Spring 2014


DATE: Saturday, April 26th
TIME: 1 to 3 pm
PLACE: The Library! at Cole and Ustick

Special Guest Speakers Elder Law Attorneys David J. Wilson and Kellie D. Kuster

“Life Goes On: Helping Those Who Have Lost a Loved One Understand What Steps to Take After a Spouse or Parent Has Died and How to Protect the Surviving Spouse’s Life Savings and Quality of Life”

Come learn how to help those who have recently lost a spouse or a parent understand how to deal with the sometimes difficult financial and personal transition after the loss of a loved one, including dealing with probate, administering a family trust, and updating now outdated estate planning documents. For many people, it is difficult to take the first steps after the loss of a loved one, such as putting in place updated powers of attorney, addressing changed estate planning concerns and dealing with transitioning assets to the surviving spouse. Learn what steps are necessary. Also learn about what children or surviving spouses might do to protect their remaining assets and plan for the possibility of long term care costs.

David Wilson joined Ahrens DeAngeli Law Group in 2011 after two years with a boutique estate planning and probate litigation firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated cum laude from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law before completing a Master of Laws degree in taxation at the New York University School of Law, where he was one of the top students. David also spent a year clerking for the Honorable Daniel Barker of the Arizona Court of Appeals. While in law school, David completed externships for the Honorable Roslyn Silver of the United States District Court and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. David never used to have a sense of humor, but years of reading the tax code has given him a new ability to laugh at the absurd.

Kellie D. Kuster is an associate attorney in the Boise office of the Ahrens DeAngeli Law Group. Since joining ADLG in 2005, Ms. Kuster has focused her practice on structuring multi-generational estate plans for wealthy individuals and families and on complex trust and estate administration. Ms. Kuster is also actively engaged in ADLG's charitable planning and elder law practices. Ms. Kuster received her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in taxation from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and was a graduate editor of the Florida Tax Review. Ms. Kuster received her J.D. from the University of Idaho College of Law and was symposium edition editor of the Idaho Law Review. Ms. Kuster also received her B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, from the University of Idaho. Ms. Kuster is a member of the Taxation, Probate & Trust Section of the Idaho State Bar, a current board member of the Southwest Idaho Planned Giving Council, a member of Trust and Estate Professionals of Idaho (TEPI), and a member of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation.

From the president…

Rest in Peace; What? You’re not dead yet, so can still do something…. Let’s TALK about death. There are increasingly more opportunities to engage in the narrative surrounding end of life issues, lend your voice.

WHY? 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important” yet, 56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes. One conversation can make all the difference.

Another opportunity: Derek Humphry, well known author of Final Exit, is the guest speaker for The Conversation Project, sponsored by Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, 11 N Latah Street. The Boise event is three sessions, by registration, for more information contact Leigh2014@spiritone.com. From the website’s description of the project:

“The Conversation Project: Changing the end-of-life experience for patients and their families is what motivates our efforts and gives us passion. The more we can create a national conversation and awareness around this issue, the better off people will be in the experiences they have with our health care system, with their families and with each other.” See more at: theconversationproject.org

Following Derek Humphry’s Final Exit lecture, Tuesday, April 29, FCAI will present: The Final Service: A Consumer’s Perspective on Funeral Planning.

Seeking Volunteers…

This has been a busy year for our organization! Besides the steep learning curve that the new board is traversing, there has been a concentrated effort in outreach; more about that later.

We need volunteers to get involved with the operation of this organization. It isn’t a huge time commitment, and the work is rewarding; besides “the more the merrier” and “more hands make light work,” and all that.

This is really important: We are seeking one new board member. If you have ever been interested in becoming a board member now is a great time. I’ve been trolling for nominees but the fishing hasn’t yielded a catch. Come on help us put the "fun" in funerals. Susan Randall has said she’s willing to reup for another hitch as Membership Secretary, so we are looking for a Vice President:

Current Board Members are:

  • Sherri Rudai, President (Term expires 2015)
  • Vice President (vacant)
  • Rita Nielsen, Secretary (Term expires 2015)
  • Susan Randall, Membership Secretary (Term expires 2014)
  • Patricia Kolb, Treasurer (Term Expires 2016)

Finally, special “thanks” to Tom von Alten for his work on our website. There should be a super-hero category for web masters, and I nominate Tom as the grand master, mask and cape optional. Not only does Tom keep our site snappy and current, I rely on his voice of reason when looking for adult supervision. Tom holds a special place in our hearts of gratitude and awe, and by the way, thanks.


