Category: Uncategorized

NYSFDA & PrePlan: Partners in Success

As a current NYSFDA member funeral home, your dues cover a variety of benefits, including free monthly webinars, governmental affairs outreach, communication and information sharing, compliance guidance and support, and the opportunity to participate in PrePlan (an exclusive member benefit).

For more than 35 years, PrePlan has severed as the industry leader in preneed trust services. A significant reason for our success is our direct and close tie to the state association. Thanks to the sharing of information and resources, PrePlan staff are knowledgeable and well-versed in preneed trust compliance issues as well as the funeral services industry. We’re also able to stay up-to-date on critical legislative and regulatory issues that directly impact preneed trusts. Over the years, we’ve been able to successfully pass legislation to protect funeral directors as well as defeat harmful legislation. Most recently, the successful completion of the bill to make permanent the law prohibiting “pre-need funeral insurance” in New York State (signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, December 2019). 

Additionally, PrePlan is governed by your peers – a group of Trustees and the FDSS Board of Directors (all NYS licensed funeral directors and members of NYSFDA) help guide our business affairs. They take their role seriously and always utilize the investment tools and guidance available in accordance with the law for the best interest of association members and the families you serve. 

And finally, NYSFDA’s enforceable Code of Ethics, which applies to all members of the association, sets member funeral homes apart. It sends a strong message to consumers that members take their responsibility to serve the public as funeral directors very seriously. As a PrePlan participating NYSFDA member firm, this Code of Ethics demonstrates your commitment to excellence and integrity.

Are You Asking Your Preneed Trust Provider the Important Questions?

Are You Asking Your Preneed Trust Provider the Important Questions?

As a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA), you have exclusive access to the services of PrePlan Funeral Trust. For 35 years, PrePlan has served as New York’s leading pre-funded funeral trust administrator. As a funeral director, families trust you to make important choices on their behalf to ensure the safety, security, and compliance of their funds. Are you sure your preneed trust provider offers the same protection? We encourage you to ask the important questions.

Who’s behind their trust and what are their motivations? Where is their business located? 

PrePlan is backed by the New York State Funeral Directors Association.

Does your provider willingly publish their net consumer yield and investment practices?

PrePlan does. The monthly net yield will be visible on all monthly statements, tax brochures, and under the member side of our website. A group of FDSS Trustees and the FDSS Board of Directors (all NYS licensed funeral directors) govern PrePlan. We count on a group of professionals, experts in your profession, to help guide our business affairs. PrePlan works closely with professional investment advisors from Graypoint as well. We have been transparent for over 30 years. We have nothing to hide.

How can I be sure that funds held are safe and secure? 

Our trustees and advisors always select FDIC insured CDs from the highest rated issuing banks and consider each investment decision carefully. Be on the lookout for providers that use government-backed securities, these are not FDIC insured.

In April 2023 Executive Director Mike Lanotte outlined the three steps PrePlan has followed from the beginning. We can confidently say we’ve eliminated the risk of any customer losing money due to a bank failing.

How does your preneed trust provider stay up-to-date on laws and legislation? 

PrePlan has an upfront seat to the most important laws impacting preneed funds and funeral directors. Why? Our relationship with NYSFDA keeps us on the forefront of any potential changes or passed legislation. We remain in full compliance of all state laws and regulations. Our knowledgeable and confidential staff are here to help with your questions.

Does your provider undergo a formal audit annually?

Not only does PrePlan voluntarily subject the Trust to an annual audit by a NYS licensed CPA firm, but we choose to be audited quarterly as well! We want to be sure that we provide full transparency and the absolute best! NYSFDA was instrumental in recent legislation passed (December 2019) now requiring trust providers to complete annual audits. Did your provider volunteer for annual audits, or will they only be doing so in the future due to regulations?

What is the true impact of the net interest rate on the average account? 

The average funeral cost YTD in PrePlan is $8,505.00. Using this as an example, an account rendering a net rate of 1.28% would accumulate a little over $108.00 of interest for the year. This could be compared with various rates, for example a net rate of 1.48% in which the account would accumulate a little over $125.00 of interest for the year. Looking at the rates side-by-side you’ll see it’s only a difference of $17 for the year ($1.42 each month). Due to the size of the accounts held, the impact is not nearly as much as one would assume.

Are there any other qualities that set your provider apart? 

PrePlan is proud to have served our members for over 30 years. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and hold an A+ rating. Additionally, PrePlan was awarded the 2022 BBB Torch Award for Ethics in the small business category.

Are you interested in joining PrePlan? Would you like to move existing preneed accounts to PrePlan? It’s easy; we will be there every step to ensure a seamless transition. For more information, please contact us at 800.577.3752 or preplan@preplan.org.

