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445.125(1)(b)4. 4. The bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union shall release the trust funds under par. (a) to the beneficiary upon receipt of both a written statement of the beneficiary that the agreement was complied with and one of the following:
445.125(1)(b)4.a. a. A certified copy of the certificate of death of the potential decedent.
445.125(1)(b)4.b. b. An affidavit made by the beneficiary of the potential decedent's death, in the form prescribed under s. 69.02 (1) (c), if the bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union consents to receipt of the affidavit. The affidavit shall be accompanied by an invoice for the cost of the services and personal property for which release of the funds is sought. If the bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union consents to receipt of the affidavit and to release of the funds, it is immune from civil liability for the amount of the funds so released.
445.125(1)(c) (c) The payment pursuant to this subsection of such fund and any interest or dividends which may have accumulated shall relieve the bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association or credit union of any further liability for such funds, interest or dividends. A bank need not comply with ch. 223 to accept and disburse deposits under this subsection.
445.125(3m) (3m)Burial agreements funded with proceeds of life insurance policies.
445.125(3m)(a)(a) In this subsection:
445.125(3m)(a)1. 1. "Agent" means an authorized representative of a funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment.
445.125(3m)(a)2. 2. "Burial agreement" means a written agreement between an operator of a funeral establishment or funeral director and a person in which the operator of the funeral establishment or funeral director agrees to provide to a person, after that person is deceased, funeral merchandise or funeral services.
445.125(3m)(a)3. 3. "Cash advance item" means personal property or a service that is obtained by a funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment from a 3rd party and that is paid for by the funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment on behalf of, and subject to reimbursement from, a person purchasing funeral merchandise or funeral services from the funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment. "Cash advance item" includes cemetery or crematory services, pallbearers, public transportation, clergy honoraria, flowers, musicians or vocalists, nurses, obituary notices, gratuities and death certificates.
445.125(3m)(a)4. 4. "Funeral merchandise or funeral services" means personal property or services typically sold or provided in connection with the final disposition of human remains, including caskets or other primary containers not preplaced into the burial excavation of a grave, rental, temporary or disposable caskets or containers, outer burial containers not preplaced into the burial excavation of a grave, transportation containers, funeral clothing and accessories, embalming services and funeral directing services. "Funeral merchandise or funeral services" does not include a cash advance item or opening and closing costs that are associated with the burial of a deceased person.
445.125(3m)(b)1.1. A licensed funeral director, an operator of a funeral establishment, an agent of a licensed funeral director or, subject to par. (c), an agent of an operator of a funeral establishment may sell or solicit the sale of a burial agreement that is funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy if all of the following apply:
445.125(3m)(b)1.a. a. The burial agreement meets the requirements specified in pars. (d) to (f) and in the rules promulgated by the examining board under par. (j) 1. b.
445.125(3m)(b)1.b. b. The licensed funeral director, operator of the funeral establishment or agent is licensed as an insurance intermediary under ch. 628.
445.125(3m)(b)2.a.a. A licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment may authorize an agent who is an insurance intermediary licensed under ch. 628, and who meets the training requirements established by the examining board under par. (j) 1. a., to sell or solicit the sale of a burial agreement that is funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy and that meets the requirements specified in pars. (d) to (f).
445.125(3m)(b)2.b. b. A licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment shall report to the examining board the identity of any agent authorized by the licensed funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment under subd. 2. a. and provide evidence satisfactory to the examining board that such agent meets the training requirements established by the examining board by rule under par. (j) 1. a. The examining board shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for making reports and providing the evidence required under this subd. 2. b.
445.125(3m)(b)2.c. c. A licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment is responsible for and bound by any act of an agent, authorized by the licensed funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment under subd. 2. a., that is within the scope of the agent's apparent authority, while a contract under par. (c) 1. between the agent and the licensed funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment remains in force, and after that time until the licensed funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment has made reasonable efforts to recover from the agent any forms for burial agreements provided to the agent by the licensed funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment and other indicia of agency. Reasonable efforts shall include a formal demand in writing for return of the indicia, and notice to the examining board if the agent does not comply with the demand promptly.
