In this eNewsletter


January, February and March 2016

Q1 eNewsletter

President's Note 

 Happy New Year!


     A new year brings a renewed sense of opportunity and excitement, and 2016 is no different. The FSI team has been laying plans for the year ahead, gearing up for what is sure to be a busy first quarter.


     The team will kick-off the year at the ICCFA Wide World of Sales Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 13-15. The event is the world’s largest sales and marketing conference for end-of-life professionals. By better understanding the latest marketing trends and techniques, we can build better solutions for our clients.


     We are also keeping a close eye on the changing regulatory landscape in Florida. Proposed legislation (HB 473) could deliver changes for perpetual care cemeteries, allowing for the option to use the “unitrust” withdrawal method. This eNewlstter provides additional details about the legislation. As the bill makes its way through the legislative process, we will provide you with any necessary updates and how these changes impact your business.


     We are committed to providing you with innovative products and services, expert knowledge and personalized support for your preneed and perpetual care program. As you plan for the year ahead, be assured that we are one phone call away. Let us focus on your trust so that you can focus on your business.


Bill Williams

     We are ready for the world’s largest sales and marketing conference for end-of-life professionals, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s Wide World of Sales Conference. This year’s event takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 13-15, 2016. The conference has an exciting line-up; featuring keynote speakers “Antarctic Mike” Pierce with his presentation “Selling at 90° Below” and Weldon Long presenting “The Power of Consistency.” The conference will provide our team with a better understanding of the sales and marketing aspect of the death care industry, so that we can better serve our clients.

See you in Vegas!

 For more information, visit

New Legislation Could Bring

Unitrusts to Florida

     Florida’s death care industry may see a change in the financial landscape with the introduction of House Bill 473: Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services. If passed, Florida cemeteries will have the option of using the “unitrust” withdrawal method, potentially growing care & maintenance principal and earnings faster than the industry is seeing today.


     With a unitrust, distribution is a fixed percentage, between 3% and 5%, of the trust’s fair market value. In most cases this provides a reasonable distribution to the cemetery while also helping to preserve and grow the trust fund’s total account in a more responsible manner.


     The bill introduced by Representative Ken Roberson, was brought to the House floor in October 2015 where it was refereed to several committees including the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee; Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee; and Regulatory Affairs committee. The Insurance and Bank Subcommittee reviewed the bill in late November, where it passed unanimously.


     FSI actively supports this bill and is working with other state associations to ensure state legislators understand its positive impact on Florida’s death care industry. We will work to keep you informed of changes throughout the year on our LinkedIn page and through this quarterly newsletter.


     The current bill may be found here

     To learn more about the unitrust provision read “The Case for Unitrusts as a Solution for Perpetual Care.”  The article, written by Infinity Management Advisors CEO Jim Atwood who also serves on the Board of Directors for FSI, appeared in a 2014 issue of ICCFA Magazine.

Webinar Now Available for Download

     In October, FSI hosted the webinar, “The Life of a Preneed Contract: Avoiding Roadblocks and Charting the Path to a Successful Preneed Trust Program,” with Infinity Management Advisors, LLC and Kates-Boylston Publications. More than a hundred of our colleagues in the funeral profession along with those in trust and financial services registered for this online event. During our time together, the FSI and IMA team offered resources and information to assist attendees in evaluating their trust program and changes they can make to achieve success.
     For more information on assessing your preneed program, check out the white paper, “Passive, Active or Competitive: Assessing Your Preneed Program,”  which helps you evaluate your current program and gauge what changes may be needed to ensure future success of your funeral home or cemetery. Additional white papers and other resources can be found on our website,


In the News:


American Funeral Director Profiles

FSI President and CEO
W. H. "Bill" Williams


     Bill Williams, FSI president and CEO, was spotlighted in the October issue of the American Funeral Director magazine. 

     In the article, “How Fate Caught Up with W.H. “Bill” Williams,” Bill shares stories and lessons learned throughout his career from funeral director to president and CEO of FSI. When asked who’s most surprised by his career choice, Bill responded, “Me. Absolutely not in any way, shape or firm did I expect to be here.”
Read the full article here.

Updating Preneed Clients:
An Opportunity Hiding in Your Filing Cabinet
     In the November/December issue of Funeral Business Advisor, Paul White, FSI vice president of client development and marketing, shared his insight on the hidden business opportunities found with existing preneed clients. In the article Paul advises, “Educating and updating your client about new products and services is a good business practice that offers firms a solid business opportunity.” Read the full article here.
Industry Events

Mark Your Calendars
FCCFA Government Affairs Day & Regional Meeting
February 2-3, 2016
The Florida Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association will host a Government Affairs Day & Regional Meeting February 2-3 in Tallahassee, Florida. The two-day event will provide excellent information and great networking opportunities including legislative visits at the capitol.
For more information and to register, visit
ICCFA Annual Convention, April 13-16, 2016

The ICCFA 2016 Annual Convention and Expo will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 13-16, 2016. This year’s event will center on the idea, “Bringing Our Profession Together” with an exciting line-up of keynote speakers including Ken Blanchard, John Besh, Jeannine English and Ryan Estis. FSI will exhibit at this year’s event and we hope to see you there!
For more information and to register, visit 



Jan. 13-15, 2016      2016 ICCFA Wide World of Sales
Feb. 02-03, 2016 
      2016 FCCFA Government Affairs Day, Tallahassee, FL
Apr. 13-16, 2016       2016 ICCFA Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA
Copyright © 2015 Funeral Services, Inc., All rights reserved.

Funeral Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 13407
Tallahassee, FL 32317

(800) 749-1340

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