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: Reporting

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The MFT Complaint: Rollovers and Common Trust Funds

Posted in Administration, Investments, Recordkeeping, Reporting
In paragraphs 39 through 52, and paragraphs 79 through 95, of the Complaint filed against the Missouri Funeral Trust, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors raises issues with regard to the preneed trusts that were transferred by funeral homes to MFT.  The re-write of Missouri’s preneed law in 2009 provided the MFT an… Continue Reading

Nebraska Preneed Legislation – Clarifying Trust Liability

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Investments, Reporting, Trust Funded
On January 30th, the Nebraska Legislature will conduct a hearing on a bill to fix a problem with the state’s preneed funeral law.  The Burial Pre-Need Sale Act was originally passed in 1986, when preneed trusts invested almost exclusively in government bonds.  The intent of the Nebraska law was to require the preneed seller (that… 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

New Missouri Preneed Recordkeeping Requirements: base records and uniformity

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping, Reporting
The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors will meet December 9th, and their agenda includes a proposed regulation for new preneed recordkeeping requirements. Borrowing perhaps from other states’ preneed audit manuals, the regulation sets out a list of journals, ledgers, documents that a preneed seller would be required to maintain. For an industry… Continue Reading

Preneed Trust Shortages: Missouri’s Income Withdrawals

Posted in Exams/audits, Investments, Legislation, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Reporting, Trust Funded
Prior to Missouri re-writing its preneed law in 2009, preneed sellers could draw off realized income so long as the withdrawal did not reduce the trust’s fair market value below trust deposits.   Seeking income, many Missouri sellers directed their trustees to invest in bonds.  As interest rates declined during the early part of the prior… Continue Reading

Missouri and Preneed Deficiencies: What is a shortage?

Posted in Legislation, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Preneed Shortfalls, Reporting, Trust Funded
At its June meeting, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors gave instructions to their staff to draft legislation that would provide the Board powers to force preneed sellers to contribute funds to their trusts to cover ‘shortages’.   The instruction was not without some controversy as one Board member questioned why he was… Continue Reading

Cemetery Care Fund Reports: The Operator’s Vicarious Liability

Posted in Cemeteries, Fiduciary, Reporting
Typically, the standard by which a cemetery is judged to be abandoned is whether the grass is getting cut.  But for licensed cemeteries, some states’ laws may also include provisions to deem a cemetery abandoned when regulatory reports are not filed.   Care fund reports are intended to inform the cemetery regulator whether the operator is… Continue Reading

Too Literal of an Interpretation: Mississippi and Preneed Taxes

Posted in Preneed, Preneed Tax, Reporting
The Mississippi Secretary of State seems to be taking a very proactive approach to the regulation of preneed and perpetual care funds. Over the course of the last few years, the Regulation and Enforcement Division of the Secretary of State’s office has averaged an enforcement proceeding per month. We were curious what type of enforcement… Continue Reading

October Chaos: Missouri Preneed Seller Renewals and Insurance Assignments

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Reporting
The staff for the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors released the revised preneed renewal reports this week, and those revisions include a few new additional requirements.  Those requirements include a seller providing a ‘no tax due’ letter, proof of corporate status and any ‘doing business as’ filings.  However, the new requirement that… Continue Reading

Preneed Reporting: drilling down to each consumer

Posted in Administration, Funeral, IFDA, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Reporting
For most Illinois funeral homes, March 15th is the due date for the filing of their preneed data with the Comptroller’s office. For those funeral homes that bolted from the IFDA after the master trust melt down, this has been an extremely frustrating process. The majority of funeral homes must file on line, with supporting… Continue Reading

Delegating Preneed Prosecution

Posted in Exams/audits, Preneed, Reporting
Maybe it’s a response to shrinking state budgets, or the fact that the tracking of preneed funds is becoming more effective, but state and local prosecutors are assuming an expanding role in the enforcement of preneed laws. While a recent report released by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors reflects a drop… Continue Reading

The Illinois Consumer Statement: Trust Expense Disclosures

Posted in IFDA, Reporting, Trust Funded
If their preneed contract is trust funded, Illinois consumers should soon be receiving statements from the bank or trust company that administers their account. These statements are one of the new requirements imposed by SB1682. The contents of the statements are governed by Section 2.h of the Funeral or Burial Funds Act. The Comptroller’s Office… Continue Reading

Groundhog Day in Missouri: Preneed Exams before Spring

Posted in Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Reporting
The start of Missouri’s new era of preneed oversight began when document requests were mailed to sellers on January 3rd. Sellers were requested to provide the following documents by January 28th: · A current statement from your state or federally chartered financial institution’s authorized to exercise trust powers in Missouri of any preneed trust accounts… Continue Reading

The Comptroller’s Annual Report: a broken trail

Posted in Funeral, IFDA, Preneed, Reporting
This blog commented a few weeks ago on Dan Hynes’ failure to follow through on his own legislation. Since that post, the new Comptroller revised the Annual Report to eliminate references to self-trusted funds. However, funeral homes that transferred out of the IFDA master trust will still find the report difficult to complete. The Comptroller’s… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Trust Funded Report: perserving self regulation

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Reporting
The ‘deadline’ for Missouri preneed sellers to ‘voluntarily’ report their pre-SB1 trust funded sales is a mere two weeks away. Again, this is a voluntary report. As such, missing the ‘deadline’ or failing to use the Board’s form carries no penalty to the preneed seller. So, why file? The reason expressed by one State Board… Continue Reading

The Comptroller’s Preneed Report: poor follow through

Posted in Compliance, IFDA, Preneed, Reporting
While the Comptroller succeeded in getting SB1682 passed, and into law this past February, the office hasn’t revised its annual preneed reporting form to reflect the law’s changes. The report contemplates depository accounts and self-trusted accounts, which were eliminated by SB1682. Funeral directors, accustom to the IFDA’s assistance, may also find the trust report section… Continue Reading

Missouri Cemetery Reform: New Year’s Resolutions

Posted in Cemeteries, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Reporting
In a move to remain autonomous from the funeral industry and its oversight, the Missouri cemetery industry met with its regulator during the summer of 2008 to discuss reform legislation. Disagreements precluded effective legislation from being passed in 2009, but extensive changes was passed in 2010, and became effective on August 28, 2010. Now, the Missouri… Continue Reading

Who’s the Boss?

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Reporting
That’s the question a member of the Missouri State Board asked of his staff last Wednesday during a discussion of controversial examination procedures. Prior to the NPS fiasco, the answer to that question would have been “the Board is”. While SB1 (appropriately) continued to vest preneed supervision in the State Board, the new law also… Continue Reading