April, May, and June 2018

Q2 eNewsletter


         President's Note 
      Spring is here at last! While we’re delighted that warmer weather is finally on the horizon, we’re simply amazed by how quickly the first quarter of the year passed.  At FSI, our second quarter is shaping up to be a productive season driven by relationships – both within the deathcare industry and with you, our valued partners. As always, serving you and your needs remains our top priority as we strive to make the most out of 2018.
     To start the quarter off, our team will join many of our colleagues in the deathcare industry at the 2018 ICCFA Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas. For FSI, coming together with other professionals and their organizations allows us to discuss common challenges, better understand the changing needs of our clients, and be more responsive to those needs with the products we offer.  Whether or not you’re attending the upcoming convention, know that we will bring new insights and opportunities back home to better serve you.
    We’re also celebrating some important milestones this quarter: April is National Records and Information Management Month, and 2018 marks FSI’s 40th anniversary in business.  It’s the perfect time to reflect on the importance of the work we do, and the many industry partnerships we keep that help us and our customers along the way.
     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, Wendy Wiener, Esq., partner at Broad & Cassel, shares an important update for you in this edition of our e-Newsletter.
     At FSI, our most important relationship is with you.  We remain committed to providing you innovative products and services, expert knowledge and personalized support for your preneed and perpetual care sales programs. As always, we are just one phone call away should you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to speaking with you very soon!

Bill Williams
President and CEO
Funeral Services, Inc.  

ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition Preview


     The FSI team is attending the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s Annual Convention and Exposition, April 18-21 in Las Vegas. We’re excited to network, learn, and help move the deathcare industry forward.
This year’s annual conference will feature:

  • Over 30 breakout sessions on topics ranging from cremation, marketing, technology, pet loss and more, for 13 hours of continuing education credits,
  • Vendors from across the industry sharing the most innovative products available today,
  • Keynote presentations from Colonel David Sutherland, one of 13 Brigade Commanders during “The Surge” in the Iraq War; and Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: Winning Customers’ Hearts, Minds & Wallets in a Wi-Fi World,
  • Las Vegas Glam-themed Closing Banquet, with live music by the all-vocal country sensation, Home Free,
  • Networking opportunities, and much more!

FSI will be stationed at booth #416. We hope to see you in Las Vegas!
Find all the details for the convention 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:
2018 Preneed Spotlight 
     Almost every successful funeral home today offers preneed services to their communities.  But, why is offering preneed critical to a funeral home's bottom line?  What do funeral home directors need to know about offering preneed in 2018?  And, how can funeral homes market their preneed services?  FSI's Bill Williams sounds off on these questions and more in Funeral Business Advisor's preneed Q&A. Read the full story by clicking here.
How to Avoid Common Mistakes with Your Perpetual Care Trust 
     Perpetual care trusts are vital to sustaining the value of a cemetery and communicating that value to clients and the community. Unfortunately, there are many common mistakes associated with perpetual care trusts, and it's easier to make one than you think. Lack of planning, under-funding, and an unawareness of investment performance – among other mistakes – can affect your ability to support cemetery maintenance needs. The good news is that these mistakes can all be avoided by implementing a few effective best practices. FSI's Bill Williams covers off on these in American Cemetery & Cremation. Read the full story by clicking here.
Protecting Sensitive Information in Your Firm's Preneed Trust
     We live in a digital world, where cyber-attacks are commonplace and our private information is constantly vulnerable. And yet, many of us overlook the importance of protecting sensitive data, like the financial information of a deathcare firm's trust. This oversight can lead to a data breach happening, funds being stolen, and private client information being captured and shared.  Fortunately, there are practices you can put in place to protect the financial information of your firm's preneed trust. Learn more from FSI's Bill Williams in this issue of The Director. Read the full story 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!

NEW!  Regulatory Update –

Wendy Wiener, Esq.,

Broad & Cassel
     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 Wiener, Esq., partner at Broad & Cassel, will provide an insightful update on the regulations in the deathcare industry in each of our quarterly e-newsletters.
Guaranteed Price vs. Nonguaranteed Price Preneed Contracts
      Many preneed licensees are unaware that their state’s law permits the sale of nonguaranteed price preneed contracts. It was long the tradition in the deathcare industry for preneed sellers to offer only guaranteed price preneed contracts. But, many sellers need not be limited in that way.
     FSI’s forms of Prearranged Funeral Agreement (PAFA), in states that permit nonguaranteed price preneed contracts, give sellers the ability to sell both types of contracts. In fact, a seller may guarantee the price of some items but not others within a single contract.
     Read about the benefits of Florida’s nonguaranteed preneed contracts here.
April is National Records & Information Management Month
     It’s National Records & Information Management Month, which makes now the perfect time to recognize the importance of keeping your trust information secure, accurate and organized. FSI is proud to manage this very important service for its clients, but did you know that this is only one of the ways FSI helps power your business?
     Through a number of valued partnerships with industry experts—including attorneys, trust officers and investment advisors—FSI always keeps your best interest in mind. In fact, FSI has been actively advocating for the deathcare industry for more than 40 years. Our work helps ensure that the future of your business is protected, and that records can be managed with the right legislation.
     In addition, FSI actively works with certified public accountants (CPAs) to ensure your trust information complies with complex accounting and tax standards.
     For more information regarding how FSI handles the accounting and tax treatment for your trust, please visit the client website links below.
     NOTE: these articles are for FSI clients only. If you are not an FSI client and have questions about these topics, please contact us at (800) 749-1340.
       Our goal is simple: for you to have the peace of mind that everything related to your sales programs and trust is taken care of, so you can focus on what matters most: the growth of your business.
Employee Spotlight: 
         Judi Moore 
     Judi Moore is a member of the Client Services team and has been employed with FSI since August, 2001. Judi’s priority is customer satisfaction on a daily basis. She is also involved in various aspects of the daily processing of paperwork as well as assists systems development with testing to keep FSI services and computer programs technologically up-to-date and in compliance with changing state laws. Judi is also the “go-to” person for training and installation of FSI’s eContract.
     Judi’s 17 years of service to FSI have been motivated by the people at the company. She’s made her life with them – when she started her career at FSI, she had one young child and one on the way…now her oldest son is graduated and the younger is about to be. For Judi, FSI is a very peaceful place to work, especially thanks to the management team who she says clearly care about their employees and often show their appreciation.
     During her career at FSI, Judi has seen the paper processes of old done away by modern technological processes. Judi is glad for that, because technology has helped FSI take care of more and more clients at a time. She’s proud to have been part of the development of FSI’s online products, eContract, eRemote and eCommerce, that are helping clients manage and process their own contracts and disbursements. No matter what the outlet, though, Judi still loves the challenge of numbers – ensuring that every client’s sheet is balanced down to the cent.
     Outside of work, Judi enjoys fishing and boating with her husband, step-son, 22-year-old son and 17-year-old son. When she’s not playing on the water with her family, Judi is in her yard with her two Chihuahuas, Chica and Pepe. She also loves being a grandmother to her first grandbaby, and is excited to welcome another grandbaby soon.
Important FSI Dates to Remember:

April 18-21, 2018
ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition
 Las Vegas, Nev. – Booth #416!

May 28, 2018 
Memorial Day
FSI offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day

June 17 - 19, 2018
Alabama Funeral Directors Assoc. Convention
Grand Hotel Golf Club & Spa, Point Clear, AL

June 21 - 23 , 2018
2018 FCCFA Annual Convention & Tradeshow
Bonita Springs, FL
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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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