These are tough times for cemeteries.  Too many planned on a steady revenues from grave sales, and have not trusted enough funds for future maintenance expenses. Grave sale revenues have been dramatically cut by the public’s acceptance of cremation.  Subsequent to the Great Recession of 2008, many of our funeral home clients reported a significant

It only took 15 months, but the Missouri State Board finally approved a rule to clarify what fees a preneed seller may charge when offering a guaranteed price contract to consumers.   Low investment returns from insurance and trusts forced many funeral homes to stop offering guaranteed price contracts to consumers.  Funeral homes’ cost increases were

The Missouri legislature has passed a bill to authorize county commissioners to diversify their cemetery trusts.  Prior to the passage of House Bill No. 51 Missouri’s counties were restricted in how they could invest cemetery care funds.  Essentially, a Missouri county could invest care funds only in government bonds.  But, since the mortgage bond crisis

In our last post, we used Allan Sloan’s article on the Treasury bond market to highlight the investment exposures to death care trusts.  Today we will look at how the Treasury market is also impacting funeral homes that rely upon insurance for preneed funding.  Mr. Sloan’s article alluded to insurance companies being required by statute

The July 25th Marketplace Morning Report on National Public Radio included a segment called Allan Sloan’s lessons on bond investments. Mr. Sloan is a business columnist for the Washington Post who recently wrote that the current Treasury bond market is “out of whack”, and poses a risker investment than the stock markets. Mr. Sloan

A local Kansas City television station recently ran a story about a consumer’s complaint that his preneed contract did not cover “surprise fees”.   The consumer had purchased the preneed contract from a Kansas City funeral home/cemetery combo where he had also purchased a grave space.   One fact regarding the preneed contract that jumped out

Preneed planning often begins with the purchase of a cemetery plot or cremation niche.  If that purchase includes a marker or monument, the cemetery will typically seek to deliver the marker so that it may avoid cost increases incurred with regard to granite and bronze.  But, many of us do not like to be reminded

In an unusual move for a death care regulator, the Federal Trade Commission weighed in on the preneed turf war that has erupted between Pennsylvania funeral directors and StoneMor Partners.   At the request of the chairman for a Pennsylvania legislative committee, the FTC responded with a detailed letter warning against various bill proposals aimed at