Advantages of a Trust Advisor

Thursday, July 10 at 10:05 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Previously, we explored some of the misconceptions about trusts in an effort to better understand them.

Now we’re ready to look at some of the potential advantages a trust can offer. First, we’ll explain how, with an institution like ours as trustee, you benefit from objective, personalized investment management.

The trust advisor stands in the unique position of being a central clearinghouse for his or her clients. The advisor knows the client’s current financial position, the client’s business, the client’s family dynamics, and has helped plan the future for the client. In many cases the trust advisor stands in the place of the client, making decisions on life changes for the client, executing plans created by the client related to family and business and investing to meet the client’s financial objectives.

Thus, the trust advisor has come a long way from the time when the client saw the trust department as the final stopping point to gather assets, pay taxes and distribute assets to the client’s family. Today, the trust advisor is in the middle of planning for the client. The trust advisor works with the client on an individualized financial planning process, and also helps assemble a financial team – attorneys, accountants, etc. – that can assess and address the client’s specific needs and desires.

All of this allows the advisor to look at questions and opportunities through the eyes of the client. The advisor provides an independent but kindred viewpoint. The advisor also stands in for the client if that person is incapacitated, unavailable or deceased.

The trust advisor also serves as a gatekeeper for other banking services, including business loans, insurance loans, mortgages, home equity loans and a host of deposit and other bank products. That’s why it’s important for the advisor to meet with the client as often as necessary, to better understand the client’s goals and objectives, and learn of past decisions and events in the client’s life.

This is noticeably true when it comes to managing your various assets. Doing so wisely is a means to a very important goal: financial security for yourself and your family.

There are many issues associated with meeting that goal, and they aren’t all couched in financial terms such as “rates of return,” “risk/reward ratios” and “after-tax cash flows.” Family financial security is best achieved with a dynamic, flexible plan, one that provides for the continuity of sound investment management for the present and the future – a plan that will function successfully even in the event of unexpected disability or death.

A revocable living trust can provide just about everything you need to structure a complete financial plan. Establishing a living trust is an approach to investment management that provides uninterrupted financial protection for yourself and your designated beneficiaries, as well as a host of other benefits. Here is a short list of what a trust advisor can accomplish for you and your family:

  • Professional investment management for your portfolio. The investment strategy for your trust’s assets will be tailored specifically to your age, as well as your needs and circumstances. By naming a professional trustee, you gain the security of knowing your investments are in capable, experienced hands.
  • Freedom from the “busywork” of managing your investments. When you transfer assets to a living trust, you also are transferring the details and chores associated with their management to the trustee. Not only do you free up valuable time, but you also gain the peace of mind of knowing that even during an extended absence, there is someone at the helm, decreasing the chances of incurring costs associated with errors or lapses in tending to your investments.
  • Continued investment management during any period of disability. Should you become disabled, the trustee of your living trust can be directed to carry out a wide variety of practical tasks, including the filing of tax returns and payment of your taxes and household and medical bills. This kind of provision in a trust agreement may eliminate the need to name a court-appointed guardian to control and manage your assets.
  • Estate organization. Your living trust can be coordinated with your will to allow for the unification of your assets in order to provide for more efficient estate management. You can arrange for the distribution of your property to your heirs and create a strategy that can minimize the impact of estate taxes. With such an approach, you may be able to avoid the potential costs and frustrating delays of probate proceedings.
  • Privacy. Unlike a will, in most instances, the terms of a living trust are not available to the public, shielding your family finances from unwanted scrutiny.

Additionally, the terms of the revocable living trust never are set in stone. You are free to amend or cancel the trust at any time. By establishing a living trust during your lifetime, you can put your trustee to a “performance” test, while retaining the option to make other arrangements in the future if you are not satisfied.

We invite you to call us to find out more about how a living trust can serve the financial planning needs of you and your family. And we welcome the chance to serve as the trustee of your living trust. Put us to the test. We believe you will be pleased with both our performance and our service.

Check out our article which clarifies misunderstandings about trusts.

Note: Any developments occurring after January 1, 2014, are not reflected in this article.

Tags: Financial Education, Investing, Retirement
Jeanene Weiland on 7/21/2014 at 1:40 PM
What is $cost of having bank trustee review one's trust?
Arvest Blog Admin on 7/21/2014 at 4:41 PM
Jeanene - Thanks for your interest. Please visit https://www.arvest.com/?page=investments/trusts/advisors to find and contact a local Arvest trust advisor. We recommend you contact an attorney for legal advice.

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