About Us

Funeral Service mergers and acquisition specialists.

our Mission

Achieve financial freedom and preserve your legacy

Your start-to-finish approach at Standard includes the following steps:

  1. Collect information
  2. Develop a marketing plan
  3. Distribute information to qualified buyers
  4. Buyer selection and negotiation
  5. Due diligence
  6. Closing and transition: By managing the entire process, we ensure a seamless transition and maximize the market value of your funeral home.

We help you achieve financial freedom while preserving the legacy of the business. We work with well-funded private buyers and use a tailored approach to meet the unique needs of each funeral home and both parties. Our expertise, established relationships, and focus on funeral service allows us to facilitate a smooth and efficient process that results in a successful outcome for both the seller and the buyer.

protect your funeral home business

Meet our founder

Funeral Service mergers and acquisitions specialists

John Wetherill is an experienced attorney based in Rockport, Indiana, with over 22 years of expertise in brokering funeral homes for both buyers and sellers. His services include preparing various legal documents, such as purchase agreements, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, and closing documents, as well as assisting with financial matters. John has worked with municipalities and county governments and is currently a board member of Freedom Bancorp. As a family business owner, he is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals in family business transactions.

John holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame (1998) and a law degree from the Mauer School of Law at Indiana University (2001). He is the founder and president of Standard Funeral Service Mergers & Acquisitions, where he continues to provide specialized legal services in the funeral industry.

Meet our Board

Funeral Service mergers and acquisitions specialists

Jerry L Basham

Board Member

Jerry L. Basham grew up in a small town in southern Indiana. This gave him the opportunity to interact with the local funeral directors as a child and young adult. Their guidance and the knowledge they shared, encouraged him to enter the funeral profession.

After graduating high school, he attended the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class. He now has 45 years and counting experience in the funeral business. He was the former owner and director of a funeral home for over 40 years. In addition, he has held an Indiana life insurance license for 40 plus years.

Since semi-retiring, Jerry has remained active in the funeral industry assisting with services, visitations, making pre-arrangements, and providing direction in embalming techniques.

He and his wife Susie, live in Southern Indiana with their fur babies, Libby and Brodie.

He is a valued member of Standard Funeral Service Mergers & Acquisitions. His formal role within Standard is board member, industry expert, and client relations. His years of experience gives him solid knowledge in assisting current funeral home owners with planning their future business direction.

Brent Small

Board Member

Brent Small serves as a vice president for Freedom Bank and manager for the Rockport, Indiana branch.  He was one of the original founders of Freedom Bank, which started in 1999. He enjoys working with people and businesses in the local community, helping them achieve their financial goals.

He also owns and operates a second-generation grain farm in southern Spencer County. Brent graduated from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He resides in Rockport, Indiana with his wife of 31 years, Lori.  They have two daughters, Brittany and Brooke.  Brent is a member of Mt. Zion Church and Rockport Masonic Lodge.

He is a valued member of Standard Funeral Service Mergers & Acquisitions.  His formal role within Standard is board member and banking industry expert.

C Brian Schulte

Board Member

 Brian Schulte is an accounting professional from Spencer County, Indiana. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana University’s School of Business in 1991. His career began at Umbach & Vowells, CPAs in Evansville, Indiana, where he worked for 8 years. In August 1999, he established his own accounting firm, Schulte Tax & Financial Group, in Rockport, Indiana. The company expanded by opening a second office in Evansville in January 2023, with plans for further growth in the future.

Brian has two children, Josh & Zoe. He is dedicated to his family, faith, and community, and actively participates in various local events and charitable organizations.

Schulte Tax & Financial Group offers the following services:

1. Tax preparation
2. Payroll services
3. Bookkeeping preparation
4. Consulting

The mission of Schulte Tax & Financial Group revolves around serving clients with kindness and expertise while promoting faith and service.

He is a valued member of Standard Funeral Service Mergers & Acquisitions. His formal role within Standard is board member and financial analyst.

Evan G Thayer

Board Member

 Evan grew up in a family-owned funeral home in Indiana, observing his parents’ work during visitations and funerals from a unique vantage point.

After completing high school, he attended Mid-America Mortuary School to obtain his degree in funeral directing.  Evan has been a licensed funeral director in Indiana for over 20 years, carrying on the family tradition and utilizing the skills and knowledge he gained from his upbringing and education.

Evan is based in Rockport, Indiana.  He is a very successful entrepreneur in the funeral service industry, and resides with his wife Layla and their children, Kendall and Kramer. They own and operate several funeral homes, cremation services, and related businesses, catering to over 1500 families annually. The growth of their funeral home operation is due to acquisitions and the establishment of multiple locations over time. This experience provides him with a unique perspective on funeral services and an in-depth understanding of funeral home operations.

As a valued member of Standard Funeral Service Mergers & Acquisitions, he serves as a board member, industry expert, and client relations specialist. He and his family are dedicated to funeral service and its preservation, making them well-respected figures in the industry.

By working with active, aggressive, and well-funded private buyers, Standard is able to facilitate a smooth and efficient process that results in a successful outcome for both the seller and the buyer. .”

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