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

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

Facing 14 Years’ of Hard Time: One Missouri Funeral Director’s Failure to Deposit Preneed Funds

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The Missouri Iron County Mountain Echo ran the following story on August 15th: A former Ironton Funeral Home Director has pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing in Iron County Circuit Court.  The charges stem from the sale of pre-need funeral plans.  George Treaster of Ironton entered a plea of guilty to two counts of… 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

Missouri Preneed Records: Trustee’s Deposit Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Fiduciary, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
In our prior post (Missouri Seller Exams: Timely Deposits), we discussed the receipt and deposit records that funeral homes may be required to maintain.  However, to demonstrate that they are complying with the preneed law’s deposit requirements, funeral homes will also be dependent upon the records generated by their funding source to confirm consumer funds… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Exams: Timely Deposits

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s preneed funeral law imposes time requirements on funeral homes that accept consumer funds.  For funeral homes using depository accounts to fund preneed contracts, the funeral home must deposit consumer funds with the bank within 10 days.  Funeral homes using insurance to fund preneed contracts must remit the consumers funds to the insurance company within… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: KISS

Posted in Compliance, Recordkeeping
When the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met June 30th to discuss a proposed rule defining new record keeping requirements for preneed sellers, one Board member spoke a sentiment that many funeral directors share: keep it simple, stupid.   The Board member suggested that consumer receipt records could be as simple as copying… Continue Reading

Missouri’s June 30th Rules Committee Meeting: Time to Take the Lead

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
In our January 3rd Post, we described the process (or lack of process) between the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Division staff for establishing the examination procedures that would be applied to preneed sellers for the next five years.  The industry railed at the Staff’s recommendations for the scope of financial… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Exams: Trustee Recordkeeping and Disbursements

Posted in Exams/audits, Fiduciary, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The clock is on for the second round of Missouri preneed audits  financial examinations, and the Missouri Division of Professional Registration wants to avoid the slow start that plagued the process 5 years ago.   Although the State Board has yet to approve the Division’s proposals for seller recordkeeping and the scope of the exams, exam… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Receipt Journal

Posted in Compliance, Recordkeeping
The first record described in the proposed Missouri recordkeeping regulation could actually require preneed sellers to maintain three, maybe four, sets of journals: (1) receipt and disbursement journals containing a record of deposits to and withdrawals from both preneed trusts and preneed joint accounts, specifically identifying the date, source, and description of each item deposited… Continue Reading

A Missouri Mid-Semester Cram: the March agenda

Posted in Compliance, Recordkeeping
The staff for the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors posted the 779 page agenda for next week’s meetings.  Doesn’t the state have a policy against the waste of natural resources?  Granted the agenda includes minutes and regulation proposals from several prior meetings, but a Cliff’s Notes would be helpful to know what’s… Continue Reading

FTC’s Active Supervision Guidelines: A Regulatory Board Exercising Adjudicatory Powers

Posted in Preneed
In its Active Supervision Guidelines, the Federal Trade Commission staff discusses how regulatory boards frequently act in an adjudicatory capacity by seeking to impose discipline on a licensee or by seeking to enjoin an unlicensed individual. While such actions may have an anti-competitive effect, those actions will not necessarily expose the board members to personal… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Second Round of Exams: The Committee’s Role

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
In September we posted about a regulation proposal that sought to define the role of a sub-committee of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors (Missouri’s Financial Examination Committee: What Role?).   While the Board eventually gave its staff instructions to revise that proposal, the regulation has yet to resurface.  Instead, the Staff Recommendations include… 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

The Missouri Fund Manager: What was Grandfathered?

Posted in Associations, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1
There seems to be some confusion in Missouri over the permissible contractual relationships among the preneed seller, the preneed trustee and the independent investment advisor. Prior to the collapse of NPS, and the subsequent amendment of Missouri’s preneed law, Chapter 436 allowed the preneed seller to incorporate provisions in its preneed trust agreement to instruct… Continue Reading

Chasing Preneed’s Bad Apples

Posted in Associations, Exams/audits
In September of last year, the Columbus Dispatch published a story critical of the Ohio State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.  Examining the Board’s efforts to address preneed fraud, the story reported that prosecutions of funeral directors were more the result of consumer complaints than Board inspections.  That must have struck a nerve with… Continue Reading

The Missouri Funeral Trust and its Catch-22

Posted in Compliance, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
A status hearing is scheduled for September 28th in the lawsuit filed by the Missouri Funeral Trust against the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and Catholic Fraternal Life.   The lawsuit is now 4 months removed from the request for a temporary restraining order that, among other relief sought, would stay the financial examination… Continue Reading

The MFT Lawsuit Claims: The Client List

Posted in Associations, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Preneed
The lawsuit brought by the Missouri Funeral Trust against the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and CFL Pre-Need includes  a number of unique and dubious claims.  For example, the lawsuit defines CFL Pre-Need, an insurance company, as a competitor but not funeral home clients that are licensed as a preneed seller.  The… Continue Reading

The High Cost of Litigation: Copy Charges

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
The Special Deputy Receiver for National Prearranged Services recently filed a Bill of Costs with the Federal trial court.  The Bill of Costs seeks to recover copy charges of more than $500,000 from a former NPS trustee.  Those costs do not include attorneys’ fees.  Litigation can be very costly. Missouri’s preneed regulators are keenly aware of the costs of… Continue Reading

Preneed Trust Shortages: Investment Management Fees

Posted in Associations, Compliance, Investments, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1
One strength of the state association master trust is that it can provide the ‘critical mass’ required for economies of scale to reduce trust management costs.  As the state master trust grows in size, the association can better negotiate asset management arrangements.  However, the reality has been very different for these programs.  The reorganization of… 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

The Missouri Agenda: a few clean up provisions

Posted in Missouri - SB1
The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors will meet to July 21st to discuss “a short slate” of legislation and regulation proposals.   While many of the proposals have been previously discussed, some, such as the preneed shortage funding requirement, are new.  We also note regulation proposals regarding when forms and reports are deemed… Continue Reading