The Independent Preneed Trustee: In a Perfect World

Death Care Law Blog
May 9, 2011

A breakdown in communications between the CFDA [California Funeral Directors Association] 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 year by raising a number of issues with administration of the California Master Trust. Some of those issues did warrant an explanation. One issue involves the actions taken by the CFDA subsidiary in response to the 2000 market crash. The subsidiary implemented a plan to stabilize the master trust value after the collapse of a bond fund. Another issue regards the administration fees charged the master trust subsequent to the collapse of the bond fund. A third issue regards the subsidiary’s policy to pay a portion of the administration fees to participating funeral homes.

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