Practical analysis for investment professionals

Trusts and Trustees

Trust and Fiduciary Services: Questions to Consider

We are socialized to believe that we get what we pay for. In the case of trustee and planning services, does the lack of a stated fee imply to clients that these services have little value? Preston McSwain offers his perspective.

Issues Confronting Fiduciaries Today: Solving a “Three-Variable Problem”

These days, the role of a fiduciary is fraught with challenges and potential pitfalls, ranging from investing in challenging market conditions to ensuring all beneficiaries are treated fairly.

How Not to Bungle a Trust: A Checklist for Investment Trustees

Lawsuits involving estates and trusts are on the rise. Here are 10 tips for trustees to bear in mind to avoid litigation.

Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts: Popular Strategy in the Crosshairs

If President Obama's proposed budget for 2013 makes it through Congress, there are only a few months to go before a popular trust strategy — the sale of an asset to an intentionally defective grantor trust, or IDGT — may be eliminated.

Five Tax-Savvy Wealth Transfer Strategies

For most U.S. taxpayers, April 15 is a red-letter day. But that doesn’t mean tax matters should be filed and forgotten about until next year. There are several favorable estate, gift, and generating-skipping transfer (GST) tax provisions that are set to expire at the end of the year, unless Congress acts to extend them in the coming months. That means there is still time for your clients to take advantage of larger exclusions and lower tax rates.

Bankable Insights: What Every Investment Trustee Needs to Know

Consider this scenario: a college alumnus starts a successful technology company, cashes out and donates a big chunk to his alma mater. In return, the school asks him to serve on the board of directors of the endowment fund. The entrepreneur is a respected professional in the tech industry but isn’t a professional investor and has never served as a trustee. Now what?

Advising Trustees: The Five Biggest Pitfalls

We hear a lot these days about “holistic” wealth management — service that goes beyond traditional investment advice — and how advisers should handle the disparate needs of their clients as part of a seamless whole. One of these needs is trust and estate planning. In all cases, it's an attorney who drafts the trust document, but that doesn't mean wealth advisers don't have a role to play.

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