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

Tag Archives: illinois

The Cassity Plea Agreement: Extenuating Circumstances

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
I have only scanned Doug Cassity’s plea agreement once, but two issues jumped out from that document.  The plea agreement is based on the US Sentencing Guidelines, and Page 28 of agreement explains that the Government and the defendant did not agree as to whether guidelines relating to economic losses should be applicable to Mr. … Continue Reading

The Cassity Plea: A new shell game?

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
 This was not the ending that most expected. After decades of playing shell games with regulators and funeral homes, Doug Cassity accepted a plea bargain rather than go to trial. Brent Cassity also accepted a plea bargain, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that attorneys for one of the remaining defendants were scurrying to … Continue Reading

Master Trusts: Finding the Rails

Posted in Fiduciary, Guaranteed, IFDA, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Non-guaranteed, Preneed, Trust Funded
Both the Memorial Business Journal and the Funeral Service Insider commented last week on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s February 7th article regarding the former executive director of the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. Several issues were raised that should be included in future industry debate, and in particular, I would agree with Mr. Isard’s questions whether … Continue Reading

A False Sense of Security: the hold harmless for investment oversight

Posted in Funeral, Master Trusts, Preneed
We previously discussed how the funeral home or cemetery assumes most of a preneed trust’s investment risk when selling a guaranteed preneed contract, and therefore should be afforded a role in the trust’s investment decisions (Fund Managers: Is Your O&E Coverage Current?). But in that same post, we were careful to point out that there … Continue Reading

Checks and Balances: Who has your back?

Posted in Administration, Fiduciary, Master Trusts, Preneed
In the days that followed the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association being placed into receivership, some of the WFDA’s sister associations were quick to point out they had ‘checks and balances’ that would protect consumers’ funds from the problems that tripped up the Wisconsin Funeral Trust. As we reported in our last post, a crucial ‘check … Continue Reading

Oak Ridge Cemetery: Netting to Make Ends Meet

Posted in Cemeteries
In relation to many of its peers, Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery could be labeled progressive. Oak Ridge maintains both an endowed care trust and a preneed trust. In contrast, a substantial number of the country’s cemeteries have neither. The fact that Oak Ridge Cemetery is owned and operated by the City of Springfield, Illinois, makes … Continue Reading

Comptroller: It’s Not My Call

Posted in Funeral, IFDA, Preneed
For a brief period, the Illinois Comptroller posted a notice that sidestepped the inquiries made by funeral directors about the application of their Merrill Lynch settlements. The OIC website has since be revised. One of the inquiries to the OIC may have involved whether the settlement funds could be applied to the litigation costs for … 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 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

Dropping A Dime in the Land of Lincoln

Posted in Funeral, IFDA
A few years ago, a past president of the NFDA wrote in The Director that funeral directors should begin blowing the whistle on industry cheaters. This blog raised a concern over whether funeral directors understood applicable preneed laws well enough to become whistleblowers. A recent news article in the Morris Daily Herald contains facts to … 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

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

Early Audit Warning: Fees and Assessments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Funeral, Preneed
It seems paradoxical to see preneed regulators ramping up audit programs while state budgets are being slashed to the bone. Yet, several I-70 corridor states will soon implement new preneed audit programs. Missouri’s preneed funeral audits will be funded out of a combination of license fees and preneed contract fees. Missouri’s new cemetery law did … Continue Reading