Death Care Compliance Law

Death Care Compliance Law

Preneed: A Pandora's Box of Problems

William Stalter is the founder of Stalter Legal Services and the Preneed Resource Company. Bill focuses his law practice on preneed and death care compliance, serving banks, funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries. He has written multiple published articles

Category Archives: Missouri – SB1

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Missouri Rule Rollback: How to Start the Process?

Posted in Compliance, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
Despite lacking sufficient members to take official actions, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met last week to discuss Executive Order 17-03.  As we reported back in January (Missouri Rule Rollback), the Order represents a significant undertaking by the State Board.  Seven months later, the State Board has less than a year… Continue Reading

The $64 Million Dollar Question: Is the Money there?

Posted in Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1
While the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors’ Complaint against the Missouri Funeral Trust alleges the program has failed to maintain adequate records, documents and oversight, funeral directors want to know whether the trust is adequately funded.   Although the State Board raised issues with some contracts reported with zero deposit balances, the Complaint does… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Assumption of Duties of a Prior Seller

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
In Paragraphs 35 through 38 of the Complaint filed against the Missouri Funeral Trust, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors seek discipline against MFT for its inability to produce copies of contracts sold by a funeral home that transferred its trust to MFT.  The original seller funeral home apparently amended several of its… Continue Reading

MFT Complaint: Canceled and Performed Contract Accounts

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next claim made in the Missouri State Board Complaint against the Missouri Funeral Trust is that the program is holding funds for preneed contracts that have either been serviced or canceled.   The Complaint cites Section 436.456 as legally requiring the MFT trustee to distribute an account’s funds when it receives documentation that the contract… Continue Reading

MFT Complaint: Insurance Contract Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Paragraph 26c of the Complaint filed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors alleges that the Missouri Funeral Trust fails to maintain “records regarding the insurance policies for insurance funded preneed contracts….”  We suspect this claim may be directed at a practice where the MFT trustee has accommodated funeral homes that have… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Principal in Excess of the Preneed Contract

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Paragraph 26b of the Complaint filed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors alleges that the Missouri Funeral Trust fails to maintain “records that explain why the principal held in trust exceeds the face value of the preneed contract associated with that account…”  We anticipate that this claim is considering the contract… Continue Reading

The Proceeding against The Missouri Funeral Trust: The Long Build Up

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
We start our review of the case against the Missouri Funeral Trust with the procedural issues raised in the State Board’s Complaint and MFT’s Answer.   From the Answer, we learn that the preneed financial examination was initiated on January 20, 2011.  But, it was almost three years before an examination report was sent by the… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Funeral Consumer Board: Another Step Closer

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
With the support of the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, The Funeral Consumer Board Bill (HB 596) was voted out of committee last week with a crucial amendment.  As reported in our January 19th post, Rep. McGaugh wants a preneed regulator that is more responsive to the consumer.  The Representative’s constituents lost hundreds of… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Longest Preneed Audit: Continued until October

Posted in Exams/audits, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
After five months of trading Complaints and Answers, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Missouri Funeral Trust have been assigned an October hearing date before the Administrative Hearing Commission.   The dispute between the State Board and the MFDEA’s master trust program has been waging for years over issues such as… Continue Reading

Round 2 of Missouri’s Preneed Exams: The Document Request

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
It has been more than a year since the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors approved the expansion of the scope of financial examinations.  Consequently, preneed sellers up for their second preneed audit are receiving notices that request the following reports and documents: A current statement from your state or federally chartered financial… Continue Reading

Missouri Rule Rollback: The 18 Month Deadline

Posted in Missouri - SB1
Keeping true to a campaign promise, one of the first acts of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was to issue an executive order that gives each state agency until June 30, 2018 to repeal or cease any regulation that is ineffective, unnecessary of unduly burdensome.  The Governor’s order sets out the following review procedures: Every State… Continue Reading

Missouri Funeral Legislation: The Funeral Consumer Board

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
A bill has been filed in the Missouri General Assembly that proposes to divide the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors membership evenly between the public and industry representatives.  That Board currently consists of 5 industry members and 1 public member.  The bill sponsor, Representative Joe Don McGaugh, is from a district that includes… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Insurance Premium Payments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri record keeping proposal addresses funeral homes that handle insurance premium payments.  For funeral homes that rely upon insurance funding for their preneed program, the initial payment is typically handled by the funeral director or preneed agent, and then subsequent premium payments are made directly to the insurance company.  However, some… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: Timely Deposits to Trust

Posted in Compliance, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next section of the proposed record keeping rule for Missouri preneed sellers addresses the timely deposit of consumer funds to preneed trusts.  Missouri’s prior preneed law did not specify when consumer deposits were required to be deposited to trust, and National Prearranged Services exploited that omission.  NPS claimed that consumer funds need not be… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Record Keeping: A Misstep Right out of the Box

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The purpose for a record keeping rule is to inform licensees what reports and documents that they must either maintain, or create, to enable the preneed examiner to determine compliance with state law requirements.  But, the opening paragraph of the proposal given the Missouri State Board puts the cart in front of the horse: A… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: the Third Time did not prove a Charm

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
It’s been fifteen months and counting, but the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Directors and their Division staff are still at odds over a rule for defining minimum record keeping requirements for preneed sellers.  The Division staff first floated an “Adequate Records” rule in July 2015, but the draft was not formally submitted to… Continue Reading

Avoid the Long Spring Lines: File your Missouri Preneed Renewals Early

Posted in Compliance, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s preneed seller and provider license renewals expire October 31st of each year, and many funeral directors approach this deadline like they would their tax return: if it is in the mail by Halloween I’m good.  But, dozens of Missouri funeral directors found otherwise this past year when they were summoned to appear before the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Records: Disbursements

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Reporting
When the State Board first discussed the seller records proposal in December 2015, the disbursements records drew complaints from industry members that the examination process was delving too deeply into how funeral homes were conducting their business.   Some comments were directed at whether examiners would review statements of goods and services to determine if consumers… Continue Reading