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: burial

Estate Planning and Funeral Arrangements: A Will will be too Late

Posted in Preplanning, Right of Sepulcher, Transition Documents
Funeral and burial preplanning should be a part of every estate plan, but some web pages promoting estate planning can be misleading or impractical.   The estate planning page sponsored by Lawyers.com suggests that funeral arrangement preferences can be incorporated into a will or health care power of attorney to alleviate the financial and emotional burdens… Continue Reading

Churches: Conversation Sabbath

Posted in Churches/Ritual, Transition Documents, Uncategorized
Churches from different denominations are observing “Conservation Sabbath” from November 11th through the 20th.  In 2010, a faith-related initiative titled the “The Conversation Project” was initiated by journalist Ellen Goodman.  The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.  Their website states: “Too many people are dying in a… Continue Reading

Accepting Final Expense Policies: More Than an Accommodation

Posted in Funeral, Preplanning
Many funeral homes have an informal practice of accepting small insurance policies from individuals who want to know their funeral expense will be taken care of at the time of death. Often, the individual may not be comfortable discussing their funeral preferences with family, and trust the funeral director to apply the insurance proceeds appropriately.… Continue Reading

Individual Funeral Trusts: Are the costs too high?

Posted in Consumer Advocates, Preneed
The Missouri law governing means testing for public assistance (RSMo. Section 214.010) was amended this past August to allow an individual to set up an ‘irrevocable funeral trust account’ and exclude $9,999 of funds for funeral and burial expenses.  This legislation was sought by a funeral director that wanted to offer families an alternative to regulated… Continue Reading

Green Gardens: an option for the city cemetery?

Posted in Cemeteries
In its past two newsletters, my local chapter of the Funeral Consumer Alliance has reported on the difficulties in finding cemeteries that permit natural burials. In the Spring newsletter, the FCA of Greater KC reported on how the Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas was reconsidering natural burials at one of its six cemeteries. In the… Continue Reading

Private Burial Grounds: better plan ahead

Posted in Cemeteries
The Internet has provided consumer advocates a valuable platform for educating the public with ‘how to’ death care information. But, for the most part, that ‘how to’ information has been confined to the funeral half of the equation. A recent Mother Earth News article provided a detailed description of the issues faced by the author… Continue Reading

Comptroller: It’s Not My Call

Posted in Funeral, IFDA, Preneed
For a brief period, the Illinois Comptroller posted a notice that sidestepped the inquiries made by funeral directors about the application of their Merrill Lynch settlements. The OIC website has since be revised. One of the inquiries to the OIC may have involved whether the settlement funds could be applied to the litigation costs for… Continue Reading

Cemetery Associations: Where’s the manual?

Posted in Cemeteries
Who do you turn to when grass isn’t being cut, or the grave marker falls over? Or, who can approve the transfer of the ownership of my mother’s grave space?  Ultimately, the answer depends on who owns the cemetery. But, determining who owns the cemetery can often prove confusing to both the public and the cemetery regulator. … Continue Reading

Who is buried next to mom?

Posted in Cemeteries
David L. Bingham, Jr. (Junior) is getting his 15 minutes of fame.  The Associated Press ran Junior’s story about  the wrong David L. Bingham, Sr. having been buried next to his mother.   The cemetery has offered Junior some options for correcting the misburial, but he has rejected them all.   A demand for compensation is in the… Continue Reading

The Fork in the Road: personalization vs religious rituals

Posted in Churches/Ritual, Funeral, Preplanning
Two recent newspaper articles help to underscore the distinct directions the funeral ritual seems headed. The Kansas City Star reported on how more families are opting for personalization over formal funeral rituals.  As the article indicates, personalization often requires the funeral director to spend more time with the family planning a memorial that is unique… Continue Reading