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

Transferee Liability: Hidden Obligations

Posted in Missouri - SB1
The Dead Beat recently published a letter from a Missouri funeral home operator that was critical of the ‘handling of the NPS debacle’ by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The operator questioned how the Board could ‘allow’ his firm to sign official documents requiring that NPS contracts be honored. The official… Continue Reading

Missouri’s First Preneed Regulation: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Preneed, Preplanning
More than one funeral director has expressed the opinion that the State Board should never have been given rule making authority. We’ll never know, but if the State Board had rulemaking authority 22 years ago, it could have implemented rules to help enforce NPS’ 1990 settlement agreement, and thereby avoided that company’s collapse. But equally… Continue Reading

Did Someone Ask “Who’s the Boss?”

Posted in Missouri - SB1, Preneed
Three years ago we asked that question with regard to the power struggle occurring between the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Missouri Division of Professional Registration staff. That post was influenced by our experiences with preneed regulators from other states, who range from elected politicians to the revolving door bureaucrat.… Continue Reading

Wisconsin: borrowing from the NPS playbook

Posted in Funeral, Master Trusts, Preneed
Recent document disclosures are reflecting that several factors contributed to the WFDA’s master trust deficiency (and the appointment of a receiver). Certain of those factors relate to the fees paid to fund managers and the association’s sponsorship charges. Those factors are relevant to other association master trusts, and we will explore them in subsequent posts.… 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

Pennsylvania: knocking down fences

Posted in Cremation, Funeral
Heritage is the term that the death care industry uses to describe the relationship each funeral home or cemetery attempts to forge with the community through years of service. Heritage reflects a commitment to the community, and through that commitment, the operator can expect the community’s business. Initially, the vast majority of funeral directors fought… Continue Reading

The Independent Preneed Trustee: In a Perfect World

Posted in Administration, Exams/audits, Master Trusts, Preneed, Recordkeeping
A breakdown in communications between the CFDA and the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau has resulted in the California Attorney General filing a lawsuit that can be appropriately described as vitriolic. The “California lawsuit” could provide some valuable ‘what to avoid” lessons for regulators in other states. In an unusual move, the Bureau went “public” last… 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

Serving Time in Kansas: Fairlawn Burial Park

Posted in Cemeteries, Preneed
Families and funeral homes harmed by NPS will hope that company’s owners and officers have to face a judge like the Honorable Richard Rome. The Hutchinson News reported that District Judge Richard Rome rejected a plea bargain for probation, and sentenced Fairlawn Burial Park’s owner to almost 5 years in prison. A Kansas Secretary of… Continue Reading

Regulatory Intervention: the Kansas plan

Posted in Cemeteries, Legislation
The Topeka Capital-Journal has identified the essence of the Secretary of State’s plan for Kansas cemetery regulation: addressing cemetery problems before the trusts go upside down. There are two types of cemetery trusts: perpetual care trusts and preneed trusts. Perpetual care trusts (or permanent maintenance trusts) provide the cemetery crucial funding for mowing, and the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Reform: work in progress

Posted in Fiduciary, Funeral, Legislation, NPS/Lincoln, Preneed, Reform
 While the completion of the document may have felt like a birthing process to the staff of Missouri’s Division of Professional Registration, the Chapter 436 Working Group Recommendations more accurately reflects an industry position paper that has yet to be completed.   Faced with a deadline imposed by the Missouri legislature, the Division ‘finalized’ the Recommendations in an… Continue Reading

Trade Association Membership: weighing the costs vs. the benefits

Posted in Cemeteries, Funeral, Preneed
Mortuary Management’s July/August Colleague Wisdom column underscores how difficult it can be to run a trade association. I can empathize with the funeral home operators who took the time to provide their thoughts. As an attorney who specializes in the death care industry, I have to weigh the costs and benefits of membership in trade associations from… Continue Reading

The Costs of Death

Posted in Preneed
A year ago, the Dayton JournalNews ran a series of articles about the regulation of the death care industry in Ohio.   The reporting was comprehensive, with articles about preneed.  Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in Ohio to further restrict who could sell preneed.  However, the legislation does not address the trusting issues that rankle consumer advocates.  That bill… Continue Reading