The next section of the Missouri preneed seller records rule would require funeral homes to retain copies of the periodic statements provided by banks, trustees and insurance companies:

Copies of account statements for joint accounts, trust statements for trust accounts, and any statements received from insurance companies listing the insurance policies in effect and/or the status of any insurance policy that names the seller or the provider, on a preneed contract sold by the seller, as beneficiary or owner.

If these records are maintained in electronic format by the financial institution or insurance company, then the seller shall have the means to access those records and be able to provide the board with appropriate access to those records within the lawful bounds and authorities of the board;

There shouldn’t be any argument that funeral homes should review and retain the periodic statements made available by their preneed funding agents.  However, the second sentence of the provision may represent an attempt to exercise power beyond the State Board’s authority.  We have underlined the suspect language.   Our criticism of this provision is the same that we discussed in the post regarding “Access to Trustee Deposit Records”.

To the extent that banks and trust companies provide on line access to trust clients, transaction records are typically archived after a couple of years.  After transactions have been archived, the preneed seller can no longer access the records via the internet portal.   Consequently, the staff’s proposals would require preneed sellers to down load transaction records on a regular basis.

Banks and trust companies use a variety of different trust accounting platforms, and some of those platforms offer limited options for reporting transactions.  To minimize account inputting, trustees may aggregate consumer payments prior to inputting deposits to their accounting system.   Consequently, the trustee may not have a record that shows the date and amount of each consumer deposit.   The best record the bank

So, the question is whether the State Board can dictate to sellers the content of, and access to, reports that banks and trust companies provide in an electronic format.