Your Money: Choosing a professional trustee

Your Money: Choosing a professional trustee

By Juergen Selk

By Juergen Selk

Financial Consultant

Choosing a professional trustee

A professional trustee assumes responsibility for carrying out your documented wishes, administration and, in many cases, investment management delivered may be considerable. Here are some tough questions to ask about your professional trustee:

• Do you receive a high level of service on your trust?

The relationship-based service that is key to the trust process requires frequent, on-going contact with a dedicated, experienced trust representative.

• Are you satisfied with the investment performance of your trust?

Competitive results depend upon the services of dedicated portfolio managers who are committed to delivering consistent investments results, who are proficient in the use of investment techniques and have access to advanced technology.

• Is your trust completely integrated with your overall financial plan?

A trust’s investment approach must consider the needs, objectives and risk tolerance of the beneficiaries and remaindermen, in the context of the donor’s wishes.

• Does your trust have proper asset allocation?

Your trustee and its investment professionals need to select the proper mix of stocks, bonds and money market instruments given the trust’s investment objectives and the ages of all the parties affected.

• How many investment management alternatives are available?

Some professional trustees do not provide customized portfolio management at certain asset levels; others offer clients a limited choice. Your trustee should be able to choose among different investment management styles, and a wide range of investment classes, so that a customized investment strategy can be developed for your trust.

• How is the trustee compensated?

Some trustees may, on the surface, appear to charge a lower fee. After adding on a setup fee, administration fee, trust tax return fee, commissions on trades and the like, what may seem like a low fee may turn out to be higher than a competitive, all-inclusive fee schedule.

Juergen Selk is a financial consultant at Salomon Smith Barney in Rockford. Salomon Smith Barney does not offer tax or legal advice. If you have an investment or finance-related question, send it to The Rock River Times or to!

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