6 Questions You Need to Ask Your Trustee

With so many banks and trust companies out there willing to accept your funeral and cemetery trust funds, it may be difficult for you to determine which of these financial institutions have the experience and expertise to administer your accounts in a sound and prudent manner.  At Live Oak Trust, our singular focus is the administration of funeral and cemetery trust funds.  With over 200 years of combined death care trust experience, our team delivers proven trust solutions for our funeral and cemetery clients in this ever-changing regulatory environment.  How does your current trustee measure up?

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Here are just a few of the questions that your existing trustee should be able to answer:

  1. Do they maintain a dedicated funeral and cemetery trust team (comprised of administrators, operations specialists, legal and tax professionals) that only administer these types of trusts, or will your account be assigned to a single trust officer that typically only handles personal trusts?
  1. Do they have an in-house legal team that is familiar with the statutes and regulations that are applicable to funeral and cemetery trust accounts in your state? Furthermore, does anyone on their staff monitor these laws on a regular basis for any changes that could affect your funeral home or cemetery business?
  1. Do they know who the primary regulator is for your preneed funeral, preneed cemetery merchandise and services, and/or perpetual care cemetery trusts?
  1. What procedures do they have in place to ensure that all tax filings, annual reports, consumer notices and other regulatory filings are completed in a timely manner and in accordance with applicable state law?
  1. When a regulatory agency examines your funeral home/cemetery or audits your trust accounts, is your current trust officer someone that you can rely on to make themselves available to meet with them and sufficiently answer their questions?
  1. Will they review your existing trust agreement for compliance with applicable law? If the current agreement is not compliant with existing law, will they draft a new trust agreement using forms that were pre-approved by the state?  Finally, will they obtain the necessary approvals from the appropriate state regulator and/or court to amend the trust agreement?

 

We would be happy to answer each of these questions for you in more detail, as well as any other questions that you might have.

 

Please contact Jim Breaux at (504) 458-3763 or Jim.Breaux@liveoak.bank for more information.