Working with Co-trustees: How You Can Help

When clients select a successor trustee for their trust, they frequently choose one person to serve as a successor trustee at a time. Many attorneys continue to recommend that only a single trustee be appointed to avoid the potential for disagreements or conflicts between co-trustees during the trust administration after the trustmaker’s death or disability. This can be a prudent approach and works well in many situations. This is particularly true when the appointed trustee diligently keeps the trust beneficiaries informed about the trust administration and carefully fulfils the trustee’s responsibilities under both the law and the provisions of the trust document. However, many clients are reluctant to place the entire responsibility for trust administration on one person. As a result, it is increasingly common for a trustmaker to nominate two or more family members or friends to serve as successor co-trustees. In some cases, it may even be beneficial

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Trust Protectors: Are They a Good Fit for Your Client?

Posted by Robert L. Arone What Is a Trust Protector? Traditionally, the three roles that must be filled when setting up a trust are the settlor (also called a grantor, trustor, or trustmaker), the trustee, and the beneficiary. All three roles are necessary to create a trust that functions properly. Although it is relatively common to use trust protectors in foreign asset protection trusts, a trust protector is a fairly new role in trusts drafted in the United States for estate planning purposes. However, as the number of trusts designed to last for generations grows, estate plans need more built-in flexibility. Giving a trust protector, through the terms of the trust, certain powers over the trust, such as removing or appointing trustees, adding or removing beneficiaries, and amending or even terminating the trust, ensures that your client’s intentions for creating the trust are fulfilled despite changing law or circumstances. How

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Is Your Client’s Estate Plan Incapacity Proof?

Posted by Robert L. Arone For most people, it is perfectly natural to think about estate planning only in terms of planning for death. While it is certainly important for clients to make a plan for their eventual death, if that is all they plan for, their planning will be woefully inadequate. As medical knowledge and technology have improved over the decades, so too has modern medicine’s ability to keep people alive for much longer. It is no accident that in many areas of the country, long-term care facilities such as assisted living centers and nursing homes are being built at record pace.[1] At first blush, staying alive longer would seem to be a good thing. And for many people, it is. However, simply living longer does not necessarily result in ideal circumstances. Longevity coupled with incapacity can be extremely challenging if a client has failed to make arrangements for

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Planning for Millennials

Posted by Robert L. Arone Millennials (born 1981 to 1996) are well known for their distinctiveness as a group. They have followed paths and set goals that are decidedly different from those chosen by previous generations. They are highly diverse, better educated, more socially conscious, and wait longer to have families than their parents and grandparents. But one thing millennials have in common with other generational groups is the need for estate planning. Unfortunately, a startling 79% of millennials do not have basic estate plans in place. Their needs and goals may vary, but having an estate plan in place is crucial for every adult, including millennials. Whether your clients are young or old, they do not know what the future holds, and together, we can help them put plans in place that not only provide for their own future needs but also those of their loved ones. Will and/or

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Don’t Allow New Accounts to Catch Clients Unaware

Posted by Robert L. Arone   As a financial advisor, what could be more important than the financial health of your clients? As you know, a comprehensive trust-centered estate plan allows your clients to provide for loved ones, affording them immense peace of mind. But, estate planning is not a one-time event since trust-centered estate plans require careful supervision and regular reviews to function properly. Accordingly, it’s crucial that you participate in the maintenance of your clients’ trusts by monitoring important financial changes and helping clients to update their plans to reflect these changes. Significant Changes in Wealth Setting your clients up for success with their trusts is not difficult. Keep an eye out for any significant changes in wealth. One such important development in a portfolio is the addition of a new account, such as an IRA or new taxable investment account. Any time a new account is opened,

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