In Perspectives

I read an article recently about the premier episode of “Celebrity Legacies”, a television show on the Reelz channel that investigates the legacy of a different departed celebrity each week.  I was first concerned about my choice in reading material, but later realized that the discussion had some value.  This episode explored the case of James Gandolfini, who died suddenly at the age of 51, with an estimated estate of 70 to 80 million dollars.  He had begun preparing his estate plan six months prior to his death, but only a hastily prepared will that left everything outright to his family and friends was ever completed.  The will requires millions of dollars to be paid to his two young children when they reach their early twenties.  I wonder if they will be prepared to handle this sudden wealth at such a young age.  Although many of us struggle to relate to his life and the wealth he accumulated, I agree with the authors that we can all learn from Mr. Gandolfini’s mistakes.  A few of the lessons that come to my mind are as follows:

  • Nobody is immortal and we are never guaranteed another day on Earth.  If you died tomorrow, would your estate be distributed according to your wishes?  If you are uncertain about the answer, please take the time to review and adjust your estate plan with a competent professional as soon as possible.
  • A properly planned estate, including the appropriate use of a trust, would never be subject to the publicity of Probate, an entertaining television episode, an article, or this blog post.  When done right, an estate plan gives you the power to keep your private affairs private.
  • How you leave money to your heirs can be just as important as how much you leave them.  History is full of examples where having too much money too early in life leads to a disastrous outcome.  The tools are available to eliminate this risk in your family.

I would urge you to consider your own situation in light of Mr. Gandolfini’s, as it can and does happen to ordinary people.  I recently settled the estate of a man who talked with me frequently about the wisdom of updating his estate plan, but he never quite got around to signing the documents to make the changes.  Consequently, his estate was distributed with significant inequalities among his heirs.  I never knew if this was his true intention, but the results were predictable.  Where there was once close family ties, there is now hurt feelings, mistrust and damaged relationships.  I wonder if it had to be this way, or if he just procrastinated too long.  Please don’t let this happen in your family.  If you are uncertain about how to get started, Legacy Trust would be happy to assist you.

Legacy Trust and Your Right to Financial Privacy

At Legacy Trust we have established policies and practices that respect the financial privacy of all individuals who use our trust company. We believe it is critical to comply with the laws and regulations designed to secure your financial privacy. Your relationship with us as our client is very important to us, and we want you to understand our policies and practices about handling your information.

This Policy applies to you – This Policy applies to our relationships with individual clients who inquire about or obtain products or services from us for personal, family and household purposes.

Strict security measures – We take the security of information very seriously. We have established security standards and procedures to prevent access to client information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to guard client information.

Limited employee access – We have established procedures to limit employee access to information to only those employees with a business reason for accessing such information. We educate our employees about the importance of confidentiality and client privacy. We take appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce employee responsibilities regarding client information.

Why we collect information – We collect information about you to:

  • accurately identify you;
  • protect and administer your records, accounts and funds;
  • help us design or improve our products and services;
  • understand your financial needs;
  • save you time when you apply for new products and services; offer you quality products and services; and comply with certain laws and regulations;

We collect information – We collect and maintain your personal information so that we can provide investment management and other services to you. The types and categories of information that we collect and maintain about you include:

  • Information we receive from you to open an account or provide investment advice or other services to you (such as your home address, social security number, telephone, financial information and investment objectives).
  • Information that we generate to service your account or from our transactions with you (such as account statements and other financial information).
  • Information on your transactions with nonaffiliated third parties.

We have established procedures so that the financial information we collect is accurate, current and complete. We are committed to work with you to promptly correct any inaccurate information.

Our selective sharing of information – In order for us to provide investment management and other services to you, we do disclose your personal information in very limited instances, which include:

  • Disclosures to nonaffiliated companies as permitted by law, including those who help us service your account (such as providing account information to brokers and custodians).
  • Other limited disclosures as permitted by law, for example, required reports to government entities.

We do not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. We do not sell your information.

Former clients – If you end your relationship with us, we will continue to adhere to the privacy policies and practices described in this notice.


Important Information About Procedures For Opening A New Account

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however, federal law prohibits us from waiving these requirements.

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