January, February, & March 2019

Q1 eNewsletter 


         President's Note 
     Here we come, 2019! We hope you all enjoyed a restful holiday season, and that you’re ready to make your resolutions and plan for the year ahead. Our team at FSI is already busy getting ready for an exciting first quarter of opportunities, and we look forward to working on these for you.

      As we gear up for the new year, now is a great opportunity to evaluate the management of your trust and its records. Without proper maintenance and compliance, your trust’s chances of survival are slim – and you could face serious legal consequences. Before you get back into the swing of things and caught up in your day-to-day responsibilities, take some time to ensure your trust is organized and operating properly. If you missed it, our team hosted a webinar aimed at helping you preserve your trust for years to come. Wendy Russell Wiener, Partner at Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, LLP, joined me to discuss how to address complex requirements within the industry, pitfalls, and actions to take. This is a free educational resource for you, so catch up while the webinar is still available.

      Rather read than watch? No problem. Our team at FSI and fellow colleagues also regularly contribute thought leadership to several industry publications. In this quarter’s stories, you can read about practices to preserve your trust program, and learn how to smoothly transition financial assets when acquiring another firm. 
     No matter what time of year it is, we always remain knowledgeable on the latest legislative and regulatory changes in the industry by maintaining close relationships with many experts. One of our regular partners shares an important update for you in this edition of our e-Newsletter.

      Whatever opportunities or challenges the new year may hold, remember that FSI is always here to offer any guidance or assistance to ensure the growth of your business. We are committed to providing you with innovative products and services, expert knowledge and personalized support for your preneed and perpetual care programs. We wish you all the best as we move forward into 2019, and look forward to speaking very soon!


Bill Williams
President and CEO
Funeral Services, Inc.  

FREE On-Demand Webinar:
Keeping Your Trust Out of Trouble


In case you missed it, FSI hosted a webinar in November, “Keeping Your Trust Out of Trouble.” FSI’s president and CEO, Bill Williams, and Wendy Russell Wiener, partner at Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, LLP, discussed the steps you need to take to ensure that your trust is operating properly – and will continue to do so in the future.

     Couldn’t catch the live webinar? Great news – this free webinar is available on demand. Just click here to watch: FSITrustWebinar.com!

Regulatory Update

Wendy Russell Wiener, Partner
Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, LLP
      While FSI always strives to ensure its clients remain in compliance with all deathcare laws and regulations, we also want to educate you on changes or little-known details within the industry that impact your business.


     Our dear friend and colleague, Wendy Russell Wiener, Esq., partner at Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, LLP, provides an insightful update on the regulations in the deathcare industry in each of our quarterly e-newsletters.


                How to Correctly Prepare an Irrevocable Preneed Contract

     Many of my clients continue to make a key mistake when preparing irrevocable preneed contracts: misidentifying the “Purchaser.” This often happens when working with preneed customers who want to purchase irrevocable preneed contracts in order to qualify for the types of public assistance identified in Chapter 497, Florida Statutes. 
     Who should be identified as the “Purchaser?” It’s not always who signs the contract! According to the 2016 revisions to the relevant law, in order for a contract to be made irrevocable lawfully, the Purchaser must be the Beneficiary. What does that mean, and why do many funeral directors make this mistake?
     Find out and read more about how to correctly prepare an irrevocable preneed contract here.  

FSI In the News
     Over the last quarter, FSI and fellow colleagues have been sought out to provide thought leadership on a variety of topics in several industry publications. Here’s a quick look at some of the most recent stories featuring FSI:

How to Smoothly Transition Financial Assets When Acquiring Another Firm

     In a world of lower interest rates and a growing economy, mergers and acquisitions are rising in popularity for many in the deathcare industry. But just because M&A is an attractive option doesn’t necessarily mean it is a walk in the park. FSI President & CEO Bill Williams explains in the October issue of American Funeral Director. Read more by clicking here.


Five Practices to Preserve Your Trust Program

     In many ways, your trust program drives the success of your business and, if properly maintained and preserved, sustains your firm into perpetuity. All funeral directors and cemeterians should understand and adopt several practices to help preserve their futures – some that may be intimidating and overwhelming. To help get you started, FSI and Argent Financial Institutional Services share five key actions in American Funeral Director that can help you make meaningful progress in a relatively short period of time. Read more by clicking here.


     Every time FSI is published by industry media, the article is posted on FSItrust.com. Check our ‘Resources’ tab frequently for continuous updates on FSI news and coverage!

    FSI is made up of a dedicated team of experienced professionals who work each day to provide you with excellent service. Each individual brings an important skillset that assists us in powering your trust. To help you get to know the FSI team better, we shine a spotlight on one employee each quarter. 
Employee Spotlight: 
Mudassir Mohammed
     FSI is made up of a dedicated team of experienced professionals who work each day to provide you with excellent service. Each individual brings an important skillset that assists us in powering your trust. To help you get to know the FSI team better, we shine a spotlight on one employee each quarter.

Meet Mudassir Mohammed, Senior Software Developer

     Mr. Mohammed has been employed at FSI since October, 2007. He graduated from JNTU Hyderabad, India, with a bachelor’s degree in Computers and Information Sciences in 2004, and he graduated from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, with a master's degree in Information Systems in 2007. As a Senior Software Developer, Mudassir is focused on developing new .NET applications as well as maintaining existing applications.


     Mudassir’s  favorite part about his job is working with the cutting edge technology that FSI uses for its clients. He also loves working with the friendly team at FSI. In his 11 years with the company, Mudassir has seen FSI grow incredibly in terms of the software and technology being used. For example, today, clients can enter their day-to-day transactions using FSI’s website. The most significant milestone he’s seen FSI accomplish was the creation of the PRISM platform. Mudassir was instrumental in this process, and transitioning FSI from its old AS400 system and on to the much improved PRISM system was a meaningful professional achievement for him as well.


     In his free time, Mudassir is an avid runner and “fitness geek.”

Important FSI Dates to Remember:

January 20 - 22, 2019
2019 AFDA Mid-Winter Meeting
Birmingham, Alabama

             January 23 - 25, 2019                
ICCFA Wide World of Sales Conference
Las Vegas, Nevada
       April 2 - 6, 2019            
ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo
Charlotte, North Carolina Booth #728!        
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Our mailing address is:

Funeral Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 13407
Tallahassee, FL  32317
(800) 749-1340

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