Information for Surrogates
It is important to have an independent third party escrow agent when undergoing any collaborative reproduction arrangement. As a surrogate, this is especially true, as your gift to intended parents is an immense offering that should be compensated on time and accordingly.
In most surrogacy arrangements, the escrow fund is managed by the same law firm that is retained by the Intended Parents to represent them throughout the Surrogacy process. Those firms are therefore bound and incentivized to look out only for Intended Parents’ best interests, not yours. SeedTrust® doesn’t represent either party. This allows us to remain completely unbiased, providing fair treatment to all parties. Moreover, the Escrow Agreement makes us contractually obligated to follow the Surrogacy Contract to the letter, making sure the money is strictly disbursed in the time and manner laid out in the Compensation schedule included in the Surrogacy Contract. This allows you to focus on your health and your own needs without the added pressure of managing or monitoring when you get paid.
What is Escrow and why should I use a third party agency?
Escrow means that you’re using a “third party” to hold something of value, which helps to make your transaction safer. The job of an escrow service is simply to ensure that everybody sticks to what is outlined in the contract. Ideally, this would be a neutral third party, as they would have both parties best interests in mind.
Using a third party escrow agency like SeedTrust® can eliminate the sometimes-uncomfortable conversations about money and payments that arise between the Intended Parents and Surrogate. By partnering with SmartVault, a secure and easy to access file management system, we have developed a unique process that eliminates the frustrating task of emailing accounting documents back and forth and allows you to spend more time on things that matter.
SeedTrust® is owned and operated by an experienced Attorney and CPA and all money is held in a secure, strictly regulated IOLTA account. To date we have worked with Intended Parents, Surrogates, Egg Donors and Agencies in over a dozen countries.
How is the SeedTrust process different?
Surrogates and Intended Parents have become accustomed to the complicated, antiquated and frustrating process of the industry’s current escrow experience. From the lack of communication to only receiving documentation after multiple requests to inconsistent payment schedules, both Intended Parents and Surrogates waste valuable time and even money.
Using SeedTrust® for your escrow needs introduces you to a new way of managing your funds. It gives you 24/7 access to all of your documentation through your own unique client portal (you can even download the app to your phone or tablet), customized alerts before payments are sent out and when anything has been updated in your portal, and a new and easy scheduling process that we ensure all parties agree upon before we distribute the first payment. Additionally all documentation in your client portal is in real-time; when a benchmark payment or reimbursement is made it is automatically reflected in your ledger which you can access at anytime.
SeedTrust® welcomes ALL clients and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
How can I fund my escrow account?
My previous escrow agency never paid on time, how will you pay?
Because at SeedTrust® we believe in transparency and open lines of communication, we establish a benchmark payment schedule that all parties must agree to and sign off on before we disburse the first payment.
We think having all parties agree on the schedule is the best first step, as it allows for any adjustments to be made and eliminates guesswork. For instance, if your contract noted that your payment was to be disbursed on the 28th of every month and your particular banking institution has a required 4 day hold on wire transfers, you would not receive your payment until after the first of the month. If you required the payment on the first of the month we could easily change the schedule and payment transfer before the engagement began.
Once we establish a schedule that benefits all parties the schedule document is created and stored in the client portal; this document can be accessed at any time. All parties will receive a notification from the SeedTrust® client portal 5 days before a payment is disbursed. Payments are dispersed by either direct deposit, check, money order, certified check, or PayPal.
Payments for Reimbursements
Download the reimbursement form from your SeedTrust® client portal, complete the form, and upload the completed form and receipts and/or documentation to the portal.
Once all of the documentation has been uploaded to the portal, it will be reviewed, and payment will be promptly made. When the payment has been made all parties will receive a notification from the portal that the ledger has been updated.
The documentation and forms will remain in the portal should either the IP or Surrogate need access to them.
How do I set up my escrow account and my client portal?
What happens to my account and client portal when the engagement has ended?
We will not close the account until all parties certify that all monies have been paid and that nothing more is due to be paid or reimbursed. Once we have written confirmation from all parties, we prepare and refund the account funds via check or ACH/Wire Transfer.
Your client portal will remain active for 90 days after your account has been closed allowing you to access and download all documentation. Should you need to access your documentation after 90 days, you can do so by contacting our office, as SeedTrust® maintains files for three years after the contract has ended.
Seed. Trust. Grow.
Contact us today. We can help you along your journey.
301 Clematis Street Suite 204
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
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