Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an article that examined the history of NPS, and raised some of the questions that need to be explored in depth in the months to come. The system failed in several states, for both consumers and funeral homes. While most funeral homes will try to make good on the NPS promises to consumers, regulators must share in the responsibilities for what went wrong and what has to be done.
NPS was an innovative company that grew frustrated with the fragmented nature of state preneed laws, and exploited the gaps and ambiguities of state regulation. Some will say that NPS exploited the greed of funeral directors, and this should be sufficient reason for holding funeral homes responsible for performance of the NPS contracts. While this will ring true for some funeral directors, this is too simplistic an explanation of the situation. The reality is that many funeral homes will fail if regulators do not recover sufficient assets from the Cassitys.