Big Banks vs. Community Banks: Who Should You Trust with Your Trust?

Pam Baker / July 10, 2017
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When it comes to large estates, the advantages of using a corporate trustee instead of administering your own trust are relatively straightforward. A corporate trustee ensures that costly errors don’t take a large chunk out of your assets, while also offering protection against fraud, theft, and other risks. When deciding on a corporate trustee, however, […]

Life Insurance Policy Review…A Disaster or Solution Waiting to Happen?

Bob Cohen / May 28, 2012
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For insured’s under the misperception that their life insurance policy is iron clad simply because they pay their annually billed premium, these folks may be in for an abrupt and expensive surprise.  Many policies are designed to stay in force only on the basis of critical assumptions being met or exceeded over the life of […]

Selecting Trustees

Jayne Sykora / October 26, 2011
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We’ve written on Epilawg before about the importance of choosing the right individuals for the various roles that need to be filled in your estate plan. In this post, I will focus specifically on choosing a trustee.

Trusts and Incapacity

Maggie Green / July 29, 2011
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Revocable trusts have many benefits.  They typically allow for a smooth transition of assets when an individual dies, they can avoid the probate process, and they may incorporate transfer tax planning techniques such as disclaimers, QTIP trusts, and GST provisions (to name a few).  While these benefits are great, the unsung heroes of the revocable […]

Trustee Duties Part 3: Independence and Impartiality

Maggie Green / January 21, 2011
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The duty of independence requires that the trustee remain independent from and impartial to the various beneficiaries. Bogert’s Trusts and Trustees explains, “A trustee who holds for successive beneficiaries owes a duty to them to administer the trust with impartial consideration for the interests of all the beneficiaries. He [or she] should not unnecessarily show […]

Trustee Duties Part 2: Follow the Trust Instrument

Maggie Green / January 2, 2011
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The duty to follow the written trust instrument is fundamental to a successful trusteeship. This duty requires a trustee to, “carry out the directions of the testator or the settlor as expressed in the terms of the trust.”[1] If a trustee’s actions are questioned, a court will look to the trust instrument when assessing whether a trustee […]

The Benefits of Utilizing Corporate Trustees in Your Estate Plan

Adam Cox / October 18, 2010
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Selection of the appropriate trustee is often an emotional decision. While many grantors may feel that naming someone outside the family to act as trustee may be seen as a “vote of no confidence” for their family, they should instead view that decision as both loving and prudent. Simply put, when a grantor names a […]

A Living Trust: Is it right for you?

Jayne Sykora / October 10, 2010
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So often clients come to us for help with an estate plan, convinced that a living trust is necessary because they have heard that it is the ideal tool to assure avoidance of a ‘dreaded’ probate proceeding. Many believe that probate is expensive, time-consuming and overwhelming. Therefore, a living trust, coupled with a pour-over will, […]