The IFDA master trust turned a new page today, and for participating funeral homes, the first step in a long recovery process.  With the appointment of Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust as a temporary trustee, the association begins the process of looking for a permanent trustee.  The appointment also coincides with the trust’s accounts being put on a mark-to-market basis. 

The mark-to-market approach taken by the IFDA master trust will mean that the trust’s value will be allocated among the preneed contracts each month. Until the benefits of key man insurance purchased by the master trust are realized, funeral directors will be servicing contracts for far less than they were promised.  It was not clear from the Q&A circulated to funeral directors whether insurance proceeds will be allocated to preneed contracts serviced while the actuary study is being performed. 

Funeral directors who left the IFDA master trust for NPS must feel whipsawed by these circumstances.  

Missouri funeral directors questioning reporting requirements being considered by the legislature should note that the IFDA reports its preneed contract values to consumers annually.