Dear Trust Officer: My parents are retired, living in another state. They have a sizable investment portfolio and are financially comfortable. However, as they are getting older, they are having trouble keeping up with their paperwork. Last year they were late in making tax payments, very unlike them. I would help them, but I just live too far away. Is there a service that a trust company offers retirees to help in managing their money? Does it cost a lot?
— WORRIED CHILD
DEAR WORRIED CHILD:
Your parents should look into establishing a living trust.
They would transfer their investment assets into the trust, which then would be managed by a trust company, such as The Trust Company of Kansas. We would remit income to them as needed, file tax returns, and pay bills if they so desired. We could continue to provide this financial service even if one of your parents became incapacitated. The trust could continue to operate through both of their lives, and it would avoid probate at their deaths.
We do not charge commissions. Instead, our fees are a reasonable percentage of the assets under management, so our incentives are aligned with yours.
Do you have a question concerning estate planning? Send your inquiry to Martha L. Linsner at email@example.com.