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: Preneed

NY Times: But Mom said everything was taken care of

Posted in Prepaid Funeral Contract, Preplanning, Transition Documents
We’re back to that recent New York Times article about funeral planning.  The reporter offers spot on advice about the ‘gaps’ of preneed arrangements.  A surviving parent will frequently advise adult children that they need not worry about his (or her) funeral because they have purchased a preneed contract.  As the article suggests, adult children… Continue Reading

New York Times: How to Plan Your Own Funeral

Posted in Guaranteed, Non-guaranteed, Preneed, Prepaid Funeral Contract, Transition Documents
Earlier this year, the New York Times ran a story that on funeral planning that raised several valid issues and recommendations.  We will use the next few blog posts to explore certain issues and recommendations in greater detail.   With this post we will start with the article’s discussion of prepaying for a preneed contract, and… Continue Reading

The Missouri State Board: But Will the Division Change its Ways?

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The rift between the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and their Executive Director culminated in her resignation effective June 30th.    Over the course of the past several years, the State Board drew the ire of the industry in a number of ways.   The staff implemented regulation proposals before they were officially promulgated,… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Exam Procedures: Industry Expertise

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
Our first recommendation to the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is that they assume, and maintain, control over the preneed examination procedures.    The exam procedures implemented two years ago were never submitted to the Board for review and approval.  Accordingly, the examination procedures handbook should remind the staff that any change made… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Fees: Making Guaranteed Contracts Affordable to the Funeral Home

Posted in Price Protection, Uncategorized
It only took 15 months, but the Missouri State Board finally approved a rule to clarify what fees a preneed seller may charge when offering a guaranteed price contract to consumers.   Low investment returns from insurance and trusts forced many funeral homes to stop offering guaranteed price contracts to consumers.  Funeral homes’ cost increases were… Continue Reading

Missouri State Funeral Board: Unwinding Two Staff Overreaches

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
At its April 25th meeting, the Missouri State Board unwound two controversial staff proposals: mandatory consumer disclosures for preneed contracts and the formation of an insurance funded contract.  With 20 CSR 2120-3.205 , the Board staff sought to require Missouri preneed sellers to provide consumers with a two page list of disclosures.  Those disclosures proved… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Funeral Board: Taking Back the Reins

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The April 25th meeting of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors marked an important transition where industry members assumed control over the protection of consumers’ preneed funds.   After the first round of financial examinations, the Board’s procedures for the second round were defined by the Board’s staff, and never submitted to the… Continue Reading

Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors: Ten Years after NPS

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
Ten years after the collapse of NPS, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors has a confidence problem with licensees and legislators.  Licensees see a regulator that is obsessed with DBAs, renewal reports, and exams that focus on contract provisions.  Legislators see a regulator that will not fulfill the SB1 mandate to protect… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Record Keeping Meeting(s): A Date to Be Determined

Posted in Associations, Exams/audits, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
In preceding posts, we have outlined recommendations to the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors regarding the preneed examination process and record keeping requirements.  While our correspondence was not included on the Board’s December 13th agenda, the Board entertained a motion to amend the agenda to include our correspondence on the afternoon open… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Preneed Examination Process: A New Focus

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
For the first round of Missouri preneed examinations, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors had no choice but to jump into preneed sellers’ records and files.  Hundreds of funeral home had been selling preneed for decades without supervision or record keeping requirements.   So, the first exam objective was to look at everything and… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Funeral Board: Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Posted in Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Two years ago, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met in Independence to discuss their staff’s recommendations for seller record keeping requirements and the scope of preneed examinations.  As the minutes somewhat reflect, the staff proposals were met with strong public opposition.   (This blog documented those issues in prior posts that are listed… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Examinations: An Important Pivot

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
In their last meeting, the members of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors took a small, but important pivot in the preneed examination process.  The State Board approved a recommendation made by the Financial Examination Committee that the Committee review each examination report and prepare the letter that accompanies the report to… Continue Reading

Estate Planning and Funeral Arrangements: A Will will be too Late

Posted in Preplanning, Right of Sepulcher, Transition Documents
Funeral and burial preplanning should be a part of every estate plan, but some web pages promoting estate planning can be misleading or impractical.   The estate planning page sponsored by Lawyers.com suggests that funeral arrangement preferences can be incorporated into a will or health care power of attorney to alleviate the financial and emotional burdens… Continue Reading

NPR’s Stories on the Funeral Industry: On Line Shopping

Posted in Churches/Ritual, Consumer Advocates, Preplanning
NPR’s second story on the funeral industry suggests that preplanning a funeral will typically require visits to multiple funeral homes. NPR led their story with a consumer attorney sharing his frustrations with getting price information from funeral homes near his father.  To the attorney’s surprise, many of the funeral homes did not include general price… Continue Reading

Missouri Funeral Legislation: The Funeral Consumer Board

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
A bill has been filed in the Missouri General Assembly that proposes to divide the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors membership evenly between the public and industry representatives.  That Board currently consists of 5 industry members and 1 public member.  The bill sponsor, Representative Joe Don McGaugh, is from a district that includes… Continue Reading