In Perspectives

It seems that I have had an unusually large number of conversations recently about how to choose a trustee for a trust.  Therefore, I felt this might be a good time to discuss some important considerations when faced with this decision.  Since the trustee will manage your assets when you are no longer able, it is a decision that should come with significant thought.  The trustee will need a broad set of skills to be successful and they must be someone who will always act in the best interest of your beneficiaries.  Some of the attributes that make this possible include the following.

Integrity – You will be entrusting your life’s work to someone else’s care.  Honesty, loyalty and confidence that the trustee will act in the best interest of the beneficiaries are a must.

Availability –Consider the proposed trustee’s proximity to the beneficiaries and the assets to be managed.  You should also think about their ability to serve for an extended period, as frequent changes in the trustee may impact the effectiveness of the trust.

Competence – A trustee must have the legal capacity to enter in to contracts and make decisions.  Minors or incompetent adults are not viable choices as trustees.

Impartiality – The ability to make decisions exclusively for the benefit of the beneficiaries is paramount.  This is complicated when the trustee must act in a way that may be detrimental to themselves, which can happen in certain family situations.

Financial Security – Will the trustee have the ability to make the beneficiaries whole in the event of a costly mistake?  Or, will the trustee’s own financial challenges tempt them to make for the wrong reasons?

Investment Experience – Effectively managing the investments of the trust will be an important duty of the trustee.  They must have investment experience, or the willingness to hire advisors who can help them, to be effective managing the assets of the trust.

Accounting and Tax Planning Knowledge – The trustee must regularly report to the beneficiaries on the status of the trust assets.  They may also need to address complicated tax issues that arise while administering the trust.  This can be a difficult situation for those who are unfamiliar with these duties.

Willingness to Serve – Above all, a trustee must be willing and able to serve for the long term.  Managing a trust can be a burden that is often under estimated.  The circumstances and resources of any proposed trustee must be carefully considered prior to naming them in an official capacity.

The above considerations are just some of the factors to think about when choosing a trustee.  Given the complexities that can arise, you may find the resources of a professional trustee beneficial to your situation.  At Legacy Trust, we are happy to serve as a sole trustee, co-trustee, or to provide expertise and resources as an agent for an individual trustee.  We would be happy to discuss this important decision with you in more detail whenever the time is right.

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.

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USA PATRIOT Act

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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