445.125(3m)(c)1.1. No agent of an operator of a funeral establishment may solicit the sale of or sell a burial agreement funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy unless he or she has a contract with the operator of the funeral establishment that authorizes him or her to act as the agent of the operator of the funeral establishment and that satisfies the requirements established by the examining board by rule under par. (j) 1. c.
445.125(3m)(c)2. 2. If an agent of an operator of a funeral establishment solicits the sale of or sells a burial agreement funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy, the agent shall do all of the following at the time of solicitation:
445.125(3m)(c)2.a. a. Disclose to the prospective purchaser of the burial agreement the identity of the funeral establishment of which he or she is an agent.
445.125(3m)(c)2.b. b. Furnish to the applicant a copy of the booklet prepared and distributed by the examining board under par. (j) 3. that describes the differences between funding a burial agreement with the proceeds of a life insurance policy under this subsection and entering into a burial agreement funded by a trust under sub. (1).
445.125(3m)(d) (d) A burial agreement that is funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy shall specify in the agreement the funeral establishment that will be used to provide the funeral services or funeral merchandise to be provided under the agreement.
445.125(3m)(e)1.1. A burial agreement that is funded with the proceeds from a life insurance policy shall include a provision setting forth the nature and extent of any price guarantee for the funeral merchandise or funeral services that are to be provided under the burial agreement.
445.125(3m)(e)2. 2. If an agent solicits and sells a burial agreement that is funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy, the licensed funeral director who owns the funeral establishment or is an agent of the operator of the funeral establishment that will provide funeral merchandise or funeral services under the burial agreement shall ratify the burial agreement in writing and with his or her signature.
445.125(3m)(f) (f) The price of any funeral merchandise or funeral services provided under a burial agreement funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy may not exceed the price for the merchandise or services that, at the time that the merchandise is provided or the services are performed, is set forth in the funeral establishment's general price list required under the funeral industry practices regulations of the federal trade commission.
445.125(3m)(g) (g) Before an agent, a licensed funeral director or an operator of a funeral establishment accepts an applicant's initial premium for a burial agreement that is funded or will be funded by a life insurance policy, the agent, funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment shall comply with the requirements under par. (h) and shall, in a writing that is clear and conspicuous, disclose the following information to the applicant:
445.125(3m)(g)1. 1. The fact that a life insurance policy is involved in or connected to, or is being used to fund, the burial agreement.
445.125(3m)(g)2. 2. The type of insurance instrument that is funding the burial agreement.
445.125(3m)(g)3. 3. The effect on the burial agreement of all of the following:
445.125(3m)(g)3.a. a. Changing the life insurance policy, including changing the assignment of the policy proceeds, changing the beneficiary designation or changing the use of the proceeds.
445.125(3m)(g)3.b. b. Any penalties incurred by the policyholder as a result of failing to make premium payments.
445.125(3m)(g)3.c. c. Any penalties incurred or money received as a result of cancellation or surrender of the life insurance policy.
445.125(3m)(g)4. 4. The nature of the relationship between the insurance intermediary who solicited or is selling the life insurance policy and the funeral establishment that will be providing funeral or burial merchandise or services under the burial agreement.
445.125(3m)(g)5. 5. The relationship of the life insurance policy to the funding of the burial agreement and the existence and terms of any guarantees, other than a guarantee specified in subd. 6., relating to the burial agreement.
445.125(3m)(g)6. 6. A list of the funeral merchandise and funeral services that are applied for or contracted for under the burial agreement and all relevant information concerning the price of the funeral services provided under the burial agreement, including a statement as to whether the purchase price of the funeral merchandise or funeral services provided under the burial agreement is guaranteed at the time of the purchase of the burial agreement or whether the purchase price of the funeral merchandise or funeral services provided under the burial agreement is to be determined at the time of need, and a statement that the price of the funeral merchandise or funeral services is subject to the limit specified in par. (f).
445.125(3m)(g)7. 7. All relevant information concerning what occurs, and whether any entitlements or obligations arise, if there is a difference between the proceeds of the life insurance policy and the amount of money actually needed to fund the burial agreement.
