Death Care Compliance Law

Death Care Compliance Law

Preneed: A Pandora's Box of Problems

William Stalter is the founder of Stalter Legal Services and the Preneed Resource Company. Bill focuses his law practice on preneed and death care compliance, serving banks, funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries. He has written multiple published articles

Category Archives: Recordkeeping

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Missouri’s Funeral Board: Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Posted in Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Two years ago, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met in Independence to discuss their staff’s recommendations for seller record keeping requirements and the scope of preneed examinations.  As the minutes somewhat reflect, the staff proposals were met with strong public opposition.   (This blog documented those issues in prior posts that are listed… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: 2017 Reboot?

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
This time last year, the hot topic before the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors was the staff’s proposed regulation to define what constitutes adequate records of a preneed seller.   The proposal was revised more than once during 2016, but it was eventually tabled by the Board before any consensus could be… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Rollovers and Common Trust Funds

Posted in Administration, Investments, Recordkeeping, Reporting
In paragraphs 39 through 52, and paragraphs 79 through 95, of the Complaint filed against the Missouri Funeral Trust, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors raises issues with regard to the preneed trusts that were transferred by funeral homes to MFT.  The re-write of Missouri’s preneed law in 2009 provided the MFT an… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Assumption of Duties of a Prior Seller

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
In Paragraphs 35 through 38 of the Complaint filed against the Missouri Funeral Trust, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors seek discipline against MFT for its inability to produce copies of contracts sold by a funeral home that transferred its trust to MFT.  The original seller funeral home apparently amended several of its… Continue Reading

MFT Complaint: Canceled and Performed Contract Accounts

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next claim made in the Missouri State Board Complaint against the Missouri Funeral Trust is that the program is holding funds for preneed contracts that have either been serviced or canceled.   The Complaint cites Section 436.456 as legally requiring the MFT trustee to distribute an account’s funds when it receives documentation that the contract… Continue Reading

MFT Complaint: Insurance Contract Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Paragraph 26c of the Complaint filed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors alleges that the Missouri Funeral Trust fails to maintain “records regarding the insurance policies for insurance funded preneed contracts….”  We suspect this claim may be directed at a practice where the MFT trustee has accommodated funeral homes that have… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Principal in Excess of the Preneed Contract

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Paragraph 26b of the Complaint filed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors alleges that the Missouri Funeral Trust fails to maintain “records that explain why the principal held in trust exceeds the face value of the preneed contract associated with that account…”  We anticipate that this claim is considering the contract… Continue Reading

The Proceeding against The Missouri Funeral Trust: The Long Build Up

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
We start our review of the case against the Missouri Funeral Trust with the procedural issues raised in the State Board’s Complaint and MFT’s Answer.   From the Answer, we learn that the preneed financial examination was initiated on January 20, 2011.  But, it was almost three years before an examination report was sent by the… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Longest Preneed Audit: Continued until October

Posted in Exams/audits, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
After five months of trading Complaints and Answers, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Missouri Funeral Trust have been assigned an October hearing date before the Administrative Hearing Commission.   The dispute between the State Board and the MFDEA’s master trust program has been waging for years over issues such as… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: Avoiding the next Polley

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Prosecutors and investigators have commented to our office about how difficult it can be to prove preneed fraud.   They won’t know whether the consumer has been harmed until the death of the contract beneficiary, and then whether the funeral is provided.  In Missouri, prosecuting a bad apple funeral director got much easier as of January… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Communications

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s preneed seller records proposal would require preneed sellers to retain all communications that relate to their preneed contracts: Any written (including electronic) communications between the seller and any preneed agent, provider, trustee, investment advisor, insurance company, purchaser and/or beneficiary of the preneed contract and any other person related to preneed contracts and the funding… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Existing Insurance Policies

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
We anticipate that the following section of the Missouri record keeping proposal is directed at the situation where consumers assign an existing insurance policy to the funeral home: All information obtained or possessed by the seller related to any insurance policy used to fund any preneed contract that may include, but not be limited to,… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Preneed Records: Cancellations

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
With regard to preneed contracts that are canceled, Missouri preneed sellers are being requested to retain the following documents:  (1)       All records providing any sort of notice to the seller of the cancellation of a preneed contract; and (2)        All records showing the date, name of who is paid, the amount paid out and a… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Records: Keep Your Bank Records and Insurance Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
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… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Insurance Payments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s preneed record rule is confusing.  A prior provision of the rule (¶D(1)) would require a seller to maintain records reflecting the receipt of funds from an insurance company, and documents showing the seller’s performance of the contract.  However, for insurance funded contracts, the rule would also seek the following additional… Continue Reading