Estate Plans for Special Needs

An article in the Wall Street Journal states the importance of building an Estate Plan for those with special needs. The Valentine family’s 14-year-old son Gabe has epilepsy and Asperger’s, and so the family created a Special Needs Trust to ensure that he is taken care of when they are no longer able.  Due to the need of many parents to care for their special needs children, a growing number of financial services companies are designating themselves as “special needs planners” and helping families find ways to provide for their children. Continue reading “Estate Plans for Special Needs”

Garden State Trust Company – Truly Spanning Generations!


Back row from left: Siobhan Connolly; Mary Gonzalez; Adam Brower; Karen Spanover; Sean Rice
Front row from left: Susan Cox; Ira Brower; Barbara Kannheiser

For many years we have worked very hard to create a feeling of “family” while providing our trust and investment services to our clients. Many of our clients have been with us for over 25 years. Some more than that! When we chose our tag line “Spanning Generations” we looked at our clients and realized our services have been spanning generations. Today we are providing our services for many of the children and in some cases the nieces and nephews of our clients.We truly are a family! We reminisce and share stories about how their parents came to us and how we followed their growth through the beaming eyes of their parents. We have shared many laughs and some sadness as their parents aged and are no longer with them. “Spanning Generations” is not just a tagline, it’s who we are.

This tagline is not exclusive to our clients either. Now my son, Adam, has joined Garden State Trust Company and even as a company we are spanning generations. We thought it was time to share with you a picture of our growing team that prides itself on providing that “family” feeling.

Best Wishes,


Moving with a Will- What Changes Will You Need to Make?

If your Will was properly executed and witnessed, you have no problem. However, you must realize that your Will must be probated in the County in which you die a resident. Assuming your will does not contain a Self Proving Affidavit one of two things must happen: the out-of-state witness must appear personally before the Surrogate of the county where you were a resident or your Will must be forwarded to a Probate Court near where the witness resides. In either event, the cost of probating the Will is significantly increased. A Self-Proving affidavit in a Will is established by having the signatures of the witnesses notarized at the time of the signing of the Will. Upon presentation of the Will for Probate, as the signatures of the witnesses have been notarized, there is no reason to have them, the witnesses, appear for Probate purposes. Probably the easiest remedy would be to have new wills prepared. Since moving to another state, there may have been life changing events to your beneficiaries such as divorce, a serious illness, a new birth, etc. which is cause enough to review and make changes in your Will. Continue reading “Moving with a Will- What Changes Will You Need to Make?”

How Joint Bank Accounts Can Override Your Will

ladiesA Will can only distribute assets that are in the sole name of the deceased. For example, jointly held assets (your bank accounts), assets payable on death to a named beneficiary cannot be distributed by a will.

The registration of the assets dictates how the assets are to be distributed upon death. Using the registration of assets to distribute your estate oftentimes contradicts the intended distribution in your will. Continue reading “How Joint Bank Accounts Can Override Your Will”

Protecting your Finances

You should give thought to a living trust. Under a Revocable Living Trust, assets are consolidated under one roof. Should illness strike, all of your assets will have been identified and placed in a trust, which is being managed by a trustee who is familiar with you and your personal and financial needs.

When Garden State Trust Company is named as a Trustee or Co-Trustee, not only do we help with the day-to-day management of a client’s investment portfolio, but we also assist with the payment of bills and the preparation of income tax returns. Continue reading “Protecting your Finances”

Financial Security & Asset Allocation – February Newsletter




This month our newsletter articles focus on financial security. The most important article touches on the importance of asset allocation. Asset allocation is how you diversify your investments among different asset classes: stocks, bonds, and short-term investments (such as money markets). Asset classes react in different ways to ever-changing economic conditions. The correct asset allocation can help provide you with peace of mind through economic ups and downs and may even increase your potential for better returns over time.

Always remember that neither diversification nor asset allocation guarantees a profit or guarantees against loss. We maintain a disciplined approach to asset allocation where we create an Investment Policy Statement at the beginning of our relationship with our client establishing a mutually agreed upon asset allocation. As time goes on we revisit the Investment Policy Statement to be sure the current asset allocation is meeting the needs of our client.

Financial Resources for Allocating your Retirement Savings


Determining how to invest your retirement savings is dependent on several factors.

Two key factors in the process are your tolerance for risk and your time horizon. Increased risk brings greater return, but also increased volatility and market fluctuations. One key to successful investing is balancing the risk you are willing to take with your time horizon.

Continue reading “Financial Resources for Allocating your Retirement Savings”