Throughout my career as a wealth manager and financial planner, I’ve found that one of the most misunderstood components of our financial lives is credit. Most people understand the basics – you borrow money from a bank/credit card company/mortgage lender and pay interest on the balance. But what many people don’t understand is how their credit scores are determined, and how those scores can impact their overall financial lives.
Atlanta Financial Blog
Benefits of Professional Trustees
What is a professional trustee?
When you set up a trust, you must name a trustee to manage and administer the assets in your trust. Generally, professional trustees are experienced individuals that work in a trust department in a bank or in a trust company.
Do you need a professional trustee?
In determining whether you need a professional trustee, consider the following:
- Family dynamics: Is this a blended family situation? Are you living with a non-related party? Is there a history of litigation or contentiousness between family members? Are there family members who cannot manage money?
- Complicated Administration: Can your family members handle the accounting and record keeping demands? Is there a complex disposition of assets? Do you have difficult tax situations?
- Special Assets: Is there a closely held business? Is there non-residential real estate?
- Burden Factor: Does your family have the necessary financial awareness, astuteness, and acumen?
If any of the above-mentioned situations apply to you, the possibility of appointing a third-party trustee should be considered. Third-party trustees offer many benefits, including:
- A professional trustee exercises independent judgment and discretion to reduce contention among the beneficiaries. This is especially important in blended families.
- A professional trustee typically has years of experience in the legal, tax, and administrative duties of executer and trustee. Doing it right the first time could save money in the long run.
- A professional trustee provides long term succession and oversight for trusts which will be around for a long time. Unlike an individual, a professional trustee has a continuing existence; death or disability will not interrupt service to you or your family.
- A professional trustee has a duty to ensure that the trust assets will be properly invested consistent with prudent investor standards.
- A professional trustee frees you and your family from day-to-day administration tasks.
A professional trustee can serve you in a number of ways. For example, if you do not have the time, desire, or experience to manage and administer the trust yourself, you can name a professional trustee to take over the responsibility of managing the trust and overseeing investment management, pursuant to your wishes. Furthermore, if you want to take advantage of a professional trustee’s experience but still be involved, you can designate yourself as trustee and a professional as co-trustee. Additionally, if you want to be the trustee of your trust initially, but want to leave the responsibilities to professionals when you are no longer able to manage the trust, you can name a professional trustee as a successor trustee.
In our experience, families oftentimes struggle with selecting the best and most qualified person to act as trustee. Remember to always consider potential conflicts that could arise between family members. If you are struggling with this decision, call me at 678-282-0296 to discuss.
The tax law changes that went into effect in 2018, changed many things but tax planning moves are still available that can be implemented before the end of the year that can reduce your taxes in 2019. Whether you are self-employed or a W-2 employee, there are strategies available now that can reduce your tax bill if you act before the end of the year.
Cathy Miller Receives the Women’s Choice Award® as Highly Recommended Financial Advisor by Women for Women for Seventh Consecutive Year
Atlanta – November 19, 2019 – Atlanta Financial Associates, an independent financial advisory firm, recently announced that Cathy Miller, MBA, CFP® , CRPS®, CDFA™, has received the Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors and Firms.
As the leading advocate for female consumers, WomenCertified Inc. selected Miller based on rigorous research and specific objective criteria; she has received this recognition every year since 2013.
This year marks our second year living with the sweeping tax law changes passed at the end of 2017, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. How did you fare under the new tax law, or do you know?
Many tax payers had pleasant surprises when they filed their 2018 returns, with smaller tax bills and/or larger refunds than usual. But some tax payers felt like they didn’t benefit from the tax cuts at all. As we met with clients in 2019, we found that for some of those clients the total tax paid was in fact higher, but due to higher income levels (from a strong economy and stock market), while tax rates actually did decline from pre-2018 levels. Unfortunately, for a significant minority of our clients, both rates and taxes paid were higher due to limitations on mortgage interest deductions, the elimination of personal exemptions and the cap on state and local tax deductions (the so called “SALT” deductions).
Regardless of which camp you found yourself in after filing your 2018 taxes, there is still time to minimize what you will owe for 2019 with smart planning. We have listed 9 tips to consider between now and year-end.