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: compliance

Missouri’s Trust Funded Report: perserving self regulation

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Reporting
The ‘deadline’ for Missouri preneed sellers to ‘voluntarily’ report their pre-SB1 trust funded sales is a mere two weeks away. Again, this is a voluntary report. As such, missing the ‘deadline’ or failing to use the Board’s form carries no penalty to the preneed seller. So, why file? The reason expressed by one State Board… Continue Reading

The Comptroller’s Preneed Report: poor follow through

Posted in Compliance, IFDA, Preneed, Reporting
While the Comptroller succeeded in getting SB1682 passed, and into law this past February, the office hasn’t revised its annual preneed reporting form to reflect the law’s changes. The report contemplates depository accounts and self-trusted accounts, which were eliminated by SB1682. Funeral directors, accustom to the IFDA’s assistance, may also find the trust report section… Continue Reading

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: the statement of goods and services

Posted in Compliance, Funeral, Preneed, Recordkeeping
When funeral arrangements are made subsequent to the death of a family member, the meeting with a funeral director can be very emotional. Addressing the paperwork required by law often adds to the stress of the arrangement meeting. Sensitive to the individual needs of the family, funeral directors attempt to balance legal requirements with the… Continue Reading

Step Out of the Box: a California request

Posted in Compliance
According to Wikipedia, Regulation is "controlling human or societal behavior by rules or restrictions." Regulation can take many forms including legal restrictions promulgated by a government authority……. So, regulators are charged with the task of interpreting “legal restrictions” and determining what businesses can or cannot do. When the applicable law is well drafted, and further… Continue Reading

Preneed Contract Forms: Worth The Paper They’re Written On?

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Funeral, Insurance Funded, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Trust Funded
With the exception of a few states, each form of preneed funding has its own statutory requirements. Consequently, different contract forms are required for each method of preneed funding. So, what does this mean for the consumer worried about the safety of funds paid to the funeral home or cemetery. Among the pecking order of… Continue Reading

Early Audit Warning: Fees and Assessments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Funeral, Preneed
It seems paradoxical to see preneed regulators ramping up audit programs while state budgets are being slashed to the bone. Yet, several I-70 corridor states will soon implement new preneed audit programs. Missouri’s preneed funeral audits will be funded out of a combination of license fees and preneed contract fees. Missouri’s new cemetery law did… Continue Reading

Non-guaranteed preneed: time to review the duties

Posted in Compliance, Funeral, Preneed
The financial fallout from the failures of NPS and IFDA regarding compliance with state and federal laws has accelerated the decision of many funeral directors to switch to the non-guaranteed preneed contract. That non-guaranteed contract represents a fundamental change in the relationship that is established between the consumer, the funeral home and the preneed fiduciary. The… 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

The Preneed Tax

Posted in Compliance, Preneed, Reform
Several states have passed laws in the past few years mandating greater preneed oversight. But with state budgets in decline after the 2008 market crash, regulators are hard pressed to find a way to pay for consumer protection. Colorado’s new law simply states that the contract seller shall bear the cost of its examination. In… Continue Reading

Taking comfort from the local banker

Posted in Compliance, Fiduciary, Preneed
Within the past few years, state legislatures have significantly expanded the fiduciary duties of banks and trust companies that service death care trusts. Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee responded to cemetery trust frauds (including the Clayton Smart affair). The trend continued in Missouri and Illinois with laws aimed at funeral trusts (in response to NPS and… Continue Reading

Death Care Reform Indiana Style: Fiduciary Alert!

Posted in Compliance, Fiduciary, Legislation, Preneed, Reform
It’s always an ugly scene when a party to a fiduciary relationship gets caught with his/her hand in the cookie jar.  Unfortunately, this has been happening with alarming frequency in the death care community, and Indiana has had enough.  In a relationship that requires mutual cooperation, the death care industry has taken the position that "someone should have… Continue Reading

Maryland’s Proposed Preneed Protection Fund: all things considered

Posted in Compliance, Consumer Advocates, Fiduciary, Legislation, Preneed, Reform
It must be spring: preneed reform bills are sprouting like crocus.    The direction taken by the Maryland and Tennessee legislatures in proposing protection funds drew recent criticism from the Funeral Consumers Alliance. While consumer advocates have some valid points regarding these legislative efforts, the obstacles facing states are far more complex than what most outsiders… Continue Reading