One of the weaknesses of Chapter 436, Missouri’s preneed law, is that it provides the State Board few enforcement powers beyond disciplining the preneed seller’s license. There are plenty of examples of preneed sellers obstructing the State Board’s efforts to obtain preneed records. At least one resorted to litigation as a delay tactic. The prospect of having their license put on probation has not been much of a deterrent to some sellers. Sellers were prepared to play a waiting game with the State Board for a settlement agreement offering a few years of probation. SB 32 looks to remedy that by providing the State Board the teeth to impose financial penalties on the seller with serious financial deficiencies.
For the seller that obstructs the State Board audit functions, the bill would authorize the Board to require the seller to reimburse the Board’s audit expenses to the Preneed Audit Fund.
The State Board may also require a seller to pay missing preneed funds back into their trust.
And third, the State Board may fine a seller up to $10,000, which would be contributed to the Preneed Audit Fund.