Someone Needing a Trustee

Creating a trust is not just about passing on your wealth. It’s about protecting and providing for the ones you love.  As your professional trustee you can rest assured that we will manage your trust with integrity, compassion, diligence, and professionalism, caring for your loved ones as if they were our own.  You will gain peace of mind knowing that your Trust Officer is always available.

We understand that entrusting the management of your trust to someone else can be daunting. The decision is a complex one and, over our many years of service, we have found our clients repeatedly ask the same questions when making this decision.

Q:

Why should I hire a professional trustee to manage my trust rather than a family member?

A:

Even in the healthiest of families, when a sibling is given decision-making authority over another sibling things can get tense.  In our experience, the following situations commonly occur:

  • The sibling doesn’t have time to take on such a complicated job as managing a trust.

  • Conflicts of interest can arise when a sibling who is trustee is required to make decisions affecting them as a beneficiary.

  • Even an honest sibling can engender suspicion.

  • Money is often required to hire outside advisors, such as attorneys and accountants, as family members lack the expertise required to manage a trust.

  • Money corrupts – managing a trust can bring out dishonest behavior in either the sibling or their current/future spouse.

Q:

What can Northwest Trustee & Management Services do for me that a bank or another financial institution cannot?

A:

We specialize in handling complex assets and sensitive family dynamics, which other institutions  often do not want to accept.   We take pride in managing our trusts with compassion and dignity, and you can count on having a personal relationship with your Trust Officer. You will always be able to speak to a person who knows you and has the time to help.

We also work with your existing professional advisors.  Through teamwork and collaboration, we manage your investment portfolio and monitor the performance regularly.  This allows you to keep the advisors you trust, and separating the management of custody assets from the trust management reduces potential conflicts of interest.

Q:

I currently have someone else managing my trust - how do I know if they are doing a good job?

A:

There are a few ways of knowing if your current trustee is a good fit:

  • You inherently trust their integrity and how they make discretionary decisions

  • Their values align with yours

  • They are easy to get in touch with and willing to talk to you about any situation that arises

  • Monitoring the trust is easy as they provide you with clear and timely statements

  • Tax returns are filed on time and with accuracy

  • They have a good record of investment performance

Q:

Why should I pay you for a service that a family member can do for ‘free’?

A:

Most people who decide to hire a family member rather than a professional trustee do so in order to save money.  While it is easy to believe that by saving money on trustee fees you will have more to give to the beneficiaries, our experience has proven that a well-managed trust increases the value of the trust much more than the cost of trustee fees.

Many times we have been brought into manage trusts after the value of the trust has been eroded by one of the following:

  • Beneficiaries hiring lawyers to fight each other for a change in how discretionary disbursements are made
  • Taxes not filed properly, resulting in fees to the IRS
  • Investment portfolios have not been monitored
  • Incorrect discretionary payments have been made. These are difficult to recover and are often done so only after legal battles
  • Assets have been mismanaged, and have not produced the desired returns

Our fees are competitive and our services provide peace of mind.  We are more than happy to discuss our fees with you during an initial meeting.