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: missouri

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 Seller Records: Avoiding the next Polley

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Prosecutors and investigators have commented to our office about how difficult it can be to prove preneed fraud.   They won’t know whether the consumer has been harmed until the death of the contract beneficiary, and then whether the funeral is provided.  In Missouri, prosecuting a bad apple funeral director got much easier as of January… 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: Communications

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s preneed seller records proposal would require preneed sellers to retain all communications that relate to their preneed contracts: Any written (including electronic) communications between the seller and any preneed agent, provider, trustee, investment advisor, insurance company, purchaser and/or beneficiary of the preneed contract and any other person related to preneed contracts and the funding… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Existing Insurance Policies

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
We anticipate that the following section of the Missouri record keeping proposal is directed at the situation where consumers assign an existing insurance policy to the funeral home: All information obtained or possessed by the seller related to any insurance policy used to fund any preneed contract that may include, but not be limited to,… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Preneed Records: Cancellations

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
With regard to preneed contracts that are canceled, Missouri preneed sellers are being requested to retain the following documents:  (1)       All records providing any sort of notice to the seller of the cancellation of a preneed contract; and (2)        All records showing the date, name of who is paid, the amount paid out and a… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Records: Keep Your Bank Records and Insurance Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of the Missouri preneed seller records rule would require funeral homes to retain copies of the periodic statements provided by banks, trustees and insurance companies: Copies of account statements for joint accounts, trust statements for trust accounts, and any statements received from insurance companies listing the insurance policies in effect and/or the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Insurance Payments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s preneed record rule is confusing.  A prior provision of the rule (¶D(1)) would require a seller to maintain records reflecting the receipt of funds from an insurance company, and documents showing the seller’s performance of the contract.  However, for insurance funded contracts, the rule would also seek the following additional… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: The Hidden Drawer

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s seller records rule proposal seeks the following documents: D.  For all fulfilled preneed contracts: (1)   Records showing seller’s performance for fulfilled preneed contracts including: (a)  Written certificate(s) of performance for each preneed contract fulfilled; (b)  Requests to the financial institution and/or insurance company for payment; (c) Evidence of the date… 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’s Adequate Seller Records: the Contracts and Agreements

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
In our continuing review of the Missouri Seller Record Keeping proposal, the rule next addresses what a preneed seller must retain with regard to its consumer contracts.  However, the proposal actually contains two sections requiring the retention of contracts and agreements (Section 2.A and Section 2.F). Of the two, Section 2.F is the more detailed:… 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