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Our trust staff has many years of experience in the financial and legal complexities of estate planning and administration, and our personnel provide these services on a full-time basis. They're here for you now, and they will be here for your family when you're no longer able to be. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
In choosing an executor or trustee, you may think first of a spouse or family member. But, in addition to considering whether you want to burden your loved ones with this responsibility at an emotional time, you should also be looking for someone who is:
- Financially aware,
- Experienced at the many tasks required by these duties,
- Sympathetic, yet impartial, and
- Always available.
Not many family members fit this profile, but our trust officers meet every one of these exacting standards. If you have given any thought to trust or estate planning, our trust officers would be pleased to discuss your needs and circumstances and answer your questions about estate planning, wills and trust, at no obligation or cost to you. We hope you'll call or stop by and see them soon.
As an aid in your estate preparation, please select one of the following:
- An Estate Planning Quiz
- Your Will: A Most Important Document
- The Advantages of Trusts
- What's Your Net Worth?
An Estate Planning Quiz
When was the last time you thought about your estate plan? If it's been a year or more, grab a pen and paper and take this quiz. You can't fail, no matter how you answer, because your candid assessment of your current circumstances will help you better plan to provide for your loved ones in the event of your death. Ready? Here are the questions:
- How much are you worth?
- Do you have a will?
- If you don't have a will, do you know what will happen to your children and your property if you die without one?
- List as many of an executor's duties as you can think of.
- Name three benefits of establishing a trust.
If you had difficulty answering any of these questions, read on. Proper planning of will and trusts can provide substantial savings to you or to your beneficiaries. Also, professional management of property can assure financial security for your family.
As a regional leader in the local banking and financial services industry, First National Bank in Olney offers the largest and most complete TRUST SERVICES. Our trust specialists can help you manage your money. We can also work closely with your attorney, life underwriter and accountant to help you plan your estate.
Your Will: A Most Important Document
Everyone should have a will. If you die without one (known as dying intestate), the laws of your state will determine how to divide and distribute your assets. Your estate may be subject to extra taxation. And, if you have minor children, the state will appoint guardians for them. In short, things may not end up at all as you wanted them.
Drawing up a will need not be expensive or complicated. (Compared to the problems created by dying without one, preparing a will is a snap.) You do need a lawyer to put it into proper legal form. And you should also consult with other important financial advisors, such as your accountant, insurance agent and one of our trust officers, for a complete financial analysis and plan before finalizing the provisions of your will.
As part of your will, you will need to appoint an administrator--known as an executor--to carry out the distribution of your assets, pay any outstanding debts or claims against your estate, file and pay taxes, and handle other necessary paperwork. Depending on the size of your estate, your executor may have to manage your assets until the provisions of your will have been met. The person you choose will be held completely accountable, financially and legally, for these responsibilities.
The Advantages of Trusts
As you review the provisions of your will, you may find it advantageous to establish one or more trusts to provide for special needs, such as beneficiaries whose age or abilities make them unsuited for managing complex financial affairs. A trust is an arrangement whereby you transfer legal title of specified property to a trustee, who manages it on behalf of your beneficiaries according to the provisions you set forth in the trust documents.
Properly set up and managed, a trust can:
- Assure that your estate passes to the people you intended to inherit it;
- Avoid probate delays;
- Protect your beneficiaries from losing their inheritance through inexperience or manipulation by unscrupulous individuals;
- Relieve your loved ones from making decisions about, and keeping records of, investments and other money matters;
- Provide you with peace of mind and, in some cases, reduce income and estate taxes.
Several kinds of trusts are available:
Trusts Under Will, which are set up through the provisions of your will, allow you to retain ownership and control over your property during your lifetime. You can change your will and the provisions of the trust as changes in your family's circumstances require. Upon your death, your appointed trustee steps in to manage the assets for the benefit of your heirs.
Living Trusts are similar to trusts under will, except that they begin to operate during your lifetime. To create a living trust, you transfer some of your assets or property to your trustee, who manages it for you and your loved ones. Upon your death, the trust continues to operate for your beneficiaries, without any legal complications or delay.
Living trusts may be revocable or irrevocable. The former allows you to abolish the trust completely or change its provisions, to withdraw assets or direct their investment. The latter limits your benefits from, and control over, the trust, but can reduce your current income tax, as well as estate tax.
Life Insurance Trusts are funded by proceeds from your insurance, which are paid directly to the trustee, who then manages the money for your heirs. During your lifetime, you retain all rights to your insurance, such as the ability to borrow against your policies, to cash in or convert them, or to change your beneficiaries.
What's Your Net Worth?
You're probably worth more than you think! To find out, take a few minutes to fill in this handy form. It will help you assess your estate planning needs and may provide you with some eye-opening data on your real worth. Be sure to use the current market value of your assets.
Whatever your net worth, your concerns are the same: to provide for your family and others who are close to you. We can take some of the worry out of doing that through professional management of affairs pertaining to your estate. See our trust officers today.
|In Your Name||In Spouse's Name||Held Jointly|
|Home and other real estate||$||$||$|
|Stocks, bonds, mutual funds||$||$||$|
|Mortgages, notes due you||$||$||$|
|Bank accounts, certificates||$||$||$|
|Life insurance (face value)||$||$||$|
|Business & partnership interests||$||$||$|
|Household effects & automobiles||$||$||$|
|Retirement plan accounts||$||$||$|
|Annuities, trusts & other assets||$||$||$|
|Life insurance loans||$||$||$|
|Other loans and debts||$||$||$|
|(Assets minus liabilities)||$||$||$|