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

Tag Archives: administration

Questions for the Jury: the mirror trust account

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Investments, NPS/Lincoln
A recent order issued by the Federal Court trying the NPS civil suit referenced a mirror trust employed by the defendant bank (12-31-14 Order – Comerica MSJ ).  To facilitate the trading of investment securities, a brokerage account is established with a firm that can administer the transactions more efficiently than the fiduciary institution.   The fiduciary… Continue Reading

Consumers Payment Options: Administrative Hurdles and Preneed Trusts

Posted in Administration, Associations, Compliance, Master Trusts, Non-guaranteed, NPS/Lincoln, Recordkeeping, Trust Funded
There are three scenarios for administration of preneed installment payments: the funeral operator collects payments, the trustee collects payments or a third party administrator collects payments.  The entity collecting installment payments must be able to apply each payment to the correct preneed account, and provide the other party (or parties) current payment balances.  If the… Continue Reading

Consumer Options and Administrative Hurdles: Market Value Allocations

Posted in Administration, Associations, Compliance, Master Trusts, Total Return Trust
The conventional guaranteed preneed transaction is premised upon investment returns offsetting performance cost increases to the funeral home.  Many funeral homes restrict consumers to single payment preneed contracts to limit their exposure to funding short falls.  If the funeral home allows the consumer to pay the preneed purchase price over 60 months, the preneed trust… Continue Reading

Preneed Trust Options: Administrative Limitations

Posted in Uncategorized
The Memorial Business Journal’s July 10th story on the NFDA 2014 consumer survey included a commentator’s suggestion that preneed funding has declined because so few options are offered the consumer.  The story’s commentators interpreted the decline in preneed funding as reflecting fewer consumers being motivated by price guarantees, and those that might be, need installment… Continue Reading

The Medicare Tax and QFTs: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Posted in Administration, Preneed, Preneed Tax, Taxes, Trust Funded
 Over the past few years, preneed trust administrators have been wondering whether a Section 685 qualified funeral trust could look to each individual trust’s income and apply the lower tax rates for long term capital gains and qualified dividends.  The issue has taken on more relevance as preneed trusts look to diversify out of fixed… Continue Reading

Checks and Balances: Who has your back?

Posted in Administration, Fiduciary, Master Trusts, Preneed
In the days that followed the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association being placed into receivership, some of the WFDA’s sister associations were quick to point out they had ‘checks and balances’ that would protect consumers’ funds from the problems that tripped up the Wisconsin Funeral Trust. As we reported in our last post, a crucial ‘check… Continue Reading

Cemeteries: the insurance void

Posted in Administration, Cemeteries, Funeral, Preneed
For obvious reasons, life insurance is the preneed funding choice for many funeral directors. One hundred percent trusting laws give proactive preneed organizations no choice but to use insurance funding. Insurance provides the commissions needed to finance marketing and a sales force, and, maybe as important, relieves the funeral home from preneed accounting and administration.… Continue Reading

The Independent Preneed Trustee: In a Perfect World

Posted in Administration, Exams/audits, Master Trusts, Preneed, Recordkeeping
A breakdown in communications between the CFDA and the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau has resulted in the California Attorney General filing a lawsuit that can be appropriately described as vitriolic. The “California lawsuit” could provide some valuable ‘what to avoid” lessons for regulators in other states. In an unusual move, the Bureau went “public” last… Continue Reading

Preneed Reporting: drilling down to each consumer

Posted in Administration, Funeral, IFDA, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Reporting
For most Illinois funeral homes, March 15th is the due date for the filing of their preneed data with the Comptroller’s office. For those funeral homes that bolted from the IFDA after the master trust melt down, this has been an extremely frustrating process. The majority of funeral homes must file on line, with supporting… Continue Reading

We were too busy

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Preneed, Recordkeeping
The Texas preneed regulator may have left some consumers scratching their head. On September 16th, the Department of Banking issued a press release that a cease and desist order had been issued to prohibit a Lubbock funeral home from selling trust-funded prepaid funeral contracts. But, a Lubbock newspaper reported comments from the Department of Banking… Continue Reading

A Reasonable and Necessary Trustee Fee: penny wise and pound foolish

Posted in Administration, Fiduciary, Preneed
The Special Deputy Receiver for NPS recently reported the company’s “negative net worth” to be just short of one billion dollars. Rightfully, regulators are looking at the NPS fiduciaries for culpability in the losses that will be sustained by consumers and funeral homes in the years to come. In the meantime, Missouri state officials are working with… Continue Reading