Settlement reached over funeral fund shortfall

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A recently approved settlement requires about 180 funeral homes that sold prepaid funerals through the Wisconsin Funeral Trust to honor those contracts.

More than half of the funeral homes stuck with contracts through the trust have already signed the settlement, which releases them from further liability.

The agreement was approved Monday by Dane County Circuit Judge Peter Anderson.

The trust was placed in receivership last fall when state regulators disclosed it had a shortfall of more than $21 million, a figure that has grown to $24.5 million.

Under the settlement, the trust will reimburse the funeral homes for at least 60 percent of the burials and related costs covered by the prepaid plans. The ultimate amount of the reimbursement will depend on how much money the receiver collects.