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: Legislation

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Preneed Turf War: Pennsylvania Funeral Directors and StoneMor

Posted in Cemeteries, Cemetery Development, Legislation, Preneed, Preneed Development, Trust Funded
In an unusual move for a death care regulator, the Federal Trade Commission weighed in on the preneed turf war that has erupted between Pennsylvania funeral directors and StoneMor Partners.   At the request of the chairman for a Pennsylvania legislative committee, the FTC responded with a detailed letter warning against various bill proposals aimed at… Continue Reading

Preneed Trust Shortages: Deposit Plus Accounting

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Legislation, Missouri - SB1
During its state convention, the executive director for the Missouri Funeral Director and Embalmers Association stated that their master trust program would have a $3 million dollar surplus if all preneed contract beneficiaries were to die that day.  If the Missouri program were being administered pursuant to common trust fund rules, there should not be… 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

Rulemaking Procedures: The Due Diligence Factor

Posted in Legislation, Reform
Because, that is our Policy. The death care industry is hearing that more frequently these days.   Last July, an Illinois client was advised by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services that his preneed contract would have to be revised to comply with the Department’s new policy about excess preneed funds.  A few clients in… Continue Reading

The NPS Recovery Plan: Grounded!

Posted in Legislation, NPS/Lincoln
In our prior post, we commented on the lack of detail provided by the Consumer Funeral Assurance group regarding their NPS recovery plan.  We have obtained a copy of the plan, and redacted from the document correspondence that reflect names and/or contact information of recipient organizations or legislators. What is left includes a summary of… Continue Reading

Addressing the NPS aftermath: a hard sell

Posted in Legislation, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln
Per capita, Missouri funeral directors were hit hardest by the collapse of National Prearranged Services.  And those funeral directors who suffered the greatest losses continue to demand help from the State of Missouri.  Although Missouri re-wrote its preneed law just 3 years ago, the Legislature begins hearings today on whether more legislation is needed. With… Continue Reading

Missouri’s 2012 Preneed Patch: But is the MO436-09 System Working?

Posted in Legislation, Missouri - SB1, Preneed
Missouri’s preneed regulator, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, will meet June 2nd to continue its discussion of agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Due to the lead time required to formulate legislation, the State Board is forced to begin discussions before its 2011 legislative agenda (SB325) even becomes law on August 28th.… Continue Reading

SB340: Missouri’s 2011 Preneed Patch

Posted in Legislation, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
Continuing the theme that effective preneed regulation requires the occasional update, the Missouri legislature is poised to pass the first ‘patch’ to SB1, the 2009 legislation that ‘re-wrote’ Chapter 436. Senate Bill No. 340 will make four noteworthy changes to Chapter 436. Concerned that preneed sellers would use variable annuities to fund preneed contracts, Missouri’s… Continue Reading

Kansas Cemetery Legislation: a second bite at the apple

Posted in Cemeteries, Legislation, Preneed, Reform
It is a bit of déjà vu for Kansas cemeteries. Legislation to increase preneed trusting and to require monthly reporting was introduced in the Kansas House. But HB 2240 will look familiar to those cemetery corporations that participated in 2009 and 2010 cemetery legislative meetings conducted by the Kansas Secretary of State. As previously reported… Continue Reading

Not your typical Christmas wish list: Missouri legislation

Posted in Funeral, Legislation, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Reform
Triggered by the NPS collapse, preneed reform rolled out of the Missouri legislature like a tsunami. When the funeral industry was slow to organize and respond to the situation, legislators worked with state officials to imposed sweeping changes. While SB1 does reflect input provided to the State Board by the industry, the law has flaws… Continue Reading

What is this going to cost me?

Posted in Legislation, Missouri - SB1
The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met June 15th and 16th to consider legislative proposals offered for technical corrections to SB1. In a prior post, this author took exception to one of the proposals made by a Board member to raise Missouri’s trusting requirement from 85% to 100%. However, a majority of… Continue Reading

Regulatory Intervention: the Kansas plan

Posted in Cemeteries, Legislation
The Topeka Capital-Journal has identified the essence of the Secretary of State’s plan for Kansas cemetery regulation: addressing cemetery problems before the trusts go upside down. There are two types of cemetery trusts: perpetual care trusts and preneed trusts. Perpetual care trusts (or permanent maintenance trusts) provide the cemetery crucial funding for mowing, and the… Continue Reading