The Funeral Director Daily recently wrote about the Evergreen Cemetery Association in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Like so many cemeteries, Evergreen is running a deficit and its board is worried about the future.  The Funeral Director Daily suggests the situation cries out for a relaxation of government restrictions over the Association’s care fund.  If the cemetery could

In our next post on cemetery preneed, we want to revisit a post from June 2012 (Cemetery Preneed Challenges: bucket accounting).  As discussed in that post, the cemetery prearrangement differs from its funeral counterpart because the cemetery can deliver property and merchandise prior to the purchaser’s death.  When establishing a preneed program, a

While preserving traditional burials should be a cemetery’s top preneed priority, a priority should also be placed on the surviving lot owner that is opting for cremation.  The Wirthlin studies that we’ve been referencing in prior posts suggest that most grave spaces sold by cemeteries during the past 20 years will never be used.  One

In continuing with our last post about a cemetery preneed pivot, the cemetery operator seeking to improve its burial revenues can initiate a preneed program that first focuses on its existing lot owners.   To efficiently market to existing lot owners, the cemetery should use a questionnaire to reach out and learn the owners’ current

Almost thirty years ago, associations representing funeral homes, casket suppliers, vault makers, monument builders and life insurers joined together to form the Funeral and Memorialization Information Council (FAMIC).  These industries were concerned about the future impact of cremation on the traditional funeral and burial.  FAMIC used Wirthlin Worldwide to conduct research studies every

For revenues, most cemeteries are dependent upon grave sales, opening/closing services, and care fund distributions.  These revenue sources have been on the decline for a decade.  As cremation trends up, fewer families are purchasing burial lots.  Those families that already own burial lots frequently don’t use them.  COVID induced financial difficulties will only accelerate the

In our third post on Missouri’s endowed care cemetery audits we look at the request for the cemetery’s legal documents.  The current audit notice  requests copies of the cemetery’s trust agreement, rules and regulations, contract forms, deed forms, brochures and any other materials making an endowed care representation.  In essence, the audit is going to

Our previous post discussed care fund audits and the tracking of a cemetery’s property sales and care fund liability.  The next step of the audit process is following the money to the care fund trust (and the back from the trust to the cemetery).  For these purposes, the Missouri audit notice requests trust statements from

A Google search of “state funeral association master trust” will return hyperlinks to dozens of state funeral director associations.  In the 1970’s, funeral associations began establishing master preneed trusts as an alternative to passbook savings accounts.  As preneed gained acceptance with funeral directors, the associations saw the opportunity to provide administration and create a revenue