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Whether you’re seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility — many types of trusts exist, each designed for a specific purpose.
RBFCU now offers trust services through MEMBERS Trust Company. The trust services program combines a complete trust offering, along with highly-trained, licensed professionals who are committed to adding value to the trust. Educational seminars are also available throughout the year.
Why choose RBFCU Trust Services?
Our advisors have the unique opportunity to offer objectivity, continuity and experience in trust administration. The goal of the advisor is to provide a continuum of support, from the early years of wealth accumulation to the time when asset preservation takes priority and then as attention shifts to gifting, sheltering and distribution. With each successive stage, it grows more complex. The right relationship and education can make all the difference.
RBFCU Trust Services has a diverse group of advisors available to discuss goals, expectations and concerns with their clients. By partnering with an advisor, clients can coordinate and assimilate all aspects of financial life to develop a customized, structured financial strategy.
There are several steps to ensure proper estate planning, including, but not limited to, wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. RBFCU Trust Services, along with a network of attorney partnerships throughout our footprint, can provide financial education and legal services to ultimately help lead to better financial decisions. We offer trust services through MEMBERS Trust Company in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and the surrounding area.
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What is a trust?
A trust is a legal entity that holds assets for the benefit of another. Basically, it’s like a container that holds money or property for somebody else. You can put practically any kind of asset into a trust, including cash, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, real estate and artwork. The assets you choose to put in a trust depend largely on your goals.
When you create and fund a trust, you are known as the grantor (or sometimes, the settlor or trustor). The grantor names people, known as beneficiaries, who will benefit from the trust. Beneficiaries are usually your family and loved ones but can be anyone, even a charity. Beneficiaries may receive income from the trust or may have access to the principal of the trust either during your lifetime or after you die. The trustee is responsible for administering the trust, managing the assets, and distributing income and/or principal according to the terms of the trust.
Why create a trust?
Since trusts can be used for many purposes, they are popular estate planning tools. Trusts are often used to:
- Minimize estate taxes
- Shield assets from potential creditors
- Avoid the expense and delay of probating your will
- Preserve assets for your children until they are grown (in case you should die while they are still minors)
- Create a pool of investments that can be managed by professional money managers
- Set up a fund for your own support in the event of incapacity
- Shift part of your income tax burden to beneficiaries in lower tax brackets
- Provide benefits for charity
Knowledge to Plan Webinars presented by MEMBERS Trust Company
These webinars are designed to provide you with a better understanding of issues that impact your financial well-being and security. Enhanced knowledge and understanding will lead to better financial decisions and help you avoid costly mistakes. The webinars are presented by experienced professionals including attorneys and investment professionals who have been awarded the prestigious CFA designation. At each webinar, you will be given the opportunity to raise questions, and to request a personal follow up appointment or call from one of MEMBERS Trust Company’s experienced trust and investment officers.
What option is best for estate planning?
Can I meet with an RBFCU Wealth Management Advisor at my local branch?
Each RBFCU Wealth Management Advisor serves a specific area and these advisors are available to meet with you and assist with your financial needs and planning. If you are ready to meet with an investment professional, schedule an appointment and indicate your area or branch.
Are there fees to meet with an advisor?
You can schedule an initial consultation with an advisor at no cost and no obligation to you.
What are the duties of the trustee?
The trustee of the trust is a fiduciary, someone who owes a special duty of loyalty to the beneficiaries. The trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times. For example, the trustee must preserve, protect and invest the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee must also keep complete and accurate records, exercise reasonable care and skill when managing the trust, prudently invest the trust assets, and avoid mixing trust assets with any other assets, especially his or her own. A trustee lacking specialized knowledge can hire professionals such as attorneys, accountants, brokers, and bankers if it is wise to do so. However, the trustee can’t merely delegate responsibilities to someone else.
Although many of the trustee’s duties are established by state law, others are defined by the trust document. If you are the trust grantor, you can help determine some of these duties when you set up the trust.
What is the difference between a living will and a living trust?
These two very important estate planning devices are quite different from each other but serve similar purposes. A living will lets you manage your health-care decisions in case you become incapacitated. A living trust lets you manage your property in case you become incapacitated.
A living will is not actually a will at all. It is a legal document that becomes effective if you become so ill or injured that you can’t make responsible health-care decisions for yourself. It lets you approve or decline certain types of medical care in advance, even if you die as a result.
A living will is allowed only in some states. If you don’t live in one of those states, you may be able to accomplish the same goal using a durable power of attorney for health care, health-care proxy, or Do Not Resuscitate order.
By comparison, a living trust is just what it says. It is a revocable trust you create while you are living. You transfer property to the trust, and the trust then “owns” it. You name yourself as trustee and someone else as a successor trustee. You manage the property in the trust unless you become incapacitated (or until you die), in which case your successor trustee automatically steps in to continue managing the property for you.
Who should I name as the trustee?
A trustee is an institution or person who is the legal owner of the property held by the trust and who is responsible for using the trust property for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust document. The trustee can be held personally liable if those duties are breached.
You may select one trustee or multiple trustees, depending on your needs. Who you name as trustee will depend on the type of trust you establish and your individual needs and goals.
Generally, you want the trustee to be capable of administering the trust according to the terms of the trust document. In addition to the willingness to serve as the trustee, the person or institution selected may need to have investment experience and good record-keeping abilities. You may also want a trustee who relates well with the beneficiaries and is sensitive and flexible regarding their changing needs.
RBFCU Investments Group LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBFCU Services LLC. RBFCU Services LLC is affiliated with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU). Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA / SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Trust services available through MEMBERS Trust Company, a federal thrift regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. FR-1992838.1-0118-0220