Please contact us if you cannot find an answer to your question.
Your initial consultation with Monterey Trust Management is free! Further fees, should you choose to use our services, will be discussed at your appointment.
Absolutely! At this time we are offering both in person and virtual appointments.
We are not a law firm and do not draft estate plans. However, if you call us, we would be happy to recommend an attorney or firm that can best meet your estate planning needs.
Meeting us is the best first step. This allows you to determine if we are a good fit for you, If we are, your estate planning attorney will write us into your plans as successor trustee, executor, and agent under your financial power of attorney. Once this is completed, we like to set up a file in our office and collect the information we need to step in when the time comes. We may need to step in quickly, so it is important that we have the needed information to help at a moment's notice. Once your file is set up, we will check in with you from time to time to be sure our files are up to date. Clients have expressed deep comfort in knowing that the MTM team is here and ready to act when needed.
The agent under an AHCD is the person who helps you make medical decisions if you are not able to speak for yourself. Because this is a deeply personal issue, we recommend that a relative or close friend fulfill this duty. Your healthcare agent should be someone who is familiar with your desires and who can navigate hospital stays and discharge, as needed. This person may also need to make that ultimate "pull the plug" decision for you. If you do not have someone who can fulfill this role for you, we can recommend professionals who specialize in this service. If our clients ever become infirm and their healthcare agent is needed, MTM works hand-in-hand with the agent to make sure all needed services are brought to bear for the benefit of our client. We take care of the finances, so the healthcare agent can focus on our client's personal medical care and needs.
It is not uncommon for financial advisory firms to offer “trustee services” but it is important to know how they are being compensated and how comprehensive their services will be when most you need them.
Let’s first discuss fees: Unless your financial advisor’s firm is a charity or non-profit, they are charging fees and will continue to charge fees when they become trustee. They may not charge a trustee fee, per se, but money management firms charge either an annual fee – represented by a percentage of your invested assets or they will charge a commission on the investments you buy. Despite the fact that they may not charge a specific trustee fee, they are and will make fees somehow. Otherwise, they could not stay in business, right?
The second thing you need to understand is what trustee services, exactly, will they provide? Will they pay your bills if you become incapacitated or help you retain in home care, if needed? Will they take an appointment under a financial power of attorney so they can help you relocate or otherwise assist you in dealing with the day-to-day issues you may need to address? Will they help you apply for and be paid under a long-term insurance? Will they continue to hold investments that are not publicly traded securities, or will your real estate investments need to be liquidated?
Your trustee will be extremely important to you – someday. Being there for you if you become incapacitated is just as important as making sure your estate is well handled after you are gone. If you have a deep and trusting relationship with your financial advisor now – that’s great! Stay with them but make sure you know to what extent your advisor can and will be involved if their firm becomes your trustee. Better yet, some trustees, like the professional fiduciaries at Monterey Trust Management are “advisor friendly.” This means your financial advisor can continue to manage your portfolio just the way you want it managed and MTM partners up with your money manager, when needed, to become part of “your team.” This gives you the best of all worlds: a money manager you love and an experienced, dedicated trustee to be sure all of your wishes and needs are professionally addressed.
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