March 19, 2015 Fact of the Day: Do you have an estate plan?
DID YOU KNOW THAT…….at the end of 2013, there were $948 billion held in personal trust assets at major banks in the U.S. ? Why is this important?
In 1999, there were more than $1 trillion of personal trust assets held in banks. And in 2007, there was $1.1 trillion of personal trust assets held in these banks. So why is the number lower now?
A few reasons. First, the most recent level of trust assets is based upon year end 2013 data….because the 2014 data will not be available from the banks until later in the year. It is anticipated that due to the increase in the stock market that these numbers will also increase.
Overall, these numbers are actually rather flat if market dynamics are taken out. Why? Because fewer individuals are actually placing their assets into formal trusts held at banks. Most have a hodge-podge of accounts that are managed by various advisors and the assets are held in the name of a trust. A family member is often the trustee….or until one’s death, the grantor acts as trustee.
Should you care? It depends. As Baby Boomers age, they need to start thinking about how their assets will be managed upon their death…and how their family will divide the assets. Do you think your children can remain amicable throughout this stressful and somewhat emotional event? If not, maybe you should consider a trustee.
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