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

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Transferee Liability: Hidden Obligations

Posted in Missouri - SB1
The Dead Beat recently published a letter from a Missouri funeral home operator that was critical of the ‘handling of the NPS debacle’ by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The operator questioned how the Board could ‘allow’ his firm to sign official documents requiring that NPS contracts be honored. The official… Continue Reading

Green Gardens: an option for the city cemetery?

Posted in Cemeteries
In its past two newsletters, my local chapter of the Funeral Consumer Alliance has reported on the difficulties in finding cemeteries that permit natural burials. In the Spring newsletter, the FCA of Greater KC reported on how the Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas was reconsidering natural burials at one of its six cemeteries. In the… Continue Reading

The Right of Sepulcher and Nebraska: Giving the Preneed Contract a Higher Dignity

Posted in Associations, Funeral Home Business Practices, Supulcher/Preference Laws
Representatives from Nebraska’s death care industry will be meeting this fall to discuss the Department of Insurance’s preneed legislative proposal, and the right of sepulcher will be among the issues for discussion. Nebraska is among the states that have statutory provisions defining the priority of individuals who may claim the right of sepulcher (which is… Continue Reading

Missouri’s First Preneed Regulation: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Preplanning
More than one funeral director has expressed the opinion that the State Board should never have been given rule making authority. We’ll never know, but if the State Board had rulemaking authority 22 years ago, it could have implemented rules to help enforce NPS’ 1990 settlement agreement, and thereby avoided that company’s collapse. But equally… Continue Reading

Did Someone Ask “Who’s the Boss?”

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Preneed
Three years ago we asked that question with regard to the power struggle occurring between the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Missouri Division of Professional Registration staff. That post was influenced by our experiences with preneed regulators from other states, who range from elected politicians to the revolving door bureaucrat.… Continue Reading

October Chaos: Missouri Preneed Seller Renewals and Insurance Assignments

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Reporting
The staff for the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors released the revised preneed renewal reports this week, and those revisions include a few new additional requirements.  Those requirements include a seller providing a ‘no tax due’ letter, proof of corporate status and any ‘doing business as’ filings.  However, the new requirement that… 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

Missouri Cemetery Reform: New Year’s Resolutions

Posted in Cemeteries, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Reporting
In a move to remain autonomous from the funeral industry and its oversight, the Missouri cemetery industry met with its regulator during the summer of 2008 to discuss reform legislation. Disagreements precluded effective legislation from being passed in 2009, but extensive changes was passed in 2010, and became effective on August 28, 2010. Now, the Missouri… Continue Reading

Serving Time in Kansas: Fairlawn Burial Park

Posted in Cemeteries, Preneed
Families and funeral homes harmed by NPS will hope that company’s owners and officers have to face a judge like the Honorable Richard Rome. The Hutchinson News reported that District Judge Richard Rome rejected a plea bargain for probation, and sentenced Fairlawn Burial Park’s owner to almost 5 years in prison. A Kansas Secretary of… Continue Reading

SB1 and Missouri’s Show Me Year

Posted in Funeral, Missouri - SB1
The anxiety over Missouri’s new preneed law will temporarily peak this Friday with the passing of the due dates for annual reports and license applications. To give the industry a breather, and to assess SB1’s flaws, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors reached an informal agreement on October 20th to table any… Continue Reading

Texas Preneed Reform

Posted in Funeral, Legislation, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed
In terms of the toxic NPS fallout, Texas ranks a close second to Missouri.  In response, the Texas Department of Banking has released a legislative proposal aimed at closing what it perceives are the loopholes in Chapter 154 of the Texas Finance Code.  To facilitate discussion of the issues with death care operators, insurance companies and fiduciaries,… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Reform: work in progress

Posted in Fiduciary, Funeral, Legislation, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed, Reform
 While the completion of the document may have felt like a birthing process to the staff of Missouri’s Division of Professional Registration, the Chapter 436 Working Group Recommendations more accurately reflects an industry position paper that has yet to be completed.   Faced with a deadline imposed by the Missouri legislature, the Division ‘finalized’ the Recommendations in an… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Personal Preference Law: End of Life Planning

Posted in Supulcher/Preference Laws
An important revision to Missouri’s personal preference law goes into effect on August 28th.  The original law (R.S.Mo. Section 194.119) was confusing to funeral directors about whether an individual could override the preferences of his/her next-of-kin.  With the revision, funeral directors can more comfortably rely upon the individual’s durable power of attorney when following the instructions of someone other than the… Continue Reading

The Costs of Death

Posted in Preneed
A year ago, the Dayton JournalNews ran a series of articles about the regulation of the death care industry in Ohio.   The reporting was comprehensive, with articles about preneed.  Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in Ohio to further restrict who could sell preneed.  However, the legislation does not address the trusting issues that rankle consumer advocates.  That bill… Continue Reading