At the risk of plagiarizing the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, Missouri preneed funeral sellers, providers, fiduciaries and insurers face a new ballgame that will begin August 29th without a complete set of rules and guidelines. Funeral directors have a general idea where the game will be played, but they’re not quite sure what rules the umpires will use or how closely the game will be called.

In contrast, Missouri’s cemetery industry has been left to guess where their game will be played. Through last minute changes, the cemetery bill was pared back to those essential provisions required to authorize trust-funded preneed sales and a fixed-distribution provision for endowed care trusts. The resulting provisions do not begin to tell the underlying issues.

Funeral directors get the first crack at learning their new ‘rules’ on May 28th when the MFDEA sponsors a session with the Chapter 436 umpires. Based on the success of that session, one of the 436 umpires (the State Board) will probably explore regional meetings with funeral homes.

In the meantime, Missouri’s cemeteries will need to regroup in an effort to work out a consensus on preneed and endowed care legislation.

For a copy of the changes to Chapter 436 click here, and for Chapter 214 changes click here.