State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-210_81

§ 90‑210.81.  Requirements as to rules andbylaws.

All burial associations now operating within the State of NorthCarolina shall have and maintain rules and bylaws embodying the following:

Article 1. The name of this association shall be ______, which shallindicate that said association is a mutual burial association.

Article 2. The objects and purposes for which this association isformed and the purposes for which it has been organized, and the methods andplan of operation of this association shall be to provide a plan for eachmember of this association for the payment of one funeral benefit for eachmember, which shall consist of a funeral benefit in cash or merchandise andservice, with no free embalming or free ambulance service included in this benefit.No other free service or any other thing free shall be held out, promised orfurnished, in any case. Such funeral benefit shall be in the amount of onehundred dollars ($100.00) of cash or merchandise and service, without freeembalming or free ambulance service, for persons of the age of 10 years andover, or in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) for persons under the age of10 years; provided, however, that any member of this association of the age of10 years or more may purchase a double benefit (for a total benefit of twohundred dollars ($200.00)), and provided further, however, that any member ofthis association under the age of 10 years may purchase a double benefit (for atotal benefit of one hundred dollars ($100.00)) or a quadruple benefit (for atotal benefit of two hundred dollars ($200.00)); however, any additionalbenefit (as set out herein) shall be based on the assessment rate, as providedin Article 6 of this section, at the attained age of applicant at the time theadditional benefit takes effect. The purchase of an additional benefit shallnot be available to any member who cannot fulfill the requirements as set forthin Article 3 of this section.

Provided, further, that mutual burial associations organized andoperating pursuant to this Article may offer for sale to its members in goodstanding, funeral benefits payable only in cash in excess of two hundreddollars ($200.00), but those sales shall be subject to all applicable insurancelaws of this State and shall in no manner be subject to the provisions of thisArticle or impair whatsoever funds heretofore or hereafter collected and heldby that Association pursuant to this Article. All mutual burial associationpolicies heretofore or hereafter sold in this State in an amount of two hundreddollars ($200.00) or less shall continue to be administered by the Board ofFuneral Service and shall be subject to all provisions of this Article.

Article 3. Any person who has passed his or her first birthday, and whohas not passed his or her sixty‑fifth birthday, and who is in good healthand not under treatment of any physician, nor confined in any institution forthe treatment of mental or other disease, may become a member of this burialassociation by the payment by such person, or for such person, of a membershipfee in accordance with the provisions of this Article and the first assessmentdue on the membership issued for such member in accordance with the provisionsof Article 6 herein. The membership fee for any person joining prior to July 1,1975, is twenty‑five cents (25¢). The membership fee of any personjoining after July 1, 1975, is twenty‑five cents (25¢) for each onehundred dollars ($100.00) of benefits provided in such membership, with aminimum membership fee of twenty‑five cents (25¢). The payment of themembership fee, without the payment of the first quarterly assessment due onthe membership, shall not authorize the issuance of a certificate of membershipin this burial association, and a certificate of membership for such personshall not be issued until the first such assessment is paid. Any member of thisassociation joining after July 1, 1975, and who shall thereafter purchase anincreased benefit shall pay an additional membership fee in accordance withthis Article so that the total membership fee paid by such person shall equaltwenty‑five [cents] (25¢) for each one hundred dollars ($100.00) ofbenefits in such member's membership; provided, that any member with a fifty‑dollar($50.00) benefit who increases his benefit from fifty dollars ($50.00) to onehundred dollars ($100.00) shall not be required to pay any additionalmembership fee. The payment of any additional membership fee, without thepayment of the first additional assessment due for the increased benefit, shallnot make such member eligible for any additional benefit, and such member shallnot be eligible for any additional benefit until the first such additionalassessment due for such additional benefit is paid. Notwithstanding theforegoing, the provisions of the last paragraph of Article 6, hereinafter setout, shall control the increase of benefits from fifty dollars ($50.00) to onehundred dollars ($100.00) for any member of this association joining under theage of 10 whose benefits in force upon such member attaining his or her tenthbirthday are in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00).

Applicant's birthday must be written in the application and subject toverification by any record the Board of Funeral Service may deem necessary toprove or establish a true date of the birth of any applicant.

