Welcome to FCANC
Who We Are
The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Northern California (FCANC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing information and education to the public concerning death and dying so families make wiser decisions about end-of-life care and body disposition.
We serve Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba counties.
The FCANC is part of a nationwide organization of more than 100 similar groups supporting the national Funeral Consumers Alliance. (Website: www.funerals.org) Phone: 802-865-8000. We have no attachment to the funeral industry or any religious groups. We serve people of all ages and ethnicity while encouraging generations to talk to one another about end-of-life issues and planning for death.
What We Do
We contract with local, independent mortuaries so that our members receive death goods and services at reduced prices. We also engage in consumer-education outreach and serve as a legislative watch organization. We provide group presentations, printed materials, personal consultations, access to local funeral prices through our website and membership benefits. Every spring and fall we conduct free educational conferences that are open to our members and the public.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Northern California was founded in 1959 as the Sacramento Valley Memorial Society by individuals concerned about consumer rights and protections and the high cost of funeral services. Since then we have changed our name to the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Northern California. We have always been affiliated with the national organization, Funeral Consumers Alliance, Inc.
History and Language of the Funeral Industry
Pioneers traveling across the plains buried their loved ones the best way they could. As towns developed a craftsman would create a simple pine box to serve as a coffin for the deceased. Undertaking and furniture making seemed to be a natural combination. As the desire for more elaborate coffins evolved they came to be known as caskets after the decorative jewelry boxes of the era. Funeral directing followed as a full-time occupation for people.
Language of the Funeral Industry-
Embalming is the process of exchanging natural body fluids for a chemical to make the body more “presentable” during the viewing. It does not preserve the body nor is it necessary to keep germs from spreading. In most cases it is not required by law.
Non-declinable fee is mortuary language for overhead. When you ask for the price list for a BASIC cremation or a BASIC funeral the non-declinable fee is already included. More elaborate service will have the non-declinable fee added to the total costs.
Basic cremation means picking up the body, registering the death certificate, placing the body in an appropriate container, the act of cremation and returning the ashes (remains) to the family.
Some funeral homes do not have their own crematoriums and must charge an additional fee for the service.
Transportation MAY be included in the price but some mortuaries charge up to $400 for the first 50 miles, PLUS up to $2 per additional mile. CHECK FIRST.
Cemetery charges include the purchase of a plot for the grave site, opening and closing costs and a marker or grave stone, if desired. Some cemeteries offer “perpetual” care for a price.
Pre-paying to a mortuary or insurance company should be thought through carefully.