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: national prearranged services

Groundhogs Day 2015: Six Weeks of NPS Civil Trial

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
The National Prearranged Services civil trial is scheduled to begin this week, and trial briefs have been filed with the Court.  The briefs outline the arguments that each party plans to prove during the course of the trial.  It is our understanding that the Special Deputy Receiver has settled with all defendant trustees except Allegiant [&hellip… Continue Reading

Questions for the Jury: the mirror trust account

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Investments, NPS/Lincoln
A recent order issued by the Federal Court trying the NPS civil suit referenced a mirror trust employed by the defendant bank (12-31-14 Order – Comerica MSJ ).  To facilitate the trading of investment securities, a brokerage account is established with a firm that can administer the transactions more efficiently than the fiduciary institution.   The fiduciary [&hellip… Continue Reading

Question for The Jury: Exculpatory Clauses and Preneed Investment Supervision

Posted in Associations, Investments, Master Trusts, NPS/Lincoln
It is common for master preneed trusts to have investments directed by an independent fund manager.  The pooling of smaller trusts allows funeral directors to achieve the critical mass needed to engage professional asset management.  When investment functions are delegated, the trustee typically wants to be relieved of the supervision and liabilities that accompany those [&hellip… Continue Reading

Getting Personal: liability and the preneed trust officer

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Investments, Master Trusts, NPS/Lincoln
Earlier this week, the Federal Court that is to try the NPS civil lawsuit next month issued an order (Order denying Morisse JOP Mtn) that will raise red flags for the banks that serve as preneed trustees.  In denying the motion of an officer of Allegiant Bank, Judge Richard Webber held that the Special Deputy Receiver [&hellip… Continue Reading

Investment Advisors: How Independent?

Posted in Compliance, Investments, Master Trusts, NPS/Lincoln
In a motion for rulings of law, the NPS Special Deputy Receiver seeks a judicial determination of two legal issues that could impact preneed trustees subject to the jurisdiction of the Eighth Circuit of Federal Court of Appeals: the beneficiary status of preneed purchasers (and funeral homes) and the required independence of investment advisors.  These two [&hellip… Continue Reading

An immaterial witness: Doug Cassity

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Doug doesn’t have much faith in the legion of attorneys retained by the country’s largest banks.  Mr. Cassity has filed a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum that argues only he can effectively cross examine witnesses to NPS’ compliance with the 1994 consent judgment.   Mr. Cassity argues that NPS could legally withdraw from trust all funds in [&hellip… Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Star Witness: Doug Cassity

Posted in Insurance Funded, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed Tax, Trust Funded, Uncategorized
The NPS civil trial is scheduled for trial in February 2015, and the SDR’s strategy took a twist when her litigation team filed a motion to dismiss Doug Cassity as a defendant in the lawsuit.  The dismissal probably signals the SDR’s intent to use Mr. Cassity’s testimony.  Now convinced that Mr. Cassity does not have [&hellip… Continue Reading

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. [&hellip… Continue Reading

The NPS Criminal Trial: Vicarious Liability?

Posted in Fiduciary, Investments, Master Trusts, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
David Wulf may stand alone in the crosshairs of the criminal prosecutors, but his fate will impact the NPS preneed trustees (and possibly other registered investment advisors who manage death care funds). Mr. Wulf had a situation that is unique from what existed in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, but is familiar to other death care [&hellip… Continue Reading

Coming This August: The Nuremberg Trial

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
 Once again, I have spoken too quickly. After lamenting to the Memorial Business Journal that the NPS plea bargains will deprive consumers and the industry the opportunity to hear how Doug and his crew perpetrated so many frauds, the sole remaining NPS defendant may grant my wish. As the Funeral Service Insider reports that Herr [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

The NPS Recovery Plan: two hurdles to liftoff

Posted in Missouri - SB1
On December 12th, a Missouri coalition of NPS preneed providers will have a second opportunity to state their case for legislation to establish a NPS recovery plan. As we noted back in September, that coalition should anticipate a tepid reception from the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors (and much of the Missouri funeral [&hellip… 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 [&hellip… Continue Reading

Taxes and the Bounty Hunter

Posted in Preneed, Preneed Tax
When news of the indictment of 6 National Prearranged Service officers was reported last November, many newspapers picked up the AP version that included a quote from the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator. The fact is that the Federal investigation of NPS involves investigators from the IRS, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. [&hellip… Continue Reading

The thorn that will not go away: NPS and Missouri’s Governor

Posted in Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln
Yesterday, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on the federal indictments handed down against six NPS officials. The article includes two statements that hint at the legal strategies to be employed by NPS and federal prosecutors. "We have anticipated this (indictment) for a number of years, and he is looking forward to finally confronting these [&hellip… Continue Reading

Mt. Washington: More NPS Fallout

Posted in Cemeteries, NPS/Lincoln
Almost a year to the date after SB1 was signed into law, one of the NPS sister companies was forced to close its doors. The recent Kansas City Star article about Mt. Washington Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery describes a situation that confused and disheartened the families who purchased Mt. Washington preneed contracts. The Missouri [&hellip… Continue Reading

Missouri and NPS’ Orphaned Contracts

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
While the settlement negotiated with the National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations (“NOLHGA”) provides funding for the vast majority of NPS preneed contracts, there could be as many as 7,500 NPS preneed contracts that fall outside this coverage. For one of a couple of reasons, NPS never purchased an insurance policy for [&hellip… Continue Reading