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

  1. Losing 20 pounds
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Spend more time with the family
  4. Find an independent trustee

And so goes the list of New Year resolutions for the Illinois funeral director, with the last being forced on the industry by SB 1682.

Funeral directors and consumers can learn more about the new independent trustee requirements by visiting the Comptroller’s

The old axiom was that it would take three consecutive legislative sessions to get a preneed bill passed. If Missouri and Illinois are indicators of the current preneed reform movement, the charm may be based not on attempts but actual bills passed by the legislature.

The Illinois Comptroller’s proposal for preneed reform, SB1682, is progressing

Reform in Illinois inched closer to reality with Governor Quinn’s "amendatory veto" of SB1682.  If accepted by the Illinois legislature, the reform bill will become law on January 31, 2010.

However, the Governor is seeking a 30 day window between the deadline for the report due from the Funeral Burial Task Force and SB1682’s effective date.  It is doubtful much could be done to change SB1682

NPS’ sister corporation, Forever Illinois, used the Illinois self trusting provisions to administer preneed funds.  As with funeral operators, Senate Bill 1682 will force Illinois cemeteries to seek corporate fiduciaries to administer their preneed and endowed care funds. 

Federal and state regulators can not quite agree on how to define the preneed transaction.  Federal regulators tend to view the preneed transaction as a current sale of goods and services (where the delivery is deferred until a future date).  In contrast, state regulators are increasingly defining the transaction in terms that defer consummation of