The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors will take another step on December 7th towards the process of defining the examination process for preneed funeral contracts. True to mantra that has been repeated over the past several months: this is a work in progress that will evolve as more is learned.

The agenda for the December 7th meeting includes an attachment titled “Financial Examination Process – FAQ”. For the most part, the FAQ is rehash of what discussed at the Board’s October meeting. The FAQ sets out in general terms the steps that will be taken in an examination.

One issue that is not clear from the FAQ is whether the examination will review preneed contract forms for compliance with applicable law. If so, the seller’s contract forms should be included in the Paragraph 2a review request. Including the contract review as a part of the prep work for the on-site exam should cut down on the time spent on the seller’s premises.

Paragraph 2f should prove a crucial step in the process of resolving issues before they reach the Board. If the staff and examiners merely write up the issues and defer all decisions to the State Board, the Board will need to schedule more meetings.

Finally, the FAQ does not offer much with regard to the review of serviced contracts. While the staff’s proposal to review all outstanding preneed contracts drew the most comments, the serviced contract review could prove more instrumental to disclosing compliance errors or fraud.