H. B. 3006
(By Delegates H. White, R. M. Thompson and Carmichael)
[Introduced February 13, 2003; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section six, article fourteen, chapter
forty-seven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to allowing the use
of photostatic copies of uncertified documents to establish
the full performance of a preneed burial contract.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section six, article fourteen, chapter forty-seven of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14. PRENEED FUNERAL CONTRACTS.
§47-14-6. Withdrawal of funds.
(a) Disbursements of funds discharging any preneed funeral
contract shall be made by the trustee to the person named in the contract upon receipt of a
certified photostatic copy of the death
certificate of the contract beneficiary and evidence satisfactory
to the trustee that the preneed funeral contract has been fully
performed. In the event that, after the death of the contract
beneficiary, the contract
services or goods are not desired by the
heirs or by the personal representative of the contract
beneficiary, the party obligated to provide the funeral services,
funeral goods or burial goods under the contract shall have
authority to provide such services or goods despite the desires to
the contrary expressed by such heirs or personal representative.
If the service and goods are not provided upon the death of the
contract beneficiary because of actions of the seller, provider or
person making the preneed funeral contract available, then all of
the funds held on deposit shall in ten days be refunded to the
contract buyer or his legal representative who also has available
any other remedy set forth in this article.
(b) Any contract buyer or legally authorized person, acting in
his behalf, may cancel a preneed funeral contract prior to the
death of the contract beneficiary by notifying in writing the
contract seller or present obligor of the provisions thereof, if a
different person, of such desire to cancel. The seller or obligor
shall, in ten days after receipt of such notice, notify the trustee of such cancellation and the trustee shall within thirty days after
receipt of written notification pay to the contract buyer, or his
legal representative all funds placed in the trust account and paid
on the contract.
(c) If the contract buyer is more than one hundred eighty days
in default with respect to any payment or installment due on or
pursuant to the preneed funeral contract, the contract seller or
provider may, on ten days' prior written notice, cancel the
contract. All funds in the trust account shall be refunded to the
contract purchaser or to the estate of the contract beneficiary.
(d) The seller of a preneed funeral contract may not cancel
the contract unless the contract is in default as to the buyer's
(e) Payment by any depository or any trustee made in good
faith pursuant to the terms of this section shall forever relieve
such depository or trustee, as such, for any further liability for
such funds under the contract and in law.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the trustee of a
preneed burial contract to rely on uncertified photostatic copies
of a death certificate and other evidence satisfactory to the
trustee for purposes of establishing that a preneed burial contract
has been fully performed.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would