In Perspectives

Have you thought about how your family might treat each other when you’re gone?  It’s not a fun topic to consider, but a necessary one.  They may get along great now, but I speak from experience that when it comes to dividing up your stuff after you are gone, all bets are off.  This is reason number one that you should consider naming a professional trustee.

If you’re like most, you have probably named a family member as your trustee – and likely one of your adult children.  When you think of a trustee as the “enforcer” of a legal document, it becomes apparent why this might not be the greatest idea.  Think back to when your children were young: what happens when one of them gets a little too bossy, or isn’t sharing like he or she should?  Undoubtedly you’ve heard your children exclaim “you’re not the boss of me!” or “he/she’s not playing fair!” and this is likely in response to something as innocent playing a game or sharing a toy.  Now, consider what would happen if that one child was the only thing standing between your other children, their inheritance and your personal effects (i.e. jewelry, antiques, art, etc.).  As you can imagine, this is not the greatest position to put your family in.

In addition to immediately making the family member “Enemy Number One,” the other downside is that your family member likely has a full time job and limited time, experience, and/or resources to dedicate to the job of being trustee.  Did you know that there are a number of legal requirements a trustee must follow?  Did you know that there are deadlines that a trustee must meet? If you have investments, is your child a savvy investor able to manage those assets? Acting as a trustee is time consuming, complex, and carries with it legal responsibilities.

Having spent my first few years out of law school drafting Wills and Trusts, and now enforcing those documents, I have witnessed a variety of family dynamics.  It does not matter how well the family got along during the parent’s lifetime, or the amount of money the family has, when going through this extremely emotional time people get angry and offended very easily.  A child may remember how a sibling got more financial help from you, or that you promised an heirloom to him or her (but didn’t write it down), and then the fighting begins.  Who do you want your family mad at – each other, or a trustee that doesn’t share a table at the holidays?!

To avoid hard feelings between family members, and to take the stress of this complex and time consuming role off of your family, consider naming Legacy Trust as your trustee.  If you would like to hear more or have questions, contact us at today!

For more information, you can also refer to this Wall Street Journal article:

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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