If you would, take a moment to consider trust. It's a commonly used word. Yet, the meaning may be complex. Sure, you might say you trust your neighbor to look after your dog when an emergency calls you out of town. Or you may trust that your kids will not answer the door when you are not at home.
But trust also matters when considering long term financial planning. Attorney James Daily, recently published an article in Forbes Magazine that offers advice about how people can protect their financial interests and build trust into their estate plan.
In his article, 6 ways you can protect your assets James Daily, Esq. provides these important steps:
- Transparency - Be sure you receive clear communication from your attorney.
- Beware of betrayal - An estate plan can determine who will manage your finances.
- Establish your terms - Making your beneficiaries aware of your terms can help avoid conflict among your loved ones in the future.
- Consider a team approach - Involving multiple people to handle your assets can provide a system of checks-and-balances.
- Establish a trust - Either a defective grantor or irrevocable trust would prevent someone from changing the terms you establish for your beneficiaries.
Listen to your instincts - To the best of your ability, remain aware of who is handling what on your behalf, and ask questions if something does not seem right.
Although your situation will remain specific to you, it is always important to remember that it is best to take steps to avoid trouble before it begins. When you consider fiduciary responsibilities, you might be wise to consider how deep your trust runs.
When you might need to trust someone to handle your finances
Based on fiducia, the Latin word for trust, a fiduciary is a person or business with the legal ability to act on another's behalf. Fiduciaries may be involved in several personal and business relationships. These people might include:
- Corporate shareholders or board members
While not everyone will interact with a fiduciary in a business setting, you will likely entrust your finances to someone as you plan for the event of your incapacitation. If you keep Mr. Daily's recommendations in mind it should go a long way towards protecting your interests. However, if you suspect a breach of trust, you might be wise to explore your options.