Both the Memorial Business Journal and the Funeral Service Insider commented last week on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s February 7th article regarding the former executive director of the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. Several issues were raised that should be included in future industry debate, and in particular, I would agree with Mr. Isard’s questions whether

Fiduciary Partners, the corporate fiduciary for the Wisconsin and Illinois master trusts, broke its silence this week with a statement to the Funeral Service Insider. The statement was made in response to criticisms previously reported by FSI, and reflects the receiver and fiduciary working together to get their “message” out and avoid the kind of

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

The Kansas Secretary of State’s office bore the brunt of the criticism for a Hutchinson cemetery that siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars from its trust funds. That office has the responsibility of auditing cemetery trust funds (preneed merchandise and care funds). But, poor record keeping on the part of the cemetery industry has

Regulators in California, Missouri and Kansas have already implemented strategies that are intended to make preneed fiduciaries more accountable to the consumer. Over the past few weeks, this blog has covered new reporting requirements in Missouri and the audit drama playing out in California. In Kansas, the fiduciary for a failed cemetery has been sued for

California funeral directors face a September 13th deadline that could have substantial financial consequences, including the repayment of trust distributions.

A July 1st letter sent by the California’s Cemetery & Funeral Bureau to funeral homes in the California Master Trust outlined the regulator’s rejection of the Association responses regarding the Master Trust audit. An impatient

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