In making the case for engaging an Independent Trust Company over a large bank or investment company one of the major considerations is the level of personal service offered by the independent trust company. Let me share a recent experience I had with a client as an officer of Garden State Trust Company, an Independent Trust Company.
Mrs. X was in her 90’s and lived independently in a life care community. She was a widow and had no family to speak of. She had always handled her financial affairs extremely well and often prepared a draft of her own income tax return just to see how close she would come to her Accountant’s figures. She was concerned that one day she would need help with the management of her affairs so she established a Revocable Living Trust and allowed Garden State Trust Company to manage approximately $400,000 of her $1 million estate. As time passed GSTC began taking on the bill paying because her sight was failing. One day she took a fall and wound up in the hospital. This set back helped her decide that she probably belonged in the Assisted Living section of her life care community. She needed someone to clean out her 2 bedroom apartment, go through all of her financial paperwork and sell some of her furnishings. She also needed new furniture to fit the new small efficiency apartment. I went on a mission to find the perfect loveseat as her old couch was much too big for the one room apartment. Needless to say the first loveseat was much too hard for this petite 90 year old. I returned to the furniture store once again to find a softer loveseat. She was also in need of new pajamas and bathrobe but unable to shop for these items herself. At her request, I stopped at the Ocean County Mall and purchased 2 sets of PJ’s and a pretty pink bathrobe. She didn’t much care for the bathrobe but the PJs passed muster. We also arranged for a for an aide to stay with her during the day which gave her the confidence to go shopping, participate in activities and enjoy life again. We were there with her to help guide her through this transition and to give her the support she needed.
As Trustee, caring for our clients is our number one priority. Managing money and generating income is very important to our clients and we take that responsibility very seriously. However, being there for our clients when the need arises really does set us apart from other money managers. We’re more than a Trust Company to our clients. To some we’ve become adopted members of their family.
When I meet with a prospective client who is considering involving Garden State Trust Company in the management of their financial affairs or as the Executor of their estate there is always a discussion about the What Ifs? ……..What if I become ill or incapacitated? Who will make personal and financial decisions for me? An independent trust company is focused on a single business and is staffed with experienced professionals who are dedicated to building and sustaining a close, personal relationship with the clients, their family members and their professional advisors