Have you thought about if you’re fulfilling your obligations as a fiduciary trustee?
A client agreed to serve as Trustee for a family trust when the current Trustee could no longer meet their fiduciary responsibilities due to a debilitating medical condition. When the client told us of this development in their financial picture, we agreed that Freestone would first provide an overview of their newly-established obligations as Trustee, and then assist them in executing their ongoing fiduciary duties. Once we felt confident that our client fully understood their role as Trustee, we worked together to establish an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) for the Trust.
Establishing an IPS represents the heart of our management process in the trustee context. To produce our client’s IPS, we considered a number of risk-related, spending, and other financial needs and objectives. Some organizations or individuals might draft an IPS and then never assure that the investment account is actually in compliance with the IPS, but we believe that it is important for named fiduciaries to review the key data for the Trust on a quarterly basis.
In addition to a regular review of the IPS, we help our clients to demonstrate that they have been monitoring the portfolio of the Trust on a consistent and ongoing basis by maintaining a written review in their records. To assist our clients in reviewing the major items in a time-efficient manner, we provide a brief summary overview letter and a detailed portfolio report on a quarterly basis.
When we work with Trustees, our goal is to provide clear, actionable data so that our clients can effectively fulfill their role as a fiduciary and make informed decisions. This ongoing evaluation assures that the investment account is in compliance with the IPS, and eliminates any room for deviation from the established goals of the Trust.
In the case of this particular client, the former Trustee became concerned about the Trustee’s management of the Trust’s assets and hired an attorney to investigate whether the Trust was being appropriately managed. Following a review of the Trust’s IPS and extensive quarterly fiduciary reporting letters, the attorney concluded that our client had been fulfilling their obligation as Trustee exactly, avoiding any possible legal complications.
Understand responsibilities as a Trustee of a family trust
Years with Freestone
Created an effective IPS reviewed regularly
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