of the Golden Rule, and Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

Kirkland is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and serves as policy board representative for Wyoming and is chairman for the Wyoming Funeral Directors Association.

"While the November 2012 elections are sure to bring change to Washington, D.C., there are still many months during which Congress can act to pass legislation that benefits the families we serve," Kirkland said. "I was proud to be able to meet with Sens. Enzi and Barrasso and Congresswoman Lummis to help them understand some of the key issues impacting funeral consumers."

Kirkland discussed several issues his Congressional representatives. Many funeral homes across the country are in possession of the cremated remains of veterans that have not been claimed by relatives. The associations strongly believe Congress should pass legislation that would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to assist with the identification of unclaimed and abandoned cremated remains to determine if they are individuals who are eligible for burial or interment in a national veterans' cemetery and military funeral or burial honors.

Currently, when determining senior citizens' eligibility for Supplemental Security Income Program, funds set aside in an irrevocable trust to pay for funeral and burial expenses are not treated as a financial asset.

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