How do I tranfer my arrangements?
Funeral homes businesses are like any other. Some are very community based and will continue to serve the area for many years to come. However, there are also times when a funeral home can go out of business due to poor mismanagement or lack of business. They can go bankrupt or physical properties can be foreclosed on and closed. If this happens, you as a consumer of funeral services should act.
In the following section we will address a variety of situations that may have or could occur within the funeral industry or even within our local community on how your local funeral providers continue as a viable operation.
Wisconsin is a 100% Trusted State
Wisconsin is a 100% burial trust/insurance state. This means that all funds (100%) received by a funeral home has to be deposited into some sort of burial CD, trust, insurance policy or other investment related vehicle. The funeral home cannot take those funds and use them for everyday working expenses and promise a family that it is paid so future services are taken care of. They should be invested into a interest bearing account, where the interest helps off set any future increases. The funeral home cannot take any administrative fee or handling fee of those funds either. If this is not done as so, that is illegal.
On occasions, there have been funeral homes in this industry that have gone out of business for various reasons. If a funeral home does close, it is required by that firm to send letters or make calls to families with files on hand to let them know they are closing and that family should seek a new funeral provider accordingly.
If your funeral provider closes its doors for business due to a foreclosure or bankruptcy, since Wisconsin is a 100% state, you should be able to completely transfer your unpaid file or your pre-paid funeral trust to another funeral home without penalty. A simple letter stating your intentions of transferring to the provider in question and also on the new funeral home letter head should suffice. You may state a time frame that you wish the funds and/or file to be transferred with reason. You may also physically walk into that facility and ask for the complete file to be handed over immediately. If the funeral home refuses or cannot provide the proper documentation or even provide proper proof that the funds are present, you should contact your new funeral provider immediately as there could be fraud present. In that case, those cases will have to be forwarded to the district attorney.
In either event of bankruptcy or foreclosure, we would recommend families to transfer those files to a new funeral provider as soon as possible as they may a reduced access to that owner or funeral operator. This might also indicate that firm is not providing the level of service to it's community that is necessary to continue operations.
If you are not content with your existing funeral provider, moving to a new area or simply want to transfer a funeral file or trust to a new funeral provider....again a simple lettering stating the transfer to the new provider will suffice. This letter can be mailed and followed up with or a walk in appointment may be necessary. Physical funds can stay in place in those specific investments, those files are just in the hands of the new provider accordingly for safe guarding.
**The information above is purely for general advise only and is not specific to any firm in our local area or state. Any business operation, even funeral operations, can have events like this occur and you as a consumer have certains right to protect yourselves. Again this is public knowledge and does not pertain to any specific local funeral provider in WI.**