445.125(3m)(g)8. 8. Any restrictions, including geographic restrictions, or penalties relating to delivery or performance under the burial agreement, including any restrictions or penalties relating to the inability of the operator of the funeral establishment to perform.
445.125(3m)(g)9. 9. A statement as to whether a sales commission or other form of compensation is being paid to the agent who sold or solicited the sale of a burial agreement and, if so, the identity of the persons to whom the commission or other compensation is paid.
445.125(3m)(h) (h) If an applicant under par. (g) is terminating a trust established under sub. (1), the agent, licensed funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment shall, before accepting the applicant's initial premium, furnish written notice to the examining board that satisfies requirements established by the examining board by rule under par. (j) 1. d., and may not accept the applicant's initial premium until 30 days after providing written notice under this paragraph.
445.125(3m)(hm) (hm) An agent authorized by a licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment under par. (b) 2. a. may not engage in unfair or deceptive acts or practices specified in the funeral industry practices regulations of the federal trade commission, and shall comply with requirements to prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices specified in such regulations.
445.125(3m)(i)1.1. A licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment who, either directly or through an agent, solicits the sale of or sells a burial agreement funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy shall maintain a record of the burial agreement that identifies the life insurance policy used to fund the agreement.
445.125(3m)(i)2. 2. The funeral director under subd. 1. or the funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment under subd. 1. shall make a record maintained under subd. 1. available to the examining board if the board submits a written request to examine the record to the funeral director at least 3 days before the examination is to occur.
445.125(3m)(j)1.1. The examining board shall promulgate rules establishing all of the following:
445.125(3m)(j)1.a. a. Training requirements that an insurance intermediary licensed under ch. 628 must satisfy to sell or solicit the sale of a burial agreement under this subsection.
445.125(3m)(j)1.b. b. Minimum standards that an individual burial agreement must satisfy if it is funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy.
445.125(3m)(j)1.c. c. Minimum standards that a contract between an agent and an operator of a funeral establishment must satisfy to authorize the agent to sell or solicit the sale of a burial agreement funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy on behalf of the operator of the funeral establishment.
445.125(3m)(j)1.d. d. The form and content of written notice that a licensed funeral director, operator of a funeral establishment or agent of a licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment is required to provide to the examining board under par. (h).
445.125(3m)(j)2. 2. The examining board may promulgate rules establishing standards for marketing practices for a burial agreement that is funded with the proceeds of a life insurance policy, including standards for telephone solicitation of prospective purchasers. The rules promulgated under this subdivision may prohibit a method of telephone solicitation if the examining board determines that the prohibition is necessary to protect the public.
445.125(3m)(j)3. 3. The examining board shall prepare and distribute a booklet that describes the differences between funding a burial agreement with the proceeds of a life insurance policy under this subsection and entering into a burial agreement funded by a trust under sub. (1). The examining board may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of preparation and distribution of the booklet.
445.125(4) (4)Applicability. This section shall not apply to any of the following:
445.125(4)(a) (a) A contract to provide funeral and burial service for any person if such contract is incidental to maintaining such person in a home, hospital or institution.
445.125(4)(b) (b) The sale or delivery of cemetery lots, graves, outer burial containers preplaced into the burial excavation of a grave, cremation urns, mausoleum spaces, as defined in s. 157.061 (10), or grave or cemetery lot markers or monuments before their use is required or the sale of undeveloped spaces, as defined in s. 157.061 (17).
445.125 Cross-reference Cross Reference: See also ch. FD 6, Wis. adm. code.
445.13 445.13 Investigations; hearing; revocation of licenses.
445.13(1)(1) Subject to the rules promulgated under s. 440.03 (1), the examining board may make investigations, subpoena witnesses, conduct hearings, limit, suspend or revoke a license of a funeral director, a certificate of registration of an apprentice or a permit of an operator of a funeral establishment and reprimand a funeral director, apprentice or operator of a funeral establishment for any violation of 15 USC 45 and 57, of this chapter or of any rule of the department of health services or the examining board, for unprofessional conduct, including misrepresentation or fraud in obtaining the license, permit or certificate of registration, or for any violation of this chapter or any rule of the examining board by an agent authorized by the funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment under s. 445.125 (3m) (b) 2. a.
