Escrow accounts. Some swear by them. Some hate the idea. But I am here to give you MY 'professional' opinion and hopefully you will see the beauty in the simplicity behind an Escrow account.
Here is how it works: At the signing of the contract, you, the IP's deposit the entire amount of the surrogate fees including an estimate of co-pays, possible child care, possible housekeeping, lost wages etc. with your chosen escrow agent. (That person or firm will most likely be your own attorney.) It may cost an additional $1,000 but it will be well worth it. My motto has always been don't mix money with babies and this keeps it as separate as it can be under these circumstances. (The escrow account is not set up for medical, clinical, psychological, or anything other then the surrogate's direct surrogacy/pregnancy related expenses.) If you are working with a first time surrogate with insurance this amount could be between $18,000 and $22,000. Yes, that is a lot of your hard earned money to have in an non-interest baring account but it's best to have everyone involved know that if there is a pregnancy the money is there and ready. If, and I mean IF, there is no pregnancy, then any money not used will be returned back to the IP's. (Money may have been subtracted for start of medications fees or transfer fees, mileage, lost wages, etc.)
Moving forward....your surrogate is pregnant. She has receipts and monthly base fees and possible travel expenses. Money that she needs to get from somewhere. If the money has been deposited with an escrow agent then your surrogate only needs to have financial conversations with that person handling your money. The escrow agent then will call you, the IP's, if there is an unusual request that isn't specified in the contract. Usually, if all requests are only the base fee or maternity clothing etc, then a monthly statement is sent unless another arrangement has been made. Having your surrogate only discuss money, payments, reimbursements, compensation, (whatever you want to call it) with your escrow agent allows YOU, the IP's, to have conversations with your surrogate about the more important issues that are going on like the latest OB appointments, how she is feeling, what she is planning on doing next weekend, how her family is, what color you are painting the baby's room....much more pleasant don't you think, then "Hey, I need $5.95 for that prescription I picked up yesterday." or "I hate to say anything but my monthly check is a 10 days late."
I mentioned that these were simple reasons to have an escrow agent however, writing it all out made it seem longer then I wanted! In all seriousness, please consider making your life easier and your surrogate more comfortable by using an escrow account. It's worth it in the end!