Article 4. The annual meeting of the association shall be held at ____(here insert the place, date and hour); each member shall have one vote at saidannual meeting and 15 members of the association shall constitute a quorum.There shall be elected at the annual meeting of said association a board ofdirectors of seven members, each of whom shall serve for a period of from oneto five years as the membership may determine and until his or her successorshall have been elected and qualified. Any member of the board of directors whoshall fail to maintain his or her membership, as provided in the rules andbylaws of said association, shall cease to be a member of the board ofdirectors and a director shall be appointed by the president of saidassociation for the unexpired term of such disqualified member. There shall beat least an annual meeting of the board of directors, and such meeting shall beheld immediately following the annual meeting of the membership of theassociation. The directors of the association may, by a majority vote, holdother meetings of which notice shall be given to each member by mailing suchnotice five days before the meeting to be held. At the annual meetings of thedirectors of the association, the board of directors shall elect a president, avice‑president, and a secretary‑treasurer. The president and vice‑presidentshall be elected from among the directors, but the secretary‑treasurermay be selected from the director membership or from the membership of theassociation, it being provided that it is not necessary that the secretary‑treasurershall be a member of the board of directors. Among other duties that thesecretary‑treasurer may perform, he shall be chargeable with keeping anaccurate and faithful roll of the membership of this association at all timesand he shall be chargeable with the duty of faithfully preserving andfaithfully applying all moneys coming into his hands by virtue of his saidoffice. The president, vice‑president and secretary‑treasurer shallconstitute a board of control who shall direct the affairs of the associationin accordance with these Articles and bylaws of the association, and subject tosuch modification as may be made or authorized by an act of the GeneralAssembly. The secretary‑treasurer shall keep a record of all assessmentsmade, dues collected and benefits paid. The books of the association, togetherwith all records and bank accounts shall be at all times open to the inspectionof the Board of Funeral Service or its duly constituted auditors orrepresentatives. It shall be the duty of the secretary or secretary‑treasurerof each association to keep the books of the association posted up‑to‑dateso that the financial standing of the association may be readily ascertained bythe Board of Funeral Service or any auditor or representative employed by it.Upon the failure of any secretary or secretary‑treasurer to comply withthis provision, it shall be the duty of the Board of Funeral Service to take chargeof the books of the association and do whatever work is necessary to bring thebooks up‑to‑date. The actual costs of said work may be charged theburial association and shall be paid from the thirty percent (30%) allowed bylaw for the operation of the burial association.

Whenever in the opinion of the Board of Funeral Service, it isnecessary to audit the books of any burial association more than once in anycalendar year, the Board of Funeral Service shall have authority to assess suchburial association the actual cost of any audit in excess of one per calendaryear, provided that no more than one audit may be deemed necessary unless adiscrepancy exists at the last regular audit. Such cost shall be paid from thethirty percent (30%) allowed by law for the operation of the burialassociation.

Every burial association shall file with the Board of Funeral Servicean annual report of its financial condition on a form furnished to it by theBoard of Funeral Service. Such report shall be filed on or before February 15of each calendar year and shall cover the complete financial condition of theburial association for the immediate preceding calendar year. The Board ofFuneral Service shall levy and collect a penalty of twenty‑five dollars($25.00) for each day after February 15 that the report called for herein isnot filed. The Board may, in its discretion, grant any reasonable extension ofthe above filing date without the penalty provided in this section. Suchpenalty shall be paid from the thirty percent (30%) allowed by law for theoperation of the burial association. Any secretary or secretary‑treasurerwho fails to file such financial report on or before February 15 of eachcalendar year or on or before the last day of any period of extension for the filingof such report granted by the Board to the burial association of such secretaryor secretary‑treasurer shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Each dayafter February 15, or the last day of any period of extension for the filing ofthe report granted by the Board to the burial association of such secretary orsecretary‑treasurer, that said report is not filed by the secretary orsecretary‑treasurer of a burial association, shall constitute a separateoffense.

Article 5. Upon the death of any officer, his successor shall beelected by the board of directors for the unexpired term. The president, vice‑presidentand secretary‑treasurer shall be elected for a term of from one to fiveyears, and shall hold office until his successor is elected and qualified,subject to the power of the board of directors to remove any officer for goodcause shown; provided, that any officer removed by the board of directors shallhave the right of appeal to the membership of the association, such appeal tobe heard at the next ensuing annual meeting of said membership.

Article 6. Each member shall be assessed according to the followingschedule for the benefit indicated (or in multiples thereof for additionalbenefit) at the age of entry of the member. 

