Determining the Right Trustee for Your Trust

Determining the Right Trustee for Your Trust

Designating trustees depends on how the assets of your estate will be distributed. The trustee’s job is simply to determine and inventory all the assets and distribute them according to the terms of your trust and/or will. The trustee could delegate this responsibility, which I highly recommend, to your attorney, financial advisor and perhaps accountant. Their involvement would then be primarily signing off on necessary paperwork.

If you’re comfortable with your children and other heirs receiving their inheritance in a lump sum, free of any restrictions, knowing they’ll exhibit a certain level of common sense and good judgment, then the best trustee would be a friend or family member.

If, on the other hand, you find it necessary to leave money in a trust where it would then be distributed over a period of years or perhaps the lifetime of a potential beneficiary (a minor child, someone with special needs, or drug/alcohol issues), you don’t want a friend or relative as the trustee, as the family relationship is likely to become strained. In these cases, we recommend you find an independent corporate trustee, not someone from a bank trust department or brokerage firm owned trust company. You and your family deserve an independent corporate trustee whose primary role is to provide the legal, accounting and administrative functions of a trustee.

Determining the right trustee can help your family members avoid unnecessary conflict later on. Knowing your options will help you prepare for what’s best.

Need assistance with your trustee designation? Contact us today and we’ll point you in the right direction!

A Retirement Story: Living an Incredible Retirement

incredible retirement story

No matter how you choose to define your incredible retirement, make sure you stay active and involved. By doing so, you are guaranteed to lead a life filled with purpose and passion! This story is how one client of ours achieved his incredible retirement.

Several years ago, John accepted an early retirement package. About six months into retirement, he called me for some advice. His former employer had contacted him to see if he would be willing to work on a project as an independent contractor. His primary concern was how this extra income, if he accepted the project, would affect his Social Security benefits.

Before answering his question, I asked him if doing this work would bring joy and satisfaction into his life. John told me that he had finished all his “retirement” projects and was starting to get a little bored. While the opportunity seemed interesting, he was concerned for his wife, Wanda, as it would require him living overseas for the duration of the project. I asked John whether his wife might want to visit and spend time with him overseas. He was sure that she would like this opportunity but he wasn’t convinced that the company would pay the additional expense.

I recommended that he let his former employer know that he would be willing to accept the assignment if the company was willing to accept his terms. I told John to be ready for either an initial turn down or possibly a delayed response. John asked the company to fly him and his wife first class and provide them with a Marriott-type quality level hotel suite. I also advised him to ask for a daily fee that was 30% higher than his previous salary, if calculated on a daily basis. My reasoning was that the firm was still saving money because John was no longer an employee and the company was saving this 30% because the company wouldn’t be paying Social Security and Medicare taxes as well as other employee benefits.

Sure enough, John’s initial request was turned down. However, a week later his contact called back to see if he was still interested at his original terms. As it turned out his immediate supervisor only had financial authority up to a certain level, so he had to get permission “from above.”

That was nearly ten years ago and John is still doing project work for his former employer and has no plans to quit. He occasionally turns down projects that conflict with his personal travel plans or if he doesn’t like the project. The last time we spoke John commented that he’s having more fun now than ever before. I’m not surprised as people are generally happier when they feel that they’re in control of their time.

For more great stories of people living their version of an incredible retirement, pick up a copy of Brian Fricke’s book, Worry Free Retirement. Start living life doing what you want, when you want!

Retirement Has a New Meaning

Retirement Has a New Meaning

Not too many years ago, the word “retirement” was associated with people spending hours on the golf course or traveling leisurely around the world. Today, people are living longer and in many cases, are healthier, thanks to lifestyle changes and advances in medical care. Also, the notion that at age sixty-five you must stop working and move to a retirement community is out-of-date. There is no universal definition of “retirement” that meets everyone’s needs.

What’s important is that you take charge of planning for your retirement so that you can enjoy it to the fullest. Some events, like an unexpected health crisis, are not in your control, however planning for travel, a new career, volunteer work, etc. are all within your power!

Your goal should be to experience an incredible retirement. This means that you will be able to do what you want, when you want. An increasing number of people are choosing to continue working beyond “normal retirement age”; not because they have to, but because they want to. Some will even trade in one career for new employment opportunities. It’s up to you!

Start planning for your retirement today and uncover what it means to you. Pick up a copy of Worry Free Retirement for tips and strategies to get you started.