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Iowa Seeks Oversight Over Failed Preneed Funeral Business

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Officials at the Iowa Insurance Division are going to court in an effort to get control of a preneed funeral services provider that is no longer in operation.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen recently filed a request for receivership over Joyce Funeral Home Inc. and Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home of Emmetsburg, Iowa, with a state court in Polk County, Iowa.

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A preneed funeral services provider in Iowa is supposed to use a trust fund to support funeral, burial and cremation promises, and it may also use life insurance, annuities or other arrangements to support the obligations, according to Ommen’s receivership request.

The provider is supposed to put at least 80% of all payments made in the trust, officials say in the receivership request.

Joyce Funeral Home and Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home appear to be insolvent, and the contact person for those funeral homes seems to have moved to California, officials say.

The funeral homes’ bank account was closed in July due to lack of funds, and two related financial accounts maintained negative balances, officials say.

Ommen is asking the court to name the Iowa division the receiver for all of the funeral homes’ preneed funeral accounts, preneed funeral services, and associated trust funds or assets, including life insurance policies and annuity contracts.

Iowa division officials say they have already tried to contact the Iowa residents who may have relationships with Joyce Funeral Home or Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home.

Any Iowa residents who may have preneed agreements with the funeral homes and have not been contacted should contact the Iowa division, officials say.


A copy of the receivership request announcement, and a link to the Iowa attorney general’s receivership court filing, are available here.

A form Iowa residents can use to contact the Iowa division about preneed funeral arrangement concerns is available here.

— Read Insurers Report Mixed Preneed Product Results, on ThinkAdvisor.

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