Key Messages & Talking Points SB 512 & 513

Key Messages
Michigan's cemetery businesses are strictly regulated by the State of Michigan under the Michigan Cemetery Regulation Act. We strongly support consumer protection guaranteed by the strict financial oversight of the death care industry.

Proof Points
Michigan consumers are protected because Michigan cemeteries are required to
  1. be registered with the State of Michigan.
  2. be licensed by the State of Michigan to sell certain pre-need contracts.
  3. permanently trust 15 percent of each lot sale to provide for the perpetual care of the cemetery.
  4. trust 130 percent of the current cost of cemetery merchandise sold pre-need
  5. submit detailed annual 10-page auditing reports to the state Department of Consumer & Industry Services. (Funeral homes are only required to submit limited review reports once every three years.)
Michigan cemeteries support additional consumer protections, including
  1. Increasing and strengthening the financial reporting requirements for funeral homes, which currently are only required to submit limited review financial reports once every three years.
  2. Stringent reporting requirements by funeral homes. These requirements should be no less than those required by cemeteries. Pre-need sales give consumers the opportunity to make decisions - and lock in today's prices - without the stress and demand of time and grief.
  3. A "Michigan Consumer Funeral Protection Fund," to be established to cover the cost of providing merchandise and/or services to any pre-need customers whose contracts have been breached.
  4. Refunding of monies paid for funeral and cemetery merchandise and services.
  5. Allowing joint ownership of cemeteries and funeral homes in Michigan, which is already allowed in more than 40 states.