Assessment Rate for AgeGroups:

First to tenth birthday

($50.00) benefit                                                                                          fivecents (5¢)

Tenth to thirtieth birthday

($100.00) benefit                                                                                        tencents (10¢)

Thirtieth to fiftieth birthday

($100.00) benefit                                                                                        twentycents (20¢)

Fiftieth to sixty‑fifth birthday

($100.00) benefit                                                                                        thirtycents (30¢)

(Ages shall be defined as having passed a certain birthday instead ofnearest birthday.) Assessment shall always be made on the entire membership ingood standing.

Any member joining under the age of 10 shall, upon attaining his or hertenth birthday, pay thereafter the assessment for a member age 10 as set outabove.

Any member joining under the age of 10 whose benefits in force uponsuch member attaining his or her tenth birthday are in the amount of fiftydollars ($50.00) shall, if such member is in good standing upon attaining hisor her tenth birthday, thereafter have benefits in force in the amount of onehundred dollars ($100.00) without the necessity of making application for suchincreased benefit. Assessments made thereafter for such member shall be thesame as an assessment for a member age 10 as set out above. Such one‑hundred‑dollar($100.00) benefit shall be in full force and effect for any such member in goodstanding immediately upon such member attaining his or her tenth birthday eventhough the increased assessment provided for herein shall not yet be due andpayable, it being the intent of this Article that, notwithstanding any otherprovisions in these Articles, any member in good standing with a fifty‑dollar($50.00) benefit shall immediately upon attainment of his or her tenth birthdayhave a one‑hundred‑dollar ($100.00) benefit in force whether or notthe increased assessment is then due and payable by such member in accordancewith the assessment period of this association.

Article 7. No benefit will be paid for natural death occurring within30 days from the date of the certificate of membership, which certificate shallexpress the true date such person becomes a member of this association, and thecertificate issued shall be in acknowledgment of membership in thisassociation. Benefits will be paid for death caused by accidental meansoccurring any time after date of membership certificate. No benefits will bepaid in case of suicidal death of any member within one year from the date ofthe membership certificate. No agent or other person shall have authority toissue membership certificates in the field, but such membership certificatesshall be issued at the home office of the association by duly authorized officers:the president, vice‑president or secretary, and a record thereof dulymade.

Article 8. Any member failing to pay any assessment within 30 daysafter notice shall be in bad standing, and unless and until restored, shall notbe entitled to benefits. Notice shall be presumed duly given when mailed,postage paid, to the last known address of such members: Provided, moreover,that notice to the head of a family shall be construed as notice to the entiremembership of such family in said association. Any member or head of a familychanging his or her address shall give notice to the secretary‑treasurerin writing of such change, giving the old address as well as the new, and thehead of a family notifying the secretary‑treasurer of change in addressshall list with the secretary in such notice all the members of his or herfamily having membership in said association. Any member in bad standing may,within 90 days after the date of an assessment notice, be reinstated to goodstanding by the payment of all delinquent dues and assessments: Provided suchperson shall at the same time submit to the secretary‑treasurersatisfactory evidence of good health, in writing, and no benefit will be paidfor natural death occurring within 30 days after reinstatement. In case ofdeath caused by accidental means, benefit will be in force immediately afterreinstatement. Any person desiring to discontinue his membership for any reasonshall communicate such desire to the secretary‑treasurer immediately andsurrender his or her certificate of membership. Any adult member who is thehead of a family and who, with his family, has become in bad standing, shallfurnish to the secretary‑treasurer satisfactory evidence of the goodhealth of each member desired to be reinstated in writing.

Article 9. The benefits herein provided are for the purpose offurnishing a funeral and burial benefit, in cash or merchandise and service,for a deceased member. The funeral and burial benefit, if furnished inmerchandise and service, shall be in keeping with and similar to themerchandise and service sold and furnished at the same price by reputablefuneral directors of this or other like communities.

Article 10. It is understood and stipulated that the benefits providedfor shall be payable only to a funeral establishment which provides a funeralservice for a deceased member and which, if located in North Carolina, is afuneral establishment registered under the provisions of G.S. 90‑210.25or which, if located in any other state, territory or foreign country, is afuneral establishment recognized by and operating in conformity with the lawsof such other state, territory or foreign country. Upon the death of anymember, it shall be the duty of the person or persons making the funeralarrangements for such deceased member to notify the secretary of the member'sburial association of the death of such member. The person or persons makingthe funeral arrangements for such deceased member shall have 30 days from thedate of the death of such member in which to make demand upon the burialassociation for the funeral benefits to which such member is entitled.

