We always want to make sure that beneficiaries and their families are comfortable with us, our people, and the way we do business. At the same time, we want to be sure we can meet or exceed your expectations.
If we decide to move forward, here are the steps we take to bring you into our family:
- We meet with you, your family, and your circle of support. It’s very important that everyone feels comfortable from the beginning.
- We thoroughly read your trust, making certain that we can execute its requirements and that you and we understand its provisions, as well as how your needs can be met. We are not afraid of asking lots of questions until we are satisfied.
- You and we go over our Fee Schedule in as much detail as you would like. When we are through, you should have a clear understanding of what the costs are.
- Managing a trust is similar to running a business. And a business needs a budget and cashflow planning so management knows how much it can spend and when. This is a critical part of ensuring that your trust lasts as far into the future as is possible. We stick to the budget as much as possible. We can exceed the budget when it makes good sense—and after we have discussed it in committee.
- We discuss our investment philosophy, strategies and methodology, making sure they are in sync with your tolerance for risk.
- Finally, we will ask you to sign a Letter of Engagement/Letter of Understanding. The Letter spells out in detail the services we provide, the fees we charge, that there are services for which the trust will be billed separately (for example, tax preparation and court reports), that you have had an opportunity to ask questions about the various fees and that you have been given a copy of our current Fee Schedule, and that we have discussed our investment strategy with you. Most importantly, your signature empowers us to become the Trustee of your trust.