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: state board of embalmers and funeral directors

The Division: Regaining that 2008 Mojo

Posted in Missouri - SB1
During the summer following NPS’ collapse, the Missouri Division of Professional Registration provided crucial leadership to building the consensus required for Senate Bill No. 1.  Rushed efforts to re-write the Missouri preneed law had failed, and the Legislature then turned to the Division.  Represented by Connie Clarkson, Becky Dunn and Kim Grinston, the Division prepared… 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’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

Missouri’s Adequate Preneed Records: Receipt and Transmittal Records

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The Missouri funeral industry has haggled with the State Board for two years over preneed record requirements.  But on April 25th, the State Board scrapped the staff’s adequate record proposal, and instead, adopted a brief definition of ‘seller records’.   The State Board’s approach will afford funeral homes more flexibility in documenting the receipt of consumer… 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 Preneed Examinations: The Doctrine of Semi-Absurd Statutory Construction

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
Missouri funeral homes are frustrated with the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.  The second round of preneed examinations has begun, and the Board’s staff is citing sellers for “new” contract form violations on “old” contracts.  Examiners are reviewing all outstanding contracts, including those covered in the seller’s first examination, and now citing the… Continue Reading

Missouri Policy Changes: Return to Start, Do Not Pass Go or Collect $200

Posted in Missouri - SB1
Over the past couple of years, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors implemented a number of policy changes that affected the funeral industry.  New requirements were imposed on licensing and reporting, and complaints were filed against licensees that failed to comply with those new requirements.  It is not uncommon for a state… 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

The Missouri Board Chairman’s Rally Cry: Follow Me, Boys!

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Reporting, Uncategorized
Pursuant to a notice that may, or may not, satisfy state law, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met in closed session this morning.   At the State Board’s December meeting, Division counsel advised that 24 hours’ notice to the public was required to amend the Board’s agenda.   Notice of this 9:00 am… 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’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 Seller Records: The Starting Point for an Audit Trail

Posted in Exams/audits, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
The last time the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors took up the issue of preneed seller record keeping requirements, the staff proposal emphasized a contract ledger approach.  The proposal sought to require a contract record that reflected the amount and date of each payment received and the corresponding dates and amounts deposited… 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

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’s State Board: the 2017 Sabbatical is Over

Posted in Missouri - SB1
After a 8 month sabbatical, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors will be back at work soon.   Shortly after taking office in January, Governor Eric Greitens withdrew two interim appointments to the State Board, leaving it without a quorum to take formal actions.  For the last eight months, the State Board has… Continue Reading