Join the Hype

Join the Hype

Totally Tubular…PrePlan is 35!

We turned back time… and celebrate the decade PrePlan got started! Throughout this year’s NYSFDA Convention we rocked out to metal bands, tested our 80s knowledge, and toasted 35 years of providing The Gold Standard to New York’s families. Thanks to all who helped celebrate!

Did You Know?

In 1988…

  • It was a leap year.
  • The Summer Olympics took place in Seoul, South Korea.
  • The Winter Olympics took place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • The best-selling video game in the U.S. was Ninetendo’s Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway.
  • Adele, Stephen Curry, Russel Wilson, and Emma Stone were just a few celebrities born.
  • Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band, performed at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, in March of 1988

Here’s to 35 Years!

Since 1988 PrePlan Funeral Trust has served as New York’s preeminent pre-funded funeral trust administrator. As we celebrate our 35th year, we thank you for being a part of our history and continued growth.

Recap: Preneed Trust Accountability Act

Recap: Preneed Trust Accountability Act

The Preneed Trust Accountability Act was a top legislative priority for NYSFDA and PrePlan in 2019 and was signed into law on December 12, 2019. The law establishes a set of financial best practices for preneed administrators. All preneed administrators are now required to undergo an annual audit by a New York State licensed CPA to verify their preneed accounts are being maintained and funds are invested in accordance with law.   

PrePlan had undergone this type of annual audit for numerous years prior to this law and will continue this process. The passage of this law continues to be of utmost importance to ensure that New York State funeral directors are aware of the practices of their selected preneed administrator and their dedication to the adherence of accepted financial practices and compliance of laws. 

In addition, the law includes a provision to allow funeral directors to receive a portion of the 75-basis point administrative fee. PrePlan immediately implemented a Patronage Program to recognize our participants for the administrative time required to create and maintain accounts. We’re currently in our 4th year of recognizing our firms with this program.  

The list below indicates the number of points you will receive based on the cumulative dollar value of your preneed funds invested with PrePlan. 

2023 Patronage Program 

  • Up to $2.5M = 1 Basis Points Earned
  • $2.5-5M = 5 Basis Points Earned
  • $5-20M = 7.5 Basis Points Earned
  • $20-50M = 10 Basis Points Earned
  • $50-100M = 15 Basis Points Earned
  • $100-200M = 20 Basis Points Earned
  • $200M+ = 25 Basis Points Earned (maximum allowable by law)

Based on the calendar year 2022, PrePlan will determine participants’ average annual quarterly fund balance. Based on that dollar value, participants will earn up to 25 basis points patronage. The patronage will be distributed via check by April 1, 2023.

Reminder: If you opted out of receiving a Patronage check in the past, you will not receive one this year.  If you would like to change your preference or opt out, please contact us at 800.577.3752 or preplan@preplan.org.

We’re proud to support you and your honorable profession for the past 35 years! Thank you for your trust and confidence. We’re here for you and thanks to our relationship with NYSFDA, will continue to advocate legislatively for you and the families you serve!

Dormant Preneed Accounts: PrePlan Keeping You Compliant

Dormant Preneed Accounts: PrePlan Keeping You Compliant

When it comes to your consumers’ preneed trust accounts, PrePlan is commited to being 100% compliant with all necessary laws. One of our compliance-related priorities this time of year is management of abandoned and dormant preneed accounts.

Background: In July 2007 NYS Governor Eliot Spitzer signed into law Chapter 279, a measure initiated by NYSFDA to establish a process to treat unused preneed funds. Most financial accounts with no recorded activity for the prior 5 years and/or no valid address are turned over as abandoned property. NYSFDA saw these criteria as troublesome for preneed accounts and sought to prevent the treatment of such accounts to arbitrary time frames. 

What happens/Criteria: At the end of each year, per NYS General Business Law 453, a list is compiled to include all accounts that have been flagged “deceased.” Once identified, PrePlan diligently works on these accounts to determine which funeral home provided services and makes every effort to send the funds to the firm before the need to turn them over as abandoned or dormant. 

Abandoned: Funds in any account where the date of death is more than 3 years will be forwarded one of the following:

  • Revocable Account: Office of the New York State Comptroller
  • Irrevocable Account: County Department of Social Services where the decedent resided when they died.

Dormant: In addition, funds in any account that has been flagged as a bad address due to the inability of the preneed administrator to obtain a current and correct address for the accountholder for 15 consecutive years and where the accountholder would be 115 years old per the information provided on the original paperwork, will be forwarded to one of the following:

  • Revocable Account: Office of the New York State Comptroller, Office of Abandoned Property
  • Irrevocable Account: County indigent burial fund where the beneficiary resided when the account was originally established.

