July, August, & September 2019

Q3 eNewsletter 


         President's Note 

     We hope all of you have had a strong and productive first half of 2019, and enjoyed your Independence Day celebrating our country’s freedom with friends and family.
     With six months already in the rear-view mirror, it’s often challenging to take a breath and to celebrate the big wins, accomplishments and progress you and your team have achieved. And on that note, it is very fulfilling for our team to hear and share success stories from our clients, and how we played a role in helping them strengthen their offerings or operations.
     One of those clients is John Williams of Venice Memorial Gardens and Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory. Once FSI helped the State of Florida adopt the unitrust distribution method in 2017, John transitioned his business to this approach…and the results for John were tremendous.  In just one year, funds for the care and maintenance of his cemetery tripled. You can read more about John’s results in our latest case study in this newsletter.
     Also included in this newsletter is an insightful piece on receiving authorization appropriately in order to make decisions about a decedent’s remains, written by our general counsel, Wendy Wiener, Esq., of Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel. Wendy is an integral part of the FSI operation as she helps monitor and manage regulatory and legislative changes in the industry; she also provides updates in this newsletter every quarter. If you have a specific topic you’d like to hear about, please feel free to reach out and share it with us anytime.
     As we kick off the third quarter, we hope you and yours have a prosperous second half of 2019.  We look forward to speaking with you very soon.

Bill Williams
President and CEO, Funeral Services, Inc.  

     As one of the industry’s strongest advocates for unitrust, FSI helped drive the adoption of the unitrust distribution method and total return investment approach in Florida. Shortly after the adoption, FSI transitioned many of its clients to this approach, helping create more budget certainty for care and maintenance programs.

John Williams, LFD
     Click here to learn how total return and unitrust helped an FSI client triple its funds for cemetery care and maintenance in just one year.
Regulatory Update

Wendy Russell Wiener, 
General Counsel, FSI &
Partner at
Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, LLP
     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 dear friend and general counsel, 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.
     Licensees who sell or provide cremation services are well aware of the definition of Legally Authorized Person set forth at s. 497.005(43), F.S.  That definition establishes the priority of persons able to make decisions regarding a decedent’s remains.  At the top of the list is, “the decedent, when written inter vivos authorizations and directions are provided by the decedent.”… 
     Some believe that a will is universally accepted as a written authorization to make the decedent’s final arrangements, which is not true. Read more about this issue by clicking 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.


Impact of Unclaimed Property Laws on Preneed Trusts,
The Director

     We all recognize the benefit of general unclaimed property laws. Those laws facilitate reuniting people with property that they lost track of. But, the operation of those laws for preneed trust funds is not entirely appropriate, which can put trustees and licensees in an impossible position. Read more by clicking here.


Best Practices for Records and Information Month,
American Funeral Director  


     The transition to technology across all industries has created a problem for most businesses and how they approach records and information management. According to research from PwC, more than 60 percent of financial losses at the enterprise level are a direct result of compliance-related accidental breaches, such as misplaced files.


     Read more on how to avoid your records from being mismanaged, disorganized, or vulnerable to avoidable risks 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: 

Mike Brossette,

     Mike Brossette plays an essential role at FSI, serving as its Information Technology (IT) Director. Mike has more than 20 years of IT experience and is responsible for the creation, implementation and support of FSI’s corporate network.


     Mike enjoys helping others find  technical solutions within FSI’s network and ensuring everyone at FSI can do their job as easily and effectively as possible. Since joining FSI, Mike says the most significant company milestone was when FSI transferred its entire network from a mainframe system to a new windows system (PRISM). This new windows system accelerates features offered to clients on the website, such as providing e-contracts. Mike believes that this company achievement says a lot about the programming team at FSI as other companies struggle to transfer their old systems to newer ones.


     Before joining FSI, Mike served in the Air Force for eight years. He also recently obtained his pilot license. Now, outside of the office, Mike enjoys cooking and spending time with his new grandson.

Important FSI Dates to Remember:
         July 25-27, 2019                   
FCCFA Annual Convention & Tradeshow
Tampa, Florida – Booth #9!
July 31 - August 2, 2019        
CANA's 101st Cremation Innovation Convention
Louisville, KY 
        September 02, 2019 - Labor Day           
FSI offices will be closed in observance of Labor Day
September 29 - October 04, 2019
The Catholic Cemetery Conference Convention
Chicago, Illinois

Columbus Day - October 14, 2019
FSI offices will be open

October 27 - 30, 2019
NFDA International Convention & Expo
Chicago, Illinois

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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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