Trust Distribution Requests – Now Digital

Asking for money from a corporate trustee usually becomes an unhappy experience. It does not have to be. Everybody has stories about these situations. These trust distribution requests usually become complicated by corporate trustees. It does not have to happen. Why does it happen? This question goes back 400 years. It starts with a trustee’s job of protecting the trust assets. And stodgy belief that paper only processes always yield better client results than balancing digital and paper. Corporate trustees love paper and all things manual. We decided to push the trust industry into the digital age.

There are two key fiduciary duties of a trustee – manage trust assets and authorize trust distribution requests. The whole process gets complicated because how trustees view themselves. Many examples exist of corporate trustees acting like a de-facto parent. Corporate trustees reputation for great client service is an exception not the rule. All trustees have the legal risk of making a distribution decision and maybe being sued down the road. Not to mention they tend to be slow and careful. We believe traditional corporate trustees ask the wrong questions. They also don’t internally ask how to protect themselves and make quicker decisions. The extra time taken by a traditional trustee does not give better results. They approach the job from a combative way. Trust distribution requests can be collaborative. It can be quick and easy. We know our industry first – online trust distribution request form – saves time and effort.  Our solution yields a better result for the trust client, financial advisor and trustee.

Wealth Advisors Trust’s online trust distribution form provides benefits to trust clients and advisors. First, a beneficiary can request a trust distribution, anytime, anywhere in about 35 seconds.  It only requires their name, email, dollar amount needed, distribution date and any notes.  After the submission request the magic happens. Our Trust Officers immediately receive an internal task to begin reviewing the trust distribution request.  As always, all distributions require a verbal confirmation from the beneficiary.  Second, at the same time the Trust Officer reviews the request, the financial advisor receives a notice that their client wants a trust distribution with all the details.  The financial advisor can review cash balances and consider the clients financial plan.  The Trust Officer and financial advisor chat about the distribution. Decisions can be made very very quickly in an innovative and collaborative way.  This saves around 40 minutes.  A trust industry first.

Here is a bit of perspective about trust distributions.

A trust was created by a parent or grandparent. They created the trust during their lifetime or when they passed away. Trust documents have guidelines and rules. This gives trustees an idea on how money should be invested and distributed. Decisions made long ago had to consider the needs of current and future generations. To emphasize, what a past generation needed versus today’s generation could be very different. This becomes the tricky part. Every trust needs a trustee which can be a person or a corporation. The trustee decides on when, how, and why trust distributions are approved. A parent or grandparent choose a person or corporate trustee when a lawyer wrote the trust document. Did they think about what makes a great trustee? Picking a trustee is not easy.

In general, there are good and bad points for an individual and/or corporate trustee. However, the ethos of a corporate trustee needs to be client based. They should not invest trust assets. If they do, will they ever fire themselves? Probably not. Who you choose today to make distribution requests may not be around tomorrow. Whereas, your decisions on picking a trustee should be based on the corporate trustee ethos.

The rules and guidelines for a trust distribution request can be easy or hard. Part of the answer depends on the trust document. 99% of trusts say distributions occur for Health, Education, Maintenance and Support. In reality, the last two rules are tough and subjective. A new 911 Porsche may be Support for one beneficiary and not for another. The decision comes from the beneficiary’s specific situation and the trust document guidelines. Working with a financial advisor and an advisor friendly trust company makes the process easier. The financial advisor knows everything about a beneficiary. Their whole financial planning situation.  Notwithstanding, the advisor friendly trust company should have a CRM system built around all issues, and information on a beneficiary and the trust.

We do. Wealth Advisors Trust embraces the digital age.  Technology becomes a tool to save time. Important to realize, that saved time gives our trust officers more time to spend with advisors and trust clients. We are not your grandparents trust company.

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