On August 30, 2021, the legal saga of National Prearranged Services came to a rather anticlimactic conclusion.  In a relatively short decision, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Richard Webber’s July 2019 judgment that awarded $102,135,393.07 damages against PNC Bank, a successor to the NPS preneed trusts.  The final damages award is a

For years, Illinois law has prohibited funeral homes from being named as beneficiaries to consumers’ life insurance policies.  In response to frauds committed by National Prearranged Services (NPS), many states amended their preneed laws to prohibit life insurance ownership by a funeral home.  NPS had structured its preneed program as owner of insurance policies sold

In our next post on cemetery preneed, we want to revisit a post from June 2012 (Cemetery Preneed Challenges: bucket accounting).  As discussed in that post, the cemetery prearrangement differs from its funeral counterpart because the cemetery can deliver property and merchandise prior to the purchaser’s death.  When establishing a preneed program, a

While preserving traditional burials should be a cemetery’s top preneed priority, a priority should also be placed on the surviving lot owner that is opting for cremation.  The Wirthlin studies that we’ve been referencing in prior posts suggest that most grave spaces sold by cemeteries during the past 20 years will never be used.  One

Almost thirty years ago, associations representing funeral homes, casket suppliers, vault makers, monument builders and life insurers joined together to form the Funeral and Memorialization Information Council (FAMIC).  These industries were concerned about the future impact of cremation on the traditional funeral and burial.  FAMIC used Wirthlin Worldwide to conduct research studies every

For revenues, most cemeteries are dependent upon grave sales, opening/closing services, and care fund distributions.  These revenue sources have been on the decline for a decade.  As cremation trends up, fewer families are purchasing burial lots.  Those families that already own burial lots frequently don’t use them.  COVID induced financial difficulties will only accelerate the

The risk of COVID to family members is causing some preneed contract holders to rethink the traditional funeral they have purchased.  During the early stages of the coronavirus spread, a handful of funerals were found to have been super spreader events.  Dozens of attendees were infected, and several deaths resulted.  Funeral homes have since implemented

In contrast to Missouri’s Chapter 214, most states’ cemetery laws do not exempt all cemetery associations from care fund requirements.  We do find that some states exempt small non-profit cemeteries (typically based on acreage).  Some states limit non-profit cemetery exemptions to grandfathered situations (a cemetery established prior to 1940).  These small cemetery associations are more