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: records

Missouri Preneed Exam Procedures: New Receipt and Transmission Records

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s pending preneed exam handbook will establish a new record keeping requirement for the state’s preneed sellers: monthly records of consumer payment receipts and the transmission of those funds to the preneed funding agent.  Seller record keeping proposals are not new to the Board.   (Missouri Seller Records: The State Board Proposal) The Board’s staff proposed… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Adequate Preneed Records: Performance and Cancellation Records

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
When the State Board approved a new “adequate seller records” rule on April 25th, there wasn’t much discussion of the documents or reports to be maintained for performed and canceled preneed contracts.  In a sense, the Board may not need to expand beyond the FTC’s statement of goods and services requirement.  If a funeral home… Continue Reading

The Missouri Funeral Board: Cures for Memory Loss

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
With its January 9th and 10th agenda, the Missouri State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers exhibited yet another example of memory loss.  Just weeks prior, the State Board voted to have one or more special meetings on seller records and the financial examination process.  The motion approved by the Board was to have those… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: 2017 Reboot?

Posted in Administration, Compliance, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
This time last year, the hot topic before the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors was the staff’s proposed regulation to define what constitutes adequate records of a preneed seller.   The proposal was revised more than once during 2016, but it was eventually tabled by the Board before any consensus could be… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: Avoiding the next Polley

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Prosecutors and investigators have commented to our office about how difficult it can be to prove preneed fraud.   They won’t know whether the consumer has been harmed until the death of the contract beneficiary, and then whether the funeral is provided.  In Missouri, prosecuting a bad apple funeral director got much easier as of January… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Communications

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s preneed seller records proposal would require preneed sellers to retain all communications that relate to their preneed contracts: Any written (including electronic) communications between the seller and any preneed agent, provider, trustee, investment advisor, insurance company, purchaser and/or beneficiary of the preneed contract and any other person related to preneed contracts and the funding… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Existing Insurance Policies

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
We anticipate that the following section of the Missouri record keeping proposal is directed at the situation where consumers assign an existing insurance policy to the funeral home: All information obtained or possessed by the seller related to any insurance policy used to fund any preneed contract that may include, but not be limited to,… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Preneed Records: Cancellations

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
With regard to preneed contracts that are canceled, Missouri preneed sellers are being requested to retain the following documents:  (1)       All records providing any sort of notice to the seller of the cancellation of a preneed contract; and (2)        All records showing the date, name of who is paid, the amount paid out and a… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Records: Keep Your Bank Records and Insurance Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of the Missouri preneed seller records rule would require funeral homes to retain copies of the periodic statements provided by banks, trustees and insurance companies: Copies of account statements for joint accounts, trust statements for trust accounts, and any statements received from insurance companies listing the insurance policies in effect and/or the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Insurance Payments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s preneed record rule is confusing.  A prior provision of the rule (¶D(1)) would require a seller to maintain records reflecting the receipt of funds from an insurance company, and documents showing the seller’s performance of the contract.  However, for insurance funded contracts, the rule would also seek the following additional… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Insurance Premium Payments

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri record keeping proposal addresses funeral homes that handle insurance premium payments.  For funeral homes that rely upon insurance funding for their preneed program, the initial payment is typically handled by the funeral director or preneed agent, and then subsequent premium payments are made directly to the insurance company.  However, some… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Trustee Disbursement Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
The next section of Missouri’s preneed record keeping proposal  targets trust disbursements made for purposes other than preneed contract performances or cancellations: (5)          Records showing any disbursement from a preneed trust or joint account for any purpose other than cancellation or fulfillment of a preneed contract with a description of the purpose for the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Access to Trustee Deposit Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Many Missouri preneed sellers have become dependent upon their trustee for the individual contract accounting required by law changes implemented in 2009.  Some of those same funeral homes also have consumers make their preneed contract payments directly to the trustee.  As a consequence, the seller does not handle consumer funds, and is unable to document… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: Timely Deposits to Trust

Posted in Compliance, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next section of the proposed record keeping rule for Missouri preneed sellers addresses the timely deposit of consumer funds to preneed trusts.  Missouri’s prior preneed law did not specify when consumer deposits were required to be deposited to trust, and National Prearranged Services exploited that omission.  NPS claimed that consumer funds need not be… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Adequate Seller Records: the Contracts and Agreements

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
In our continuing review of the Missouri Seller Record Keeping proposal, the rule next addresses what a preneed seller must retain with regard to its consumer contracts.  However, the proposal actually contains two sections requiring the retention of contracts and agreements (Section 2.A and Section 2.F). Of the two, Section 2.F is the more detailed:… Continue Reading

Avoid the Long Spring Lines: File your Missouri Preneed Renewals Early

Posted in Compliance, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Missouri’s preneed seller and provider license renewals expire October 31st of each year, and many funeral directors approach this deadline like they would their tax return: if it is in the mail by Halloween I’m good.  But, dozens of Missouri funeral directors found otherwise this past year when they were summoned to appear before the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Records: Trustee’s Deposit Records

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Fiduciary, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
In our prior post (Missouri Seller Exams: Timely Deposits), we discussed the receipt and deposit records that funeral homes may be required to maintain.  However, to demonstrate that they are complying with the preneed law’s deposit requirements, funeral homes will also be dependent upon the records generated by their funding source to confirm consumer funds… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: KISS

Posted in Compliance, Recordkeeping
When the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met June 30th to discuss a proposed rule defining new record keeping requirements for preneed sellers, one Board member spoke a sentiment that many funeral directors share: keep it simple, stupid.   The Board member suggested that consumer receipt records could be as simple as copying… Continue Reading

Missouri’s June 30th Rules Committee Meeting: Time to Take the Lead

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
In our January 3rd Post, we described the process (or lack of process) between the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Division staff for establishing the examination procedures that would be applied to preneed sellers for the next five years.  The industry railed at the Staff’s recommendations for the scope of financial… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Seller Records: Receipt Journal

Posted in Compliance, Recordkeeping
The first record described in the proposed Missouri recordkeeping regulation could actually require preneed sellers to maintain three, maybe four, sets of journals: (1) receipt and disbursement journals containing a record of deposits to and withdrawals from both preneed trusts and preneed joint accounts, specifically identifying the date, source, and description of each item deposited… Continue Reading