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As a fiduciary, our team at First Citizens Wealth Management serves in various capacities to help clients age with grace. We offer security that assets will be managed professionally, in the individual’s best interest, while adhering to the Iowa laws. Following is a general overview of methods that can be utilized to support management of financial affairs when you are no longer able to do so on your own behalf:
- Bill Pay Services: Often clients will utilize our bill pay services long before they “need” the service. Many clients utilizing this service want to utilize their time to the fullest and find value in paying our professionals to handle this task. This works well with clients who also work with our team on management of assets. Generally, up to ten monthly bills are coordinated for a monthly fee of $75.00. For clients with investment agency and IRA accounts over $75,000, this fee may be waived. This is a great way to become familiar with our fiduciary team and “kick the tires” on our more expanded services.
- Agent Under Power of Attorney: This service is provided to clients after their attorney drafts a legal document naming us to act on their behalf in regard to financial affairs. Again, there is no requirement that you “need” our services due to disability or illness but rather that you “want” the service. This is similar to a bill pay account but provides expanded ability to manage outside assets and support the ongoing management of your financial affairs. The language in the document determines the scope of authority. This can be revoked at any time. While often a family or friend is named in this capacity, as there is no Court supervision, it can be fraught with problems if the responsibility is not managed appropriately.
- Conservatorship: A Conservator is appointed by a court to assist with another person's financial affairs. The Bank can be appointed as Conservator to assist minors, the elderly and individuals suffering from mental or physical disabilities. We offer security that assets will be managed professionally, in the individual’s best interest, while adhering to the Iowa court rules and regulations. Beginning in January 2020, a new law became effective in Iowa imposing significant new duties and responsibilities on both new and existing conservators. Most importantly, the new law provides conservators with no inherent power and authority, and eliminates the ability of conservators to exercise common powers such as making bank deposits or transacting on bank accounts without a court order. As a result, the rules can be difficult for individuals to navigate. Fortunately, we have expertise in navigating the Court rules and implementing an appropriate financial management plan. Typically, we become involved as a Conservator after a more informal plan (such as family or friends acting as agent under a Power of Attorney) or some other support has reached its limