Governor Nixon signed Senate Bill No. 1 on July 16th, giving Missouri preneed sellers six weeks to prepare for Chapter 436’s new requirements. For trust-funded contracts, one of those requirements will be the deposit of all preneed payments to trust. Section 436.430.2 provides in part:
A seller must deposit all payments received on a preneed contract into the designated preneed trust within sixty days of receipt of the funds by the seller, the preneed sales agent or designee.
Under the current law, sellers could retain the first 20% of the purchaser’s payments before making a deposit to the trust. While the new law will permit the seller to recover an origination fee of 5% and another 10%, the seller must make a request from the trustee to receive such amounts. The purpose of this requirement is to establish an audit trail of all consumer payments. As reported recently by an Ohio newspaper, Missouri is not alone in its efforts to make operators more accountable.