For many, a Revocable Living Trust is created as part of an estate plan to determine who will inherit assets and property, rather than relying on a will or owning assets jointly with either a spouse or heirs. It is a type of trust that is established during the trust maker’s lifetime and can be amended as long as the trust maker is alive and well. Assets within the trust can be managed, invested and spent for the trust maker’s benefit during his/her lifetime. At death, a trustee steps in to manage and distribute the property within the trust as outlined in the trust agreement created by the trust maker.
If you have ever traveled to a resort associated with a timeshare, it’s likely you have been approached with a presentation about timeshare ownership. You’ve enjoyed the amenities and accommodations throughout the week and daydream about how nice it would be take a similar vacation every year. Timeshares give you the ability to return and relive your travel experiences or, for an additional fee, you may opt to exchange for a different resort location expanding your vacation options. You are able to enjoy home-like accommodations and your long-term savings over hotels may even outweigh the upfront purchase price. Many are drawn to the appeal of owning a timeshare; however, once purchased, you own an asset that could become more of a hassle than you originally planned for.
Over time, your situation may change and you may find that you are unable to use your timeshare as much as you would like. At that time, you may want to sell it or simply walk away. Or perhaps you have enjoyed your timeshare for many years and have no plans to sell, but start to wonder, “What will happen when I pass away?”
Outside of a portfolio’s rate of return, it’s often easy to overlook the value that objective, client-focused financial planning brings. Although many financial professionals offer “free” services, do you stop and ask yourself “Hmmm, I wonder how he/she is paid if it’s not by me?” (source).
As objective financial planners, we fully support the “you get what you pay for” belief. Below is a list of just a few of the values we believe objective planning offers. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on any of the following.
1. An independent financial planner helps protect you from financial salespeople.
According to Bob Veres, “…the Wall Street firms that pretend to offer financial planning guidance are seldom (if ever) looking out for the best interests of their customers.” Unfortunately, as a consumer in our industry, it’s not always easy to recognize when there’s an underlying motive or incentive behind the financial advice you receive.
Brokers might have business cards with the title of “Financial Advisor,” but in reality are often simply salespeople who are paid by their company to sell you as many products as possible. Unless they are a fiduciary, they are expected to do what is in the company’s best interest, not what is in your best interest. They are rewarded when they meet sales targets, and bonuses are often based on the clients they sign (source).