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: reporting

Missouri’s Preneed Exam Handbook: How to Spot the Cheaters

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The Missouri State Board’s proposed exam handbook places a new emphasis on tracking consumer payments to funeral homes.  There are two elements to the Board’s strategy: confirming the consumer’s funds make it to the appropriate funding agent, and that those funds are remitted to that funding agent within the time periods required by Chapter 436. … Continue Reading

Missouri’s Second Round of Exams: Exit Interviews

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
In a prior post we alluded to Missouri preneed sellers’ complaints about the examination process, and that the follow up process to the on-site review has been unnecessarily burdensome.  Subsequent to the examiner’s departure from the funeral home, the seller received an exception list of missing contracts or documents, which the seller can often quickly locate. … Continue Reading

Too Literal of an Interpretation: Mississippi and Preneed Taxes

Posted in Preneed, Preneed Tax, Reporting
The Mississippi Secretary of State seems to be taking a very proactive approach to the regulation of preneed and perpetual care funds. Over the course of the last few years, the Regulation and Enforcement Division of the Secretary of State’s office has averaged an enforcement proceeding per month. We were curious what type of enforcement… 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

Preneed Reporting: drilling down to each consumer

Posted in Administration, Funeral, IFDA, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Reporting
For most Illinois funeral homes, March 15th is the due date for the filing of their preneed data with the Comptroller’s office. For those funeral homes that bolted from the IFDA after the master trust melt down, this has been an extremely frustrating process. The majority of funeral homes must file on line, with supporting… Continue Reading

Delegating Preneed Prosecution

Posted in Exams/audits, Preneed, Reporting
Maybe it’s a response to shrinking state budgets, or the fact that the tracking of preneed funds is becoming more effective, but state and local prosecutors are assuming an expanding role in the enforcement of preneed laws. While a recent report released by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors reflects a drop… Continue Reading

The Illinois Consumer Statement: Trust Expense Disclosures

Posted in IFDA, Reporting, Trust Funded
If their preneed contract is trust funded, Illinois consumers should soon be receiving statements from the bank or trust company that administers their account. These statements are one of the new requirements imposed by SB1682. The contents of the statements are governed by Section 2.h of the Funeral or Burial Funds Act. The Comptroller’s Office… Continue Reading

Groundhog Day in Missouri: Preneed Exams before Spring

Posted in Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Reporting
The start of Missouri’s new era of preneed oversight began when document requests were mailed to sellers on January 3rd. Sellers were requested to provide the following documents by January 28th: · A current statement from your state or federally chartered financial institution’s authorized to exercise trust powers in Missouri of any preneed trust accounts… Continue Reading

The Comptroller’s Annual Report: a broken trail

Posted in Funeral, IFDA, Preneed, Reporting
This blog commented a few weeks ago on Dan Hynes’ failure to follow through on his own legislation. Since that post, the new Comptroller revised the Annual Report to eliminate references to self-trusted funds. However, funeral homes that transferred out of the IFDA master trust will still find the report difficult to complete. The Comptroller’s… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Trust Funded Report: perserving self regulation

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Funeral, Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Recordkeeping, Reporting
The ‘deadline’ for Missouri preneed sellers to ‘voluntarily’ report their pre-SB1 trust funded sales is a mere two weeks away. Again, this is a voluntary report. As such, missing the ‘deadline’ or failing to use the Board’s form carries no penalty to the preneed seller. So, why file? The reason expressed by one State Board… Continue Reading

The Comptroller’s Preneed Report: poor follow through

Posted in Compliance, IFDA, Preneed, Reporting
While the Comptroller succeeded in getting SB1682 passed, and into law this past February, the office hasn’t revised its annual preneed reporting form to reflect the law’s changes. The report contemplates depository accounts and self-trusted accounts, which were eliminated by SB1682. Funeral directors, accustom to the IFDA’s assistance, may also find the trust report section… 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

Who’s the Boss?

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Reporting
That’s the question a member of the Missouri State Board asked of his staff last Wednesday during a discussion of controversial examination procedures. Prior to the NPS fiasco, the answer to that question would have been “the Board is”. While SB1 (appropriately) continued to vest preneed supervision in the State Board, the new law also… 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

Fiduciary Accountability: Illinois and the annual statement

Posted in Fiduciary, Funeral, IFDA, Preneed
Regulators in California, Missouri and Kansas have already implemented strategies that are intended to make preneed fiduciaries more accountable to the consumer. Over the past few weeks, this blog has covered new reporting requirements in Missouri and the audit drama playing out in California. In Kansas, the fiduciary for a failed cemetery has been sued for… Continue Reading

Missouri’s New Reporting Requirements: work in progress

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Preneed
On September 9th, Missouri’s State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors conducted its first public meeting since forwarding new (and extensive) reporting requirements to preneed funeral sellers and providers. In no mood to entertain complaints from the industry, the Board advised licensees to “do their best”. In response to criticism of the new trust reporting… Continue Reading

Self Reporting: how deep will it go?

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Preneed
Missouri funeral homes will get their first glimpse of their State Board’s proposal for self reporting for preneed sales.  Under the prior law, preneed sellers merely reported the number of contracts sold and their aggregate sales price.  For Missouri regulators to properly assess whether ‘old’ Chapter 436 trusts and joint accounts are properly funded, the… Continue Reading

If that’s what is required to get your attention

Posted in Fiduciary, Legislation, Preneed, Reform
In response to a proposal that preneed trustees be required to provide periodic account statements to contract purchasers, a funeral director asked what liability he would have to consumers who question the trust’s performance during a year such as 2008.   Legally speaking: none. But ultimately, death care companies should be accountable to their families for the decisions… Continue Reading