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: NPS

NPS Trustees: Standard of Care for Investments

Posted in Compliance, Investments, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln
Now that a judgment has been rendered against Allegiant Bank, the NPS litigation will move on to the appeal stage where the focus will be on R.S.Mo. Section 436.031.  The NPS trustees universally argued that this provision of the Missouri preneed statute relieved them of all responsibility and liability for investment supervision.  As set out… Continue Reading

NPS Trustees: Standard of Care for Preneed Administration

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln, Recordkeeping
Final arguments were heard in the NPS civil trial this past Friday.  With the SDR having presented evidence through the prior Friday, the defendant trustees presented their case in less than a week.  This may reflect that the NPS trustees had viewed their duties as having been defined by Chapter 436 as relatively low.  As… Continue Reading

NPS Trustees: Pre-acceptance Due Diligence

Posted in Compliance, Fiduciary, Missouri - SB1, NPS/Lincoln
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the OCC) supervises the fiduciary activities of national chartered banks, and in February, updated the guidelines used by its examiners.  The “Personal Fiduciary Activities” booklet includes a section on pre-acceptance due diligence that fiduciaries should conduct before agreeing to serve as trustee for an account.  Page 7… Continue Reading

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… 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… 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… 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… Continue Reading

Testimony Guidelines for the NPS Experts

Posted in NPS/Lincoln
In August, litigants to the NPS civil trial were required to file expert opinion reports with the court.  Initially, there were essentially 8 defendant banks, and most had retained one or more experts to testify at trial.  As a consequence, a plethora of expert reports were filed with the court.  Many of the experts offered… Continue Reading

A Legacy of Disgrace: the NPS Management Team

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Randall K. Sutton, former President and CEO of National Prearranged Services, died in prison on December 8th.    Accordingly to pleadings filed in the NPS criminal and civil lawsuits, Mr. Sutton played a central role in the company’s operations.  Another pivotal player in the Cassity schemes, Howard Wittner, was recently released from Federal prison so that… 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… Continue Reading

Father Knows Best: the Cassity Clan

Posted in Uncategorized
The remaining members of the Cassity clan have filed motions in opposition to the dismissal of Doug Cassity from the NPS civil lawsuit.  Rhonda Cassity and Tyler Cassity argue that they too are the victims of Doug’s scheming and fraudulent conduct, and that good ole’ Dad should be compelled to testify, and held accountable. The plan… Continue Reading

Taking Liberties with the Law: Where is my due process?

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln Pleading by pleading, the Cassitys are speaking out against injustice.  Brent Cassity followed his father’s lead, and filed a motion to dismiss from the civil lawsuit against NPS’ former management and trustees.  The younger Cassity made a hodge… Continue Reading

The Cassity Reply to Dismissal: Not Without a Pass for My Son

Posted in NPS/Lincoln, Uncategorized
Doug Cassity has filed a motion to modify the order dismissing him from the SDR’s civil lawsuit.  Mr. Cassity asserts that he and his family should be freed of the reign of terror and wrongdoing of the Texas regulators and their attorneys.  Seeking a dismissal with prejudice, Mr. Cassity seeks to have the SDR’s claims dropped permanently… 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… Continue Reading

Transferee Liability: Hidden Obligations

Posted in Missouri - SB1
The Dead Beat recently published a letter from a Missouri funeral home operator that was critical of the ‘handling of the NPS debacle’ by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The operator questioned how the Board could ‘allow’ his firm to sign official documents requiring that NPS contracts be honored. The official… 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.… Continue Reading