January, February, March, 2021

Q1 eNewsletter 


         President's Note 

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and were able to take a break from work and safely spend time with your family, friends and loved ones.

I’m sure many of you feel like I do in being relieved to finally turn the page on 2020. The year started strong and like many others, but before we knew it, we faced some of the most disruptive and demanding challenges our industry has ever had to confront.

I’m also sure that many of you believe, as I do, that with every challenge comes an opportunity to innovate and improve. The economic shock and social distancing constraints brought on by the coronavirus pandemic compelled our industry to get creative to stay connected to our communities. And throughout the year, FSI was constantly focused on helping you adapt to these challenges through our technologies, and also creating new solutions so you could safely interact with families during their time of need.

Speaking of new solutions, we are thrilled to share in this newsletter new offerings we recently rolled out that will help you continue to tackle your obstacles and grow your firm in 2021 and beyond. We also welcome you to read some of the latest articles from our leadership team, linked below, that appeared in several of our industry’s leading publications, which can provide additional insight into how to make your service to families that much stronger.

While many will point to the overwhelming challenges the pandemic brought us when looking back on 2020, the memory that I will keep with me from the past year is the hard work of not only our country’s scientists, doctors and front-line healthcare providers – but also each of you, the selfless professionals in our industry. You put everything aside to serve so many families during this incredibly difficult period in our country’s history, and our team at FSI can’t thank you enough for it. 

As we enter a new year, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021. We look forward to connecting with you soon.


Bill Williams
President and CEO, Funeral Services, Inc.
ICYMI: Oregon Funeral Directors Association Selects FSI as Trust Administration Partner

FSI is honored to announce that the Oregon Funeral Directors Association (OFDA), the state’s largest funeral service association, has selected us to serve as its trust administration partner. FSI will help OFDA expand and strengthen OFDA’s National Funeral Trust Service Program to provide its members with enhanced reporting and more efficient and secure processing of preneed contracts.
Read more about this exciting partnership here. If you are interested in learning more about how digital applications that make these capabilities possible, please contact Paul White, SVP, at 850.519-4753 or Paul.White@FSItrust.com.

New FSI Offerings for Clients
In recent weeks, FSI has released new solutions for its clients across the country. Read on to learn about each offering.
Put any of your non-trusted funds to work for you through FSI’s VIP Investment Trust Account. Through a partnership with professional investment advisors at Argent Trust Company, FSI now offers a VIP Investment Trust Account. The VIP account allows you and your employees to invest a variety of business and personal funds, including:
  • The non-trusted portion of preneed payments
  • Excess funeral home or cemetery cash
  • Owners’ and employees’ personal funds
New eFile solution provides a simple way to digitally keep track of all documents related to your families’ preneed contracts. FSI’s eFile solution allows deathcare professionals to easily scan, upload and attach any document such as vital statistics forms, obits or service details, to a client’s preneed contract on our database, PRISM. This solution makes it possible to quickly access your client’s information 24/7. 
To learn more or implement any of these solutions into your firm, contact Paul White, SVP at 850.519.4753 or Paul.White@FSItrust.com.

Regulatory Update.

As FSI continues 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 general counsel and dear friends at WRW Legal share insights in each of our quarterly e-newsletters.

The Right Way to “Honor” A Competitor’s Preneed Contract

If your funeral home is in Florida, or any other state that does not expressly permit a preneed contract purchaser to assign the contract to another funeral provider, there is a correct way to handle a consumer that brings in another funeral home’s preneed contract. 


Read More

FSI in the News

During the fourth quarter of 2020, FSI executives and partners were busy writing several thought leadership articles that appeared in many of our industry’s leading publications. Here are brief summaries of the most recent stories featuring FSI:

Bill Williams and Wendy Russell Wiener Contribute to
Catholic Cemetery Magazine

In the November issue of Catholic Cemetery, Bill Williams and Wendy Russell Wiener provided practical tips and advice on how religious institution cemeteries can adopt processes used by commercial cemeteries to enhance their service and sustainability. Learn more here.


The Great Debate: Trust vs. Insurance

It’s one of the most important questions that comes up with preneed sales programs: what funding method should you offer your clients: trust or insurance? In the November issue of ICCFA Magazine, Bill Williams and Wendy Russell Wiener explored both options and which one may be best for your preneed program. Read more here.


Paul White on COVID-19’s Impact on Deathcare and Developing
Your 2021 Strategic Plan

In the years ahead, deathcare professionals will remember 2020 as the year that brought new and significant challenges to the industry. Paul White, our Senior VP of Client Development and Marketing, discussed some of the lessons learned this year and how to apply them in 2021 in the November issue of The Director. Learn more here.

Employee Spotlight:
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.


Paul White, LFD, Senior Vice President,

Client Development and Marketing


Paul White has been a driving force in helping FSI grow our business since he joined the company in March 2005. Recently promoted to Senior Vice President, Paul oversees FSI’s client development and marketing team where he is responsible for introducing the company's wide array of products and services to prospective funeral home clients. He also spends a significant amount of time providing superior service to our current clients.
Paul has been a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1976 and has spent his entire career in funeral home at-need and preneed operations. Before joining the FSI team, he served many years as an officer, director and partner in one the country's leading preneed sales and marketing organizations.
One of Paul’s many strengths is his passion for staying informed on current industry trends to ensure FSI remains ahead of the curve and delivers meaningful results to clients. One prominent trend that Paul took action on is the certification of funeral celebrants, as Paul became a certified celebrant eight years ago. While he is not actively performing ceremonies, Paul uses his certification to inform existing clients about the vitalness of having a celebrant as part of their business models.  
Outside of work, Paul is a home improvement expert, loves to cook, travel and watch his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers during football season.

Learn more about Paul, check out his LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-white-a47004a8/.

Important FSI Dates to Remember:
April 2021 
National Records & Information Management Month
May 12 - 15, 2021
2021 ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
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Funeral Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 13407
Tallahassee, FL  32317
(800) 749-1340

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