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: illinois funeral directors association

A Peace Offering: Fiducary Partners and the WFDA Receiver

Posted in Fiduciary, IFDA, Master Trusts
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… Continue Reading

The IFDA: Charting a Correcting Course

Posted in IFDA
As reported by the Memorial Business Journal*, the Illinois Funeral Directors Association has taken back the helm. For the past three years, the IFDA has been a floundering ship in risk of sinking. The master trust that paved the Association’s growth, has been threatening to bring it down. The IFDA took a crucial step to… 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

The Illinois Consumer Statement: Trust Expense Disclosures

Posted in IFDA, Reporting, Trust Funded
If their preneed contract is trust funded, Illinois consumers should soon be receiving statements from the bank or trust company that administers their account. These statements are one of the new requirements imposed by SB1682. The contents of the statements are governed by Section 2.h of the Funeral or Burial Funds Act. The Comptroller’s Office… 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 Christmas Carol: the future of the IFDA

Posted in IFDA
The Illinois Funeral Directors Association is living out its own version of A Christmas Carol, with the Ghost of Yet to Come having painted a fate similar to that of Scrooge. The court decision reported by the Memorial Business Journal* has all but sealed the fate of the Association. While the attorneys can continue to… Continue Reading

But, we had a deal….

Posted in Fiduciary, IFDA
Rather than defend the legality of its master trust, the IFDA sought to enforce the gentlemen’s agreement that the association perceived it had with the Comptroller. The 2006 exchange of correspondence reported by the State Journal-Register underscores the risks that death care operators take when they structure arrangements that exceed the parameters of applicable law.… Continue Reading

The Illinois Comptroller’s Doubletalk: Who’s the Seller?

Posted in IFDA
Last week’s exchange between the State Journal-Register and the Illinois Comptroller’s office underscores just how poorly some regulators (and funeral directors) understand the preneed transaction. The newspaper’s June 24th editorial included the following statement: The directors allege they didn’t find out about the audit until fall 2007 when the comptroller revoked the IFDA’s license to… Continue Reading

Insurable interest and the IFDA master trust

Posted in IFDA
The Illinois Division of Insurance made the right call: the IFDA master trust does not have an insurable interest in the lives of the members who participate in the trust. A preneed trust is intended to fund the liability that arises when the preneed beneficiary dies and a funeral must be provided. Accordingly, it is… Continue Reading

The Comptroller’s bill: raising the bar for foreign fiduciaries

Posted in Fiduciary, IFDA, Preneed
Finding a fiduciary institution that is both knowledgeable and receptive has proven a challenge to funeral directors. Until a few years ago, the larger operators could rely upon the size of their trust to at least generate interest from prospective institutions. However, litigation exposures are now causing institutions to hesitate with even the largest of… Continue Reading

The IFDA’s Defined Benefit Plan

Posted in IFDA
It may be a mere coincidence, but the $9.7 million demand made by Comptroller Dan Hynes upon the IFDA is approximately 25% of the $39 million dollar “deficit” that the master trust had accrued by 2006. In applying the letter of the law, the Comptroller has rejected the IFDA approach of crediting individual preneed accounts… Continue Reading

Preneed Task Forces

Posted in IFDA, Legislation, Preneed, Reform
Like the Swine Flu, a preneed virus has been spreading across the Midwest.   Looking for a cure, state legislators and regulators have been forming research teams.  It all started last summer, with Missouri’s Chapter 436 (funeral) working group and Chapter 214 (cemetery) working group.  Now, Illinois is establishing a preneed task force, and Kansas is… Continue Reading

But the Senator’s answers are relevant

Posted in IFDA, Preneed
U.S. Senator Roland Burris has been sidestepping questions about his role(s) in the IFDA master trust troubles.  While the Senator was a side issue to a March 30th article published by the Springfield Journal Register, the statement provided by his public-relations specialist may signal just how little Mr. Burris understood about his responsibilities to the… Continue Reading

Chris Butler’s attempt to set the record straight

Posted in IFDA, Preneed
The IFDA seems to be everyone’s favorite whipping boy. Even prominent industry leaders are stepping back from the Association in its time of need. The epicenter for the latest news on the IFDA’s troubles has been the Springfield Journal-Register and Bruce Rushton. Mr. Rushton has done a thorough and excellent job of reporting on the… Continue Reading

Now that we have your attention: IFDA liability exposure

Posted in Fiduciary, IFDA
In naming the IFDA officers and board of directors as individual defendants in their lawsuit, the Calvert group sought to make these individuals accountable for management of the association’s master trust.  Members of a board of directors have a duty to act in the best interests of the organization.  Defenses against personal liability are afforded… Continue Reading

Restoring peace of mind: at the preneed provider’s expense.

Posted in Fiduciary, IFDA, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed, Reform
John Duggan has a point, and that’s what concerns regulators in Illinois, Missouri and Texas. Who will be blamed when the consumer does not get the benefit of their preneed contract? While the overwhelming majority of NPS’ preneed contracts will be honored by the funeral home named in the contract as the “provider”, it is… Continue Reading