In August 2009, the members and staff of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors put in a lot of overtime to keep the preneed industry operating. Senate Bill 1 established brand new licensing requirements for preneed sellers. Without a license, a seller’s preneed contracts could be voided. However, the State Board lacked authority to issue a seller license until SB1 went into effect. With regard to August 28, 2009, the State Board faced the task of licensing hundreds of funeral homes, and responded by providing the industry an abbreviated process for obtaining the initial preneed seller’s license.

With the renewal of a seller’s license, the Missouri funeral home faces a much longer and detailed form (and process). The seller renewal form advises that the applicant may file their annual report upon receipt of the form. Realistically, the seller is precluded from filing the renewal and report until after September 1st. The annual report must include all contracts sold through August 31, 2010 (and beginning with August 28, 2009).

Depending upon how quickly its contracts are processed, the seller will have less than 60 days to work with trustees, banks and insurers to pull together the data and documents required by the renewal form. The failure to timely file the renewal form and report will cost the seller $200 and the authority to sell preneed until the license is renewed. Consequently, Missouri sellers would be best advised to begin working with their funding entities as soon as possible.