TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Funeral Services, Inc., Landmark Bank and National Guardian Life have announced a strategic partnership that will provide a new preneed program to funeral firms in Virginia, according to a news release. FSI, a trust administrator specializing in preneed and perpetual care trusts with more than 35 years of experience in the death care profession partnered with NGL, a company consistently rated one of the most successful independent mutual life insurance companies in the country, to develop the NGL Master Preneed Funeral Trust. The program’s nationally chartered trustee is Landmark Bank.
While all preneed programs are designed to cover expenses and overcome inflation, most require funeral directors to evaluate and select one funding option. The NGL Master Preneed Funeral Trust allows directors to place client funds in a trust while taking advantage of the security and income tax benefits provided by life insurance-funded contracts.
With this product, firms are able to retain a portion of funds from trust-funded preneed programs, where allowed by state law, and earn insurance death benefits that are exempt from federal income tax. The NGL Master Preneed Trust provides an immediate increase in amount of insurance for paid-in-full contracts. To offer this program, participating firms face regulatory requirements for preneed sales licensure while avoiding the need to become a licensed life insurance agent. In addition to navigating compliance with state regulations, this program helps funeral firms meet best practice standards.
The NGL Master Preneed Funeral Trust provides enhanced oversight and record-keeping, through full-service support with administrative and trustee fees covered by NGL. This includes faster, web-based access to information about their preneed program. Funeral firms will receive secure, online access to information about trust accounts, individual preneed contracts within an account, trust transactions and monthly statements. This provides an additional layer of security to firms’ preneed programs.
“Given recent incidences resulting from improper management of preneed programs, it is more important than ever to integrate a system of checks and balances,” said Bill Williams, president/CEO of FSI. “In addition to providing the right tools to demonstrate proof of earnings and accurate reporting, this plan segments investment, administrative and trustee duties to ensure greater transparency and better management of preneed programs.”
The NGL Master Preneed Funeral Trust relies on FSI for administrative duties and Landmark Bank for investment duties. NGL provides funeral firms with sales and the ability to invest in its life insurance policies. FSI will process preneed contract sales, payments and fulfillments, and direct funds to Landmark Bank, the program’s nationally chartered trustee. When a contract is paid in full, Landmark Bank will invest funds in NGL life insurance policies. NGL provides funeral firms in Virginia with support to market this program and grow their preneed sales.
“This product, which is designed to provide the best of both trust- and insurance-funded preneed programs, is possible because of the combined experience and strengths of each partner,” said Robert Baculik, NGL director of preneed development. “FSI’s expertise in preneed trust-administration, its reputation for understanding client needs and demonstrated ability to create solution-driven services attracted us to this partnership. We look forward to continuing our work together as we bring this product to Virginia.”
FSI, NGL and Landmark Bank will publicly launch this product at the Virginia Funeral Directors Association 2013 Annual Convention, taking place July 7-9 in Virginia Beach, Va. For more information about FSI, visit fsitrust.com.
Posted July 3