The benefits provided for are to be paid by the burial association tothe funeral director providing such funeral and burial service either in cashor in merchandise and service as elected by the person or persons making thefuneral arrangements for such deceased member. If the burial association shallfail, on demand, to provide the benefits to which the deceased member wasentitled to the funeral establishment which provided the funeral service forthe deceased member, then the benefits shall be paid in cash to therepresentative of the deceased member qualified under law to receive suchbenefits.

Article 11. Assessments shall be made as provided in G.S. 90‑210.96.Whenever possible, assessments will be made at definitely stated intervals soas to reduce the cost of collection and to prevent lapse.

Article 12. In the event the proceeds of the annual assessments imposedon the entire membership for one year, as provided in G.S. 90‑210.96, donot prove sufficient at any time to yield the benefit provided for in thesebylaws, then the secretary‑treasurer shall notify the Board of FuneralService who shall be authorized, unless the membership is increased to thatpoint where such assessments are sufficient, to cause liquidation of saidassociation, and may transfer all members in good standing to a likeorganization or association.

Article 13. (a) All legitimate operating expenses of the associationshall be paid out of the assessments, but in no case shall the entire expensesexceed thirty percent (30%) of the total of the assessments collected and theinvestment income of the burial association in one calendar year.

(b)        Each burial association shall establish and maintain areserve account for the payment of member's benefits. On the thirty‑firstday of December following July 1, 1975, each burial association shall transferto such burial association's reserve account established in accordance withthis Article all funds which such burial association is maintaining on thatdate in an account designated by such burial association as either a surplusaccount or a reserve account. Thereafter, beginning on January 1, 1976, eachburial association shall place in such reserve account five percent (5%) of theassessments collected from and after that date and five percent (5%) of theinvestment income of the association earned from and after that date. Thesesums shall continue to be placed in the association's reserve account until theassociation's reserve account shall equal twenty‑one dollars ($21.00) permember. Thereafter if the reserve account shall fall below twenty‑onedollars ($21.00) per member, such sums shall again be deposited in the accountuntil such time as the reserve account shall again be equal to twenty‑onedollars ($21.00) per member. If the reserve account shall at any time exceedtwenty‑one dollars ($21.00) per member, amounts in excess of twenty‑onedollars ($21.00) per member may be withdrawn from the reserve account.

Article 14. Special meetings of the association membership may becalled by the secretary‑treasurer when by him deemed necessary oradvisable, and he shall call a meeting when petitioned to do so by sixty‑sixand two‑thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the members of said association whoare in good standing.

Article 15. The secretary‑treasurer shall, upon satisfactoryevidence that membership was granted to any person not qualified at the time ofentry as provided under Article 3 of these bylaws, refund any amounts paid asassessment, and shall remove the name from the membership roll.

Article 16. Any member may pay any number of assessments in advance, inwhich case such member will not be further assessed until a like number ofassessments shall have been levied against the remaining membership.

Article 17. No person may maintain active membership in two or moreseparate burial associations. Any person who is found to have membership in twoor more separate burial associations shall forfeit all benefits and fees paidin all associations of which he is a member except in the association which hefirst joined and of which he is still then a member. A person is not a memberof an association for purposes of this Article if he has discontinued hismembership in such association or if such association has been placed inliquidation.

Article 18. Each year, before the annual meeting of the membership ofthis association, the association shall cause to be published in a newspaper ofgeneral circulation in the county in which such association has its principalplace of business, or shall cause to be mailed to each member in good standinga statement showing total income collected, expenses paid and burial benefitsprovided for by such association during the next preceding year.

Article 19. These rules and bylaws shall not be modified, canceled orabridged by any association or other authority except by act of the GeneralAssembly of North Carolina. (1941, c. 130, s.4; 1943, c. 272, ss. 1, 2; 1945, c. 125, s. 1; 1947, c. 100, s. 1; 1949, c.201, ss. 1, 2; 1953, c. 1201; 1955, c. 259, ss. 3, 4; 1967, c. 1197, s. 4;1969, c. 1041, ss. 2, 3; 1973, c. 688; 1975, c. 837; 1977, c. 748, ss. 1, 2, 6;1981, c. 989, s. 4; 1987, c. 864, ss. 12, 50; 1991, c. 62, s. 1; 1991 (Reg.Sess., 1992), c. 1007, s. 39; 1993, c. 539, s. 1042; c. 553, ss. 48, 49; 1994,Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997‑313, ss. 4‑6; 1999‑425, s.2; 2003‑420, ss. 1, 17(b).)