Our first recommendation to the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is that they assume, and maintain, control over the preneed examination procedures. The exam procedures implemented two years ago were never submitted to the Board for review and approval. Accordingly, the examination procedures handbook should remind the staff that any change made to the procedures must be approved by the Board. (From Page 3 of our Handbook comments, see Comment [A1])
Through Paragraph 6 of the handbook, the staff gave themselves independent authority to interpret Chapter 436 regarding the techniques that could be used to request, and confirm, information received from sellers. Rather, we recommend that the State Board require the permissible techniques be set out in the handbook. (See Comment [A2]).
But, the most important issue we want to stress concerns the State Board’s interpretation of Section 436.425. While it is important to confirm that seller contracts are complying with the law, the staff has misapplied Section 436.425 over the course of the past two years. We believe these mistakes could have been avoided if the Board’s experience had been sought by the staff before drafting the handbook. If the Board were to have questions about contract requirements, we trust they would seek industry input before finalizing the examination procedures. (See Comment [A3])