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NC funeral board says Whitley’s Funeral Home executive was reprimanded for violations

KANNAPOLIS — David Whitley, vice president of Whitley’s Funeral Home in Kannapolis, has been reprimanded for failing to properly maintain pre-need records and other professional violations, according to a consent order by the N.C. Board of Funeral Service.

The order, signed June 13, says Whitley failed to refund excess money for prepaid funeral services to three families.

The Board of Funeral Service is responsible for enforcing requirements for licensed funeral directors set forth in the state code. Whitley is named as manager of Whitley’s Funeral Home in the consent order.

The board fined the funeral home $2,000 and suspended Whitley’s license, but the suspension was stayed on condition that Whitley admit the violations, be on probation for three years, not violate any law or rule of the board during the three-year probation, and respond in a timely manner to any board or board staff correspondence. 

Whitley said in a statement to the Post that the funeral home has already acknowledged the violations for improper record-keeping of pre-need forms and accepted the state board’s findings.

“At no times were any monies kept by Whitley’s Funeral Home after the pre-needs were executed. In fact, we paid the overages to the next of kin or the beneficiary of the insurance policy. … We are instructed now to pay any excess overages to the estate of the deceased in certain circumstances,” he said.

He said Whitley’s pledged to the state board that the funeral home will keep better records as required by the board and that the matter was resolved as of June 6.

The board said that on or about Dec. 13 and Dec. 14, 2017, inspector Darrell R. Cagle inspected Whitley’s Funeral Home and conducted a pre-need examination and audit. During the inspection, Cagle reviewed random pre-need contract files to determine compliance with funeral statutes and rules.

The inspector said Whitley’s had not been using a required pre-need form. According to the consent order, the funeral home said it had not previously been told of the need to use the form.

The order also said the funeral home failed to have available its previous board examination report.

During the 2017 examination, the inspector said the funeral home failed to maintain required beneficiary assignment forms for the insurance-funded pre-need contract file of an individual. The consent order, which has a number of redacted names, shows that certificates of performance were not filed timely with the board office for a person who died Feb. 10, 2010.

The inspector said records for the disposition of money were not found for 11 people, whose names were redacted.

The inspector found that records of refund payments were not found for three people whose estates were owed, respectively, $210.43, $178.79 and $9,009.47, the consent order said.

The funeral home has since provided documentation that refunds were issued to the three families of the deceased. The findings say, however, that a refund for one person was not issued to the estate of the deceased, whose name is redacted.

The inspector said that a statement of funeral goods and services was not found for five individuals.

“During the 2017 examination, Inspector Cagle found that an irrevocable inflation-proof pre-need contract for (redacted) had been revoked and the policy funding was cash-surrendered, with proceeds from the policy paid to the contract beneficiary prior to death,” the consent order said.

 

The consent order said the funeral home resolved the matter by consent.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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