SOS will hear cemetery contract concerns

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – The secretary of state will meet today with individuals concerned about their pre-need contracts with two area cemeteries.
The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Alcorn County Courthouse to address concerns about Forrest Memorial Park in Corinth and Oaklawn Memorial Park in Booneville.
In mid-August Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann ordered the two cemeteries, owned by Wayne Hight of Corinth, to quit selling pre-need services to the public.
After an administrative hearing in the case on Aug. 19 in Jackson, Hosemann continued the order indefinitely.
A review of books and records by the secretary of state’s office for the two cemeteries revealed a shortage of more than $100,000 in the trust accounts for pre-need services. A 2009 state law gave the secretary of state’s office oversight of pre-need contracts, and requires cemeteries and funeral homes that provide pre-need services to properly fund trust accounts to pay for the services they sell.
At that time Hosemann directed people who had existing lots and contracts with either of the two cemeteries to continue to make insurance premium payments to a separate account that had been set up to receive the funds until a final determination is made.
The cease and desist order covered future pre-need sales only for vaults, markers and grave opening/closing services paid in either a lump sum or monthly installments.

lena.mitchell@djournal.com