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: chapter 436

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 Preneed Examinations: An Important Pivot

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
In their last meeting, the members of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors took a small, but important pivot in the preneed examination process.  The State Board approved a recommendation made by the Financial Examination Committee that the Committee review each examination report and prepare the letter that accompanies the report to… 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

Missouri’s State Board: the 2017 Sabbatical is Over

Posted in Missouri - SB1
After a 8 month sabbatical, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors will be back at work soon.   Shortly after taking office in January, Governor Eric Greitens withdrew two interim appointments to the State Board, leaving it without a quorum to take formal actions.  For the last eight months, the State Board has… Continue Reading

Missouri Rule Rollback: How to Start the Process?

Posted in Compliance, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
Despite lacking sufficient members to take official actions, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met last week to discuss Executive Order 17-03.  As we reported back in January (Missouri Rule Rollback), the Order represents a significant undertaking by the State Board.  Seven months later, the State Board has less than a year… 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: 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 Funeral Consumer Board: Another Step Closer

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
With the support of the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association, The Funeral Consumer Board Bill (HB 596) was voted out of committee last week with a crucial amendment.  As reported in our January 19th post, Rep. McGaugh wants a preneed regulator that is more responsive to the consumer.  The Representative’s constituents lost hundreds of… 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

Round 2 of Missouri’s Preneed Exams: The Document Request

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
It has been more than a year since the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors approved the expansion of the scope of financial examinations.  Consequently, preneed sellers up for their second preneed audit are receiving notices that request the following reports and documents: A current statement from your state or federally chartered financial… Continue Reading

Missouri Rule Rollback: The 18 Month Deadline

Posted in Missouri - SB1
Keeping true to a campaign promise, one of the first acts of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was to issue an executive order that gives each state agency until June 30, 2018 to repeal or cease any regulation that is ineffective, unnecessary of unduly burdensome.  The Governor’s order sets out the following review procedures: Every State… 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 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 Premium Payments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri record keeping proposal addresses funeral homes that handle insurance premium payments.  For funeral homes that rely upon insurance funding for their preneed program, the initial payment is typically handled by the funeral director or preneed agent, and then subsequent premium payments are made directly to the insurance company.  However, some… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Adequate Seller Records: the Contracts and Agreements

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
In our continuing review of the Missouri Seller Record Keeping proposal, the rule next addresses what a preneed seller must retain with regard to its consumer contracts.  However, the proposal actually contains two sections requiring the retention of contracts and agreements (Section 2.A and Section 2.F). Of the two, Section 2.F is the more detailed:… 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 Preneed Seller Records: the Third Time did not prove a Charm

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
It’s been fifteen months and counting, but the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Directors and their Division staff are still at odds over a rule for defining minimum record keeping requirements for preneed sellers.  The Division staff first floated an “Adequate Records” rule in July 2015, but the draft was not formally submitted to… Continue Reading