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: audits

Missouri Preneed Examinations: The Doctrine of Semi-Absurd Statutory Construction

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
Missouri funeral homes are frustrated with the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.  The second round of preneed examinations has begun, and the Board’s staff is citing sellers for “new” contract form violations on “old” contracts.  Examiners are reviewing all outstanding contracts, including those covered in the seller’s first examination, and now citing the… Continue Reading

The Missouri Funeral Board: Cures for Memory Loss

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
With its January 9th and 10th agenda, the Missouri State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers exhibited yet another example of memory loss.  Just weeks prior, the State Board voted to have one or more special meetings on seller records and the financial examination process.  The motion approved by the Board was to have those… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Preneed Examination Process: A New Focus

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
For the first round of Missouri preneed examinations, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors had no choice but to jump into preneed sellers’ records and files.  Hundreds of funeral home had been selling preneed for decades without supervision or record keeping requirements.   So, the first exam objective was to look at everything and… 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 Seller Records: The Hidden Drawer

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s seller records rule proposal seeks the following documents: D.  For all fulfilled preneed contracts: (1)   Records showing seller’s performance for fulfilled preneed contracts including: (a)  Written certificate(s) of performance for each preneed contract fulfilled; (b)  Requests to the financial institution and/or insurance company for payment; (c) Evidence of the date… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Trustee Disbursement Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s preneed record keeping proposal  targets trust disbursements made for purposes other than preneed contract performances or cancellations: (5)          Records showing any disbursement from a preneed trust or joint account for any purpose other than cancellation or fulfillment of a preneed contract with a description of the purpose for the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Access to Trustee Deposit Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Many Missouri preneed sellers have become dependent upon their trustee for the individual contract accounting required by law changes implemented in 2009.  Some of those same funeral homes also have consumers make their preneed contract payments directly to the trustee.  As a consequence, the seller does not handle consumer funds, and is unable to document… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Record Keeping: A Misstep Right out of the Box

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The purpose for a record keeping rule is to inform licensees what reports and documents that they must either maintain, or create, to enable the preneed examiner to determine compliance with state law requirements.  But, the opening paragraph of the proposal given the Missouri State Board puts the cart in front of the horse: A… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Second Round of Exams: The Committee’s Role

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
In September we posted about a regulation proposal that sought to define the role of a sub-committee of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors (Missouri’s Financial Examination Committee: What Role?).   While the Board eventually gave its staff instructions to revise that proposal, the regulation has yet to resurface.  Instead, the Staff Recommendations include… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Second Round of Exams: Exit Interviews

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
In a prior post we alluded to Missouri preneed sellers’ complaints about the examination process, and that the follow up process to the on-site review has been unnecessarily burdensome.  Subsequent to the examiner’s departure from the funeral home, the seller received an exception list of missing contracts or documents, which the seller can often quickly locate. … Continue Reading

Transferee Liability: Hidden Obligations

Posted in Missouri - SB1
The Dead Beat recently published a letter from a Missouri funeral home operator that was critical of the ‘handling of the NPS debacle’ by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The operator questioned how the Board could ‘allow’ his firm to sign official documents requiring that NPS contracts be honored. The official… Continue Reading

Missouri and Mrs. Smith’s insurance policy: Where to draw the line?

Posted in Insurance Funded, Missouri - SB1, Preneed
Every funeral director has faced the situation where Mrs. Smith comes in with an insurance policy and her funeral plans. Often, Mrs. Smith has gone to trouble of designating the funeral home as the policy beneficiary before having discussed her plans with the director. Often funeral directors file the policy and plan away until Mrs.… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Examination: an idea of what to expect

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Preneed
The new era of preneed exams and audits got off to a slow start in Missouri, but now there are indications the process is picking up speed.   The first notices of preneed financial examinations went out to sellers last January, and some are now going through on-site examinations.  A second wave of examination notices has gone out, and the State Board has begun preparations for… Continue Reading

Continuing the search for preneed exams

Posted in Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed
The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors staff has some new faces, and in contrast to most rookies, these newcomers are playing pivotal roles in developing examination procedures for the state’s preneed funeral sellers. The Division of Professional Registration chose personnel with prior auditing experience, but as these ‘rookies’ are learning, there is… Continue Reading

Delegating Preneed Prosecution

Posted in Exams/audits, Preneed, Reporting
Maybe it’s a response to shrinking state budgets, or the fact that the tracking of preneed funds is becoming more effective, but state and local prosecutors are assuming an expanding role in the enforcement of preneed laws. While a recent report released by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors reflects a drop… Continue Reading

Groundhog Day in Missouri: Preneed Exams before Spring

Posted in Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Reporting
The start of Missouri’s new era of preneed oversight began when document requests were mailed to sellers on January 3rd. Sellers were requested to provide the following documents by January 28th: · A current statement from your state or federally chartered financial institution’s authorized to exercise trust powers in Missouri of any preneed trust accounts… Continue Reading

Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? Missouri’s Exam Process

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Preneed
The Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors will take another step on December 7th towards the process of defining the examination process for preneed funeral contracts. True to mantra that has been repeated over the past several months: this is a work in progress that will evolve as more is learned. The agenda… Continue Reading