mellicious: pink manicure (buffy -bored now)
[personal profile] mellicious
Well, I'm back at work again. I can't say I'm totally thrilled to be here, but at least it's quiet and there's not a ton of work piled up on my desk like I was afraid there might be. My back's hurting a little bit but not too bad.

Rob & I went Friday and met with the credit union's investment guru - we couldn't do anything concrete since we don't have the damn Letters Testamentary, still, but it made me feel better just to talk it over. The credit union guy said the same thing that the lawyer did, which is that we'll probably come out better in the end if we leave the bulk of the money in the trust. They can set up the trusts at the credit union, which will work well for Paula, too, since the credit union we belong to is the UT-affiliated one and so they have branches all over Austin, anyway. She can either leave her part of the money in the trust fund or take it out, as she desires, but at least it'll be convenient for both of us to get to.

Saturday we went over to Mom's and I started putting labels on things that I wanted or various people have told me they wanted. I think next week I'm actually going to have to start putting things into boxes that I want to keep, since Art's daughter/daughter-in-law are still on the garage sale kick -- and I don't really want to stop them since it's making things easier for me, in the end. We went to the grocery store after that, and I was totally exhausted by the time I got home, so I decided I'd better stay home and rest yesterday. And I did. (Assuming playing Auto Assault half the day counts as resting.)

(Almost baseball season! yay!)

Date: 2007-03-27 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not a T&E or tax lawyer, nor am I a financial advisor, and what I'm about to say should not be construed as either legal or financial advice: If the Credit Union is the trustee, consider getting independent financial and tax advice. Trustees have a vested interest in convincing you to let them remain trustees (it's how they get paid). I have no idea if the Trust's investment strategy is consistent with what you want for your family. I have no idea what fees the Trustee charges. I have no idea what the terms of the Trust are. I have no idea at what level it or your family is taxed. (Nor do I want to know any of these things!) But I do suggest considering getting independent tax and financial advice, if the Credit Union is, in fact, the trustee of the trust in question.

Good luck, Robert

Date: 2007-03-27 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is the trustee the administrator-type person? (The terminology of all this financial stuff is still pretty new to me.) If so, then I'm my own trustee, as I understand it.

Date: 2007-03-27 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There should be a trust instrument called "Trust Agreement" or "[Name] Living Trust" or "[Name] Testamentary Trust." You should have that document. It will name the trustee. The trustee usually decides how the trust assets will be invested, and often has the power to disburse income and principal. You could be the trustee of your own trust, but I'm not sure what advantage that would give you if you are the sole beneficiary. You could also be the trustee of a trust with you as a beneficiary and others as additional beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries. There could also be a co-trustee who might have various powers regarding investment and disbursement of assets.

As I said, I'm not a T&E or tax lawyer, but you should, at a minimum, get the trust instrument, read every word, figure out who the trustee(s) is/are, what their powers are, and what the tax and estate planning implications are. Make a lawyer or accountant explain every word to you, and be cautious around any institution that is a trustee or co-trustee. They are fiduciaries, but they still want to earn fees.

Date: 2007-03-28 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, the genesis of this whole thing was my sister's bankruptcy, so the original purpose was to protect her half of the inheritance. I'm pretty sure the estate lawyer said we would each be our own trustee, or at least that we can. I will have to dig out the big Notebook o' Legal Documents and see what it actually says.

Your point is well-taken about the financial institutions, though. I trust the credit union a lot further than I'd trust any regular bank, but they still aren't in it to lose money.


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

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