Cover of book

Fundraiser at the Annual Meeting

Update your life and support your local FCA by purchasing this updated booklet available for only $15.00 at our April 26th meeting.

Even if you have made plans; have you shared them with your family or designated agent? When was the last time your paperwork was updated? Did the internet even exist then???

This 30 page, spiral-bound planner, “Before I Go You Should Know,” has space to list all your bank and retirement accounts, real property, instructions for pet care and your online accounts and passwords, plus the large type is easy to read.

Biannual Contract Review

Contract renegotiations with Rosenau Funeral Home in Twin Falls came due February 14 and brought an agreement and renewal through February 14, 2016, for FCAI members. The changes mirror the changes adopted by Accent Funeral Home in their 2013 contract renewal, thereby reflecting consistency between the two cooperating funeral homes.

Member price for minimal services: $730 for Direct Cremation and $755 for Immediate Burial, providing your own casket. $955 in a basic casket is provided by either of our cooperating funeral homes. Remember Immediate Burial does not include cemetery fees.

Be sure to share this information with friends and family members. FCAI routinely receives phone calls from family members under the false impression that membership to our organization is a “pre-paid” funeral plan.

With the change to our contract with our cooperating funeral home it is a good time to review your own information to ensure your wishes are up-to-date. FCAI website makes it easy to do by providing forms on the publications page and links to download the blank forms. Or better yet, UPGRADE!

FCAI now allows GIFT MEMBERSHIPS; nothing says “I Love You”, like a membership to FCAI! It is a great stocking stuffer, valentine, and Mother’s/Father’s/birthday gift and conversation starter.

Our Strategic Plan

Get more members involved, fill the board, keep reaching out, have fun, share the love.

Membership by the Numbers

In 1972 the organization began with 25 members. Over the decades FCAI has processed over 1034 memberships, with a current membership base of 626. 2013 brought us 43 new members, 9 members transferring in and 16 passing.

Community Outreach

During 2013-2014, one or more Board Members presented:

5 Community Education Classes, through the Boise Independent School District
The board has been facilitating community education classes through Boise Independent School District. And although FCAI is not charging for the sessions, the district charges a minimum fee. So far we have offered five sessions this past fiscal year, and plan on offering a session each time community education offers a schedule.

This is a good way to point friends and family to a regularly scheduled death discussion that is packed with information and a great introduction to what FCAI offers to the community.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Sweeney
Sherri Rudai and Susan Randall at the Muse
Photo courtesy of Patrick Sweeney

One public and two private Death Cafés, and a public Death Talk at the MUSE: The Boise Weekly interviewed board members Susan Randall and Sherri Rudai in October 2013, with a full page article and photo. This exposure made the first Death Café well attended with 40 attendees. It also generated interests for others to host Death Cafés. Anyone can host a Death Café – if you are interested, Google it.

Boise State Communication Dept. “Death and Dying” class
Susan is a perennial speaker for this course.

An invitation to speak to the Humanists of Boise was fulfilled in June. About a dozen folks showed up for a round table presentation and discussion.

With the help of volunteers we just finished an outreach push to all the hospice and end-of-life care facilities in the valley. We send just under 100 letters of introduction with membership applications out the first of April. The next letter campaign will target religious organizations and physicians. If anyone is interested in that project volunteers are much appreciated.

FCA National Conference 2014

The Funeral Consumers Alliance Conference will be held June 5 – 7, 2014 IN Bloomington, Minneapolis. Early bird discounts for registering before May 7. For more information call 802-865-8300 or email fca2014@funerals.org.

Your Funeral Consumer Rights in Idaho

The Funeral Ethics Organization has published a pamphlet that summarizes your rights in making funeral arrangements, choices for disposition of remains, veteran and social security benefits, and the pro and cons of prepaying for a funeral. Your Funeral Consumer Rights in Idaho is available as a downloadable PDF, at no charge. Visit our publications page for many other useful documents.

A special Thank You to Dunia Market for the Fair Trade coffee and tea supplied at our last annual meeting, and to Dave Qwens for his volunteer work on our hospice outreach efforts. A special mention of thanks to Monica Perry for her continued support and guidance through the past year.


The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Idaho is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, an affiliate of the national Funeral Consumers Alliance. Donations to the FCAI are not tax-deductible.