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Funeral directors request change in interest payments on pre-paid fund


MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News)   The State Justice Department is fighting a request by Wisconsin funeral directors to reduce the amount of interest they promised to those who bought certain pre-paid funerals. A statewide fund that holds the families' payments for their future funerals went into receivership last year after investment issues caused a $24.5-million shortfall.

Funeral homes have eating the shortfall, so families can still get the services they were promised. Now, the group has asked the Madison judge in the case to stop paying an interest premium for funerals ordered after last September first when the case went into receivership. Earlier funerals would get the promised interest. The court-appointed receiver in the case criticized the funeral directors' request, saying it would result in lower-quality funerals than what families had paid for.

The funeral directors disagreed, saying their facilities should not have to meet an artificial investment goal. The Justice Department filed a brief yesterday calling the new stand by the funeral directors a "bait-and-switch."