Funds from an account deemed abandoned or dormant at year-end will be forwarded to the appropriate entity on or before March 10 of the following year.

We take care of it so you don’t have to. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff serves as your compliance experts, freeing you up to do what you do best – provide compassionate and professional services to your local community. 

Requirements Under Section 453(12) of the General Business Law:

Requirements Under Section 453(12) of the General Business Law:

In December 2019, the “Preneed Trust Accountability Act” was signed into law. This law requires any entity holding preneed funds – such as banks, credit unions and funeral trusts – to abide by a higher, uniform set of best financial practices. Specifically, these entities have to undergo an annual audit which will provide more financial information to consumers (and funeral homes) about their preneed accounts. Here is a list of requirements:

12. A preneed administrator operating under this section shall conduct an audit of all of its accounts relating to preneed agreements as of the thirty-first of December of each calendar year. The audit shall:
    (a) Be performed by a certified public accountant licensed to practice in New York state;
    (b) Be completed and delivered to the preneed administrator within one hundred twenty days of the end of such calendar year;
    (c) Verify, by way of a representative sample, that the preneed administrator has a signed copy of the agreement for each account;
    (d) Verify, by way of a representative sample, that appropriate income tax  reports have been sent by the preneed administrator to the owner of each account;
    (e) Verify that the investment of all funds for the agreements is in compliance with this section;
    (f) Verify, by an appropriate sampling method, that the earnings on the investments are being properly applied to each account and that the earnings are credited to each account at least monthly;
    (g) Express an opinion that the financial statements of the preneed administrator fairly represent the financial condition of the funds received in all material respects, and that all financial information distributed by the preneed administrator to consumers, funeral homes  or other parties is accurate; and
    (h) Verify that the stated yield credited to the account for that fiscal year, as announced by the preneed administrator, is accurate.

Printing Grantor Trust Tax Statements

Printing Grantor Trust Tax Statements

A Step-by-Step Guide

All funeral homes registered to use our website, www.preplan.org, have the ability to print a duplicate tax statement for their consumers. The following is a step-by-step guide:

  • Click on the STATEMENT tab
  • Click on the TAX STATEMENTS link (located on the left side navigation menu)
  • Search for the contract using the available options
  • Click the SELECT link next to the contract number of the individual
  • Select the YEAR and TYPE OF STATEMENT (Abbreviated: same as mailed to consumer | Full Statement: listing fiduciary and advisory fee information)
  • Click GET STATEMENTS to download

Please consult the website after December 31 for more information regarding the date tax statements will become available online. Please note tax statements for the past three (3) years can be viewed or printed. Consumers will also have access to their tax statements once available. Please direct the account holder to the CONSUMER tab above. Upon log-in, they will be able to download their tax statement.

Tax Q&As

Tax Q&As

Q&A Grantor Trust Tax Information Statements

Q: The consumer lost their tax statement. Can I have another copy mailed to them?
A: Yes. The funeral home may call or e-mail a PrePlan administrator and we will mail out a second copy. The Funeral Home or consumer may also log-in above to download the tax statement. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Q: What are the fiduciary and advisory fees listed on the preneed agreement for?
A:
As with any trust in New York State, Preplan is permitted by law to expend up to three quarters of one percent of the balance in the fund to provide the necessary services to operate and staff the trust. This is one of the lowest fees in the nation. In addition, a minimal advisory fee is also paid for the expert investment advice given to Preplan for the direct benefit of its customers. These terms are fully disclosed in the preneed customer agreement provided to all consumers.

Closing Schedule

Closing Schedule

2024 Closing Schedule

Monday, January 1 – New Year’s Day

Monday, January 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, February 19 – Presidents’ Day

Friday, March 29 at 1pm – Good Friday

Friday, May 26 at 3pm – Memorial Day

Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day

Wednesday, June 19 – Juneteenth

Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day

Friday, August 30 at 3pm – Labor Day

Monday, September 2 – Labor Day

Monday, October 14 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Columbus Day

Monday, November 11 – Veterans’ Day

Thursday, November 28 – Thanksgiving

Friday, November 29 – Day after Thanksgiving

Tuesday, December 24 @ 1pm – Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 25 – Christmas

Contact

Contact

Questions?

Email preplan@preplan.org

Account questions?

For specific questions regarding your preneed trust account, please contact the funeral firm who set up your PrePlan account.

For any other questions or comments please complete the form below and a PrePlan Administrator will follow up with you.

PrePlan Funeral Trust 2022. All rights reserved.