Who Needs Estate Planning? Estate planning determines and documents who will receive your assets and who will make decisions for you both before and after death. Estate planning is important for everyone because it documents who will make health care or financial decisions should you become disabled and unable to do so. It also appoints executors, agents, guardians, conservators and trustees to handle your affairs and care for minor children or disabled family members, And, perhaps most importantly, estate planning determines your beneficiaries and how they will be selected. Your Needs are Unique Estate planning can be a simple, fill-in-the-blank, process for some. However, as people accumulate assets, own property in other states, have children or special circumstances (dependency, special needs family members, are remarried, etc.), the estate planning process is no longer cut-and-dried. There are a lot of “what ifs” that should be explored and properly documented within a will or trust and to ensure assets are titled and passed appropriately. Protect Your Family’s Income It is important to understand the implications of your decisions, ensuring adequate life insurance coverage, taxability of assets transferred to your surviving spouse or heirs, and the potential effects that transfer could have on the taxation of other income they might be receiving. A thoughtful determination is based on many factors, and without an adequate understanding of a family’s unique situation, a wrong (and costly) decision could be made. The Trust Company can Help We specialize in all aspects of the financial planning process, including estate planning. While we do not prepare Trust and Estate documents, we advise and collaborate with your attorney on the preparation of the documents to ensure they work for your unique situation and that we’ve considered all financial consequences of the estate plan. Trust and Estate Management is complex, and the possibility of family conflict can make it emotionally draining. The Trust Company helps individuals and families navigate this unfamiliar territory by serving as a Trustee or solely as a fiduciary. In these roles, we navigate complex legal and tax rules, administrative duties, and at times emotional decisions on the behalf of our client. Our Officers can help alleviate these challenges with objective expertise in a variety of fiduciary roles that can promote family harmony. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you with your estate planning needs. Fiduciary A fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person, putting that person’s interests and benefits ahead of their own. The fiduciary may be responsible for different aspects of an estate plan. Trustee A trustee is one type of fiduciary appointed to act in your best interest and manage a specific trust. The exact duties of the trustee may differ depending on the trust. For example, a successor trustee is appointed to manage a trust for the grantor when they are disabled or deceased. Selecting a trustee is a huge decision in an estate plan because you need to be able to trust that person or organization to represent your objectives in a very specific way. You also want to ensure that the trustee upholds the fiduciary aspects of that role. We understand what you want from your trust and will carry out those plans on your behalf. Our Role & Responsibilities We will provide you peace of mind by fulfilling a range of trust and fiduciary responsibilities for you. There are many ways in which we do this, depending upon your unique situation and what you want to accomplish, including: Custodian – We hold, but don’t manage, financial assets for the convenience or security of our clients. Executor – A person or institution nominated by the testator and appointed by the court to carry out the terms of their will. Trustee, Co-Trustee or Successor Trustee – A trustee is the legal owner of trust assets, but manages and distributes the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries, according to the terms of the trust. Agent – We hold and manage investments for clients, which they own either individually or in a trust. Conservator – We are appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs for an individual who is unable to make financial decisions on their own behalf. Types of Trust and Estate Services We will work with you and other professionals, your attorney, accountant, or banker, to find the right service for your unique situation and goals. As a client of The Trust Company who meets our minimum annual fee*, we will provide you with complimentary consultation on estate planning and review the plan with you annually to ensure it continues to reflect your wishes over time. While we do not create estate planning documents, we will work with you, in consultation with your attorney, to develop and maintain the right plan for you. Trust Services Managing your trust assets with knowledgeable and independent oversight. Cash management and bill payment are additional complimentary services we provide to clients… Read More... Specialized Trusts Sharing tax-efficient and flexible trust solutions for various unique situations. Read More... Estate Settlement Services Advising with skillful guidance and expert solutions for estate settlement and wealth transfer. Read More... Conservatorship Protecting your loved ones' financial future through personalized investment, tax and real estate solutions. Read More... If you’ve been thinking about whether a trust could be appropriate for you or a loved one, please give us a call or send us an email. We’ll be happy to sit down and talk.