Monthly Tips January 2024

Monthly Tips

January 2024


TIP 1 Travel Goals

A new year always feels like a fresh start. For many people, that means travel, visits that had to be postponed but now are possible.

The pandemic made it more difficult to travel abroad not only because of health risks, but the paperwork wasn’t easy to overcome. However, the state department let us know that we are back to business as usual, and acquiring or renewing passport wait times are back to pre-pandemic level. More people travel internationally now than ever too, with the State Department reporting that now 48% of Americans have a passport, compared with just a scant 5% twenty-four years ago in 1990.

One of the greater worries when it comes to international travel is how finances will be handled when one is out and about. Some wonderful areas to visit may not have internet access, and some decisions can’t wait. That’s where delegation to a corporate fiduciary can be a great idea. Whether the management comes through a trust or investment management account, one can be confident that the trust officer is following the investment plan and taking care of business so you can feel relaxed crossing travel items off your bucket list. Garden State Trust Company would be excited to be that corporate fiduciary.


TIP 2 And Did You Know? has created compelling clips of celebrities being astounded by learning the details of their family tree, and discovering emotional moments. Two shows in particular are Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are? These serve as a reminder of all the sacrifices and hardships of our forebears that allowed the miracle of ourselves to be in this world.

At Garden State Trust Company, we are reminded of all the ways that we are connected to the dear departed, beyond just the wealth they leave that needs to be managed. Read more about ideas for how to connect across generations in our latest blogpost: Going Beyond the Will.


TIP 3 A Celebrity Approach to Estate Planning

Page Six reported last month that Guy Fieri is taking an incentive-based approach to his estate planning. Although the article didn’t mention his use of trusts to enforce his desires, he is telling his sons and nephew that he will “die broke” and they will receive nothing, unless they get two college degrees. Guy Fieri has a substantial fortune of $70-80 million, and the education that he’s promoting is hoped to improve self-reliance and career passions as well.

Promoting particular family values and goals is something trusts can accomplish even after one passes away, providing financial incentives out of the trust should a beneficiary achieve a particular goal such as education, staying clean and avoiding drugs, or even getting married.

Let us know if you are interested in learning more about incentive trusts, a Garden State Trust Officer would be pleased to elaborate.


TIP 4 Big Data Gets Bigger

There are times in our lives when we start saying, what did I just sign? Is this “terms and conditions” the same as every other “terms and conditions” agreement? Snuck into some of those documents might be terms about how personal data is collected and used. This doesn’t mean it’s malicious. In fact, it may end up creating more efficiently targeted ads, diminishing the cost of advertising additional products to you. Win, Win, right?

Some of us would prefer to pay higher prices to avoid having our data and behaviors being on stranger’s radars. Some of us are careful to adjust cookie settings, or opt-out of apps that track across other apps when possible, or take other additional steps to protect our privacy. Just because it isn’t malicious doesn’t mean that we want it.

When it comes to financial privacy for the family, especially during times of wealth transfer, a trust can help. It can help keep assets from having to go through probate and be publicized in most cases, and it can create a barrier between solicitors and yourself. If you have significant family wealth and would like the facts about it to stay private, let us know and we’ll elaborate on how a trust can help.