Nicodemus & Associates | Cremation & Funeral Consulting

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Mike Nicodemus

Mike Nicodemus

Mike Nicodemus currently serves as Vice President of Cremation Services for NFDA and is the former Vice President of cremation operations at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Homes in the Tidewater, VA area with a 55% cremation rate consisting of eight funeral homes, two cemeteries, and a crematory.

He is the Immediate Past President of CANA and served as Chairman of their Crematory Operations Certificate Program (COCP) for eight years. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science where he is an alumnus.

He is licensed to practice in three states which includes Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. He has provided private on-site staff training at various funeral homes throughout the country.

Mike is a highly sought after speaker on the National and State levels and has been retained in numerous lawsuits as an expert witness in various cremation cases for funeral homes and crematories. He is the author of the Cremation Operations Manual published by Kates-Boylston and has been featured or quoted in numerous articles including, USA Today, Newsweek, ABC News, BBC News, and the New York Times.



Many funeral homes have difficulty in getting their employees to think differently about the families they serve when that family has chosen cremation as their choice of disposition. Cremation does not mean Direct Disposal. Most families know one thing, they want cremation. Other than knowing that they desire cremation, they really have no idea just what they want.

This is where we, as funeral directors, fail in not offering services and options to those families so they know they have choices. Disposition by cremation does not have to be any different than disposition by burial. Staff training is so vitally important when it comes to having your employees understand how to better connect with your cremation families.

There are a number of things you, as the owner/manager, can do to ensure your employees are on board with your marketing procedures to provide cremation families with the information they need to make sound decisions. Communication is the key when your employees are making arrangements with a cremation family. Your employees must be equipped with the tools that raise their confidence level when dealing with the cremation family that wants a Direct Cremation.

Inspecting your 3rd Party Provider is not only important, it is imperative, and let me tell you why. Let’s say you handled the requests of a family that has chosen cremation and you did everything exactly by the book. You deliver the decedent to the crematory and you are informed they cannot do the cremation for another day or two. Instead of taking the decedent back to the funeral home you leave them at the crematory.

The family calls looking for the cremated remains and you inform them the crematory was busy and the cremation would take place in another day or two. Upon completion of the cremation you receive the urn from the crematory and call the family to inform them the urn is at your funeral home. When the family arrives, the urn is not the same one they selected.The family becomes upset and demands to know why the cremation took so long and why they received the wrong urn. After spending a few hours (or longer) trying to figure out what happened, you return the cremated remains to the family in the right urn. As time passes, the family begins to question if they have the right cremated remains.

The family consults an attorney and a lawsuit is now filed naming the crematory…your 3rd Party Provider… and you…the funeral home as defendants.

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Nicodemus & Associates

Mail: 1633 Lucia Ct Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Telephone: (757) 460-3299