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: non-guaranteed

Preneed Shortfalls: Performance Cost Increases

Posted in Preneed Shortfalls, Price Protection
In our prior post we discussed two factors to preneed shortfalls: investment returns and the operator’s performance cost increases.  The Funeral Consumer Alliance of Greater Kansas City conducts an annual survey of the region’s funeral homes to track the price increases on their General Price Lists.  A couple days after our post, the Kansas City… Continue Reading

The Factors Contributing to Preneed Shortfalls: Investment Return and Operator’s Performance Costs

Posted in Guaranteed, Insurance Funded, Non-guaranteed, Preneed, Preneed Development, Preplanning, Price Protection, Price Protection, Total Return Trust, Trust Funded, Uncategorized
When the Federal Reserve recently announced the end of the quantitative easing program, it did so with a hint that any increase in interest rates could be a considerable time off.  Several global factors may now cause interest rates to remain at unprecedented lows for longer than what the Fed had suggested last December.  As… Continue Reading

Consumers Payment Options: Administrative Hurdles and Preneed Trusts

Posted in Administration, Associations, Compliance, Master Trusts, Non-guaranteed, NPS/Lincoln, Recordkeeping, Trust Funded
There are three scenarios for administration of preneed installment payments: the funeral operator collects payments, the trustee collects payments or a third party administrator collects payments.  The entity collecting installment payments must be able to apply each payment to the correct preneed account, and provide the other party (or parties) current payment balances.  If the… Continue Reading

Consumer Options and Administrative Hurdles: Market Value Allocations

Posted in Administration, Associations, Compliance, Master Trusts, Total Return Trust
The conventional guaranteed preneed transaction is premised upon investment returns offsetting performance cost increases to the funeral home.  Many funeral homes restrict consumers to single payment preneed contracts to limit their exposure to funding short falls.  If the funeral home allows the consumer to pay the preneed purchase price over 60 months, the preneed trust… Continue Reading

Preneed Contract Holders: the lonely 5%

Posted in Guaranteed, Non-guaranteed, Preneed, Preneed Development, Preplanning, Uncategorized
The Memorial Business Journal recently reported on findings from the NFDA’s 2014 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study.   Some of the findings may not come as much of a surprise to funeral directors, such as consumer demands are changing.  But, findings regarding how many respondents have made efforts to prearrange, and prepay, for funerals were surprising. … Continue Reading

My Preneed Account: Interest Alone Won’t Cut It

Posted in Non-guaranteed, Preplanning, Price Protection, Total Return Trust, Trust Funded, Uncategorized
Since President Obama unveiled the new MyRA as his plan to revive Americans’ saving habits, we have been making comparisons between funding for retirements and preneed.   Like the MyRA, the non-guaranteed preneed contract could represent more of an introduction to preplanning funding than the final preneed product.  As the AARP acknowledged a few years ago,… Continue Reading

MyPA: No Free Passes

Posted in Non-guaranteed, Preplanning, Uncategorized
Our recent post on similarities of the MyRA and non-guaranteed preneed concluded with references to how criticisms of President Obama’s new retirement account were applicable to preneed.  One such criticism relates to the lack of investment performance, but we will save that issue for a future date.  For this post we want to address the… Continue Reading

Master Trusts: Finding the Rails

Posted in Fiduciary, Guaranteed, IFDA, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Non-guaranteed, Preneed, Trust Funded
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… 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

Sound Bite Advice

Posted in Funeral, Preneed
The question isn’t whether preneed needs to change, but how to change it. The November 2nd edition of the Funeral Insider highlights a new industry survey by Citrin Cooperman, a highly regarded accounting firm. The newsletter includes a section on preneed, and experts’ take on the survey. Their consensus is that preneed is broken. (Tell… 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

The economy and non-guaranteed preneed

Posted in Preneed
Has the economy caused consumers to put preneed on a back burner? Perhaps, but funeral directors can anticipate an increase in spend down inquiries. It is hard to turn prospective business away, but funeral directors need to consider how these transactions do not lend themselves to insurance funding or the conventional guaranteed preneed contract. In… Continue Reading

Would consumers purchase a non-guaranteed contract?

Posted in Preneed, Preplanning, Reform
Regulators and preneed sellers squared off recently over the subject of who owns the preneed trust fund: the funeral home or the consumer. Hearings to reform Missouri’s preneed law hit a wall when the issues of trusting requirements, income accrual and portability was taken up by a review committee comprised of regulators, industry representatives and consumers.   In a debate that… Continue Reading