445.13(1e) (1e) In addition to or in lieu of a reprimand or limitation, suspension or revocation of a license or permit under sub. (1), the examining board may assess against any person who violates s. 445.12 (3g) or (3r) or 445.125 (3m) or a rule promulgated under s. 445.125 (3m) (j) a forfeiture of no more than $1,000 for each violation.
445.13(1m) (1m) The examining board shall investigate an allegation that a funeral director has failed to do any of the following:
445.13(1m)(a) (a) Mail or present a death certificate within 10 days after receipt from the person responsible for completing the medical certification under s. 69.18 (2).
445.13(1m)(b) (b) Within any period of 180 days, mail or present 6 or more death certificates within the 2-day time limit under s. 69.18 (1) (bm).
445.13(1m)(c) (c) Obtain the written permission to effect final disposition required under s. 69.18 (3) (b).
445.13(1m)(d) (d) Mail a report of final disposition required under s. 69.18 (3) (a) before effecting a final disposition, as defined in s. 69.01 (11).
445.13(2) (2) No reprimand or order limiting, suspending or revoking a license, certificate of registration or permit, or no assessment of forfeiture, shall be made until after a hearing conducted by the examining board. This subsection does not apply to a license, certificate of registration or permit that is limited or suspended under s. 440.13 (2) (c) or that is revoked under s. 440.12.
445.13 Cross-reference Cross Reference: See also ch. FD 3, Wis. adm. code.
445.14 445.14 Funeral directors; who to employ. No public officer, employee or officer of any public institution, physician or surgeon shall send, or cause to be sent, to any funeral director, the corpse of any deceased person, without having first made due inquiry as to the desires of the next of kin, or any persons who may be chargeable with the funeral expenses of such deceased person, and if any such kin or person is found, his or her authority or direction shall be received as to the disposal of such corpse.
445.14 History History: 1979 c. 175 s. 29; 1979 c. 221 s. 662; Stats. 1979 s. 445.14; 1983 a. 485.
445.145 445.145 Printed advertising. A person may not, in any advertisement by newspaper, periodical, Internet web page, telephone book listing, direct mail, or electronic mail solicitation, represent that the person conducts the business of a funeral director or provides any funeral or cremation service, unless the advertisement includes the address of one funeral establishment or place of business at which the person conducts such business or provides such services.
445.145 History History: 2005 a. 266.
445.15 445.15 Penalties.
445.15(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (1m), any person violating any provision of this chapter or any rule of the department of health services and the examining board relating to its subject matter, shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 3 months, or both.
445.15(1m) (1m) A funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment who violates s. 445.12 (3r) shall be fined not more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day that an insurance intermediary authorized by a funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment fails to meet the training requirements established by the examining board by rule under s. 445.125 (3m) (j) 1. a. constitutes a separate violation of s. 445.12 (3r) (b).
445.15(2) (2) A funeral director who fails to do the acts described under s. 445.13 (1m) (b) or who fails to do the act described under s. 445.13 (1m) (c), upon being convicted and fined for a 2nd offense, may have his or her license suspended or revoked, and, if revoked, may not be relicensed for at least one year and only after a regular examination.
445.15 History History: 1975 c. 39; 1979 c. 175 s. 29; 1979 c. 221 s. 662; Stats. 1979 s. 445.15; 1985 a. 315; 1995 a. 27 s. 9126 (19); 1995 a. 295; 2005 a. 266; 2007 a. 20 s. 9121 (6) (a).
445.16 445.16 Exceptions. No provision of this chapter shall apply to, or in any way interfere with the duties of any officer of any public institution, nor with the duties of any officer of a medical college, county medical society, anatomical association, accredited college of embalming or any other recognized person carrying out the statutes prescribing the conditions under which donated or indigent dead human bodies are held subject for anatomical study; nor with the customs or rites of any religious sect in the burial of their dead.
445.16 History History: 1979 c. 175 s. 29; 1979 c. 221 s. 662; Stats. 1979 s. 445.16; 1981 c. 390; 1983 a. 485.
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