Is a Trust Right For You?
We have all heard the horror stories about families being torn apart after their parents pass away. Brothers, sisters, and long-lost family members who have spent years in court fighting over land, money, family heirlooms – big and small – and more. There will never be a family Christmas or birthday celebration together again.
This is not the vision or dreams that Mom and Dad held so close. This is not why they worked so hard and saved so much to give a better life to their kids and grandkids.
A trust can help.
Many of my clients did not see themselves as trust people until they knew the facts and benefits. Many believed trusts are only for the ultra-wealthy and famous, but that could not be further from the truth.
Do I Need a Trust?
Oftentimes when I am meeting with clients, we spend a significant amount of time focusing on fully understanding their personal and financial lives. This allows us to make sure that we can holistically address all of their needs, goals, and dreams for the future.
During this process, we discuss in-depth the best ways we can customize a plan to make it all happen.
Two of the most common questions I hear from clients are: 1) What is the difference between a trust and a will, and 2) Why it is important to document my wishes to best care for my family?
Simply defined, a will determines how your assets will be fully distributed after you die; a trust is a legacy to your heirs. Your trust details how your assets will be held and managed for the benefit of your heirs at your direction.
There are many different kinds of trust, each having its own focus and determined impact and benefit.
Giving to Charities in 2018
“I am not going to give to charity in 2018 because I can no longer receive a tax deduction for my gift.” This was the comment shared while I discussed the new 2018 tax laws with a development officer colleague who works at one of our great local nonprofit organizations.
Wanting clarification, I asked more questions to determine the context of the statement. It was made by an unnamed donor who felt he and his wife were not going to be able to give in 2018 to the organization that they had supported regularly for a number of years. He was basing his opinion on reports they had seen on TV and read in the newspaper.
In my mind there is a greater story to be told. Politics aside, for an overwhelming majority of people, the new tax law will increase their overall tax deductions and should put more money into their pockets. That money can be used, in whole or in part, to support their charities of choice.
More Than a Trust Company
Before I joined Heartland Trust Company, I knew about its great reputation in our community and throughout the region. I admired this award-winning organization and its dedicated people, but like many others, I also thought the company only managed trusts. After all, the name is Heartland TRUST Company.
That said, managing trusts is only one part of what HTC does each and every day to serve and advocate for the clients entrusted to our care.
A significant part of our business is devoted to investment accounts like the ones people might have with Fidelity, Edward Jones, Merrill Lynch, Ameriprise, or Wells Fargo Investments. Like these companies, we manage portfolios of stocks, bonds, and more for your retirement, education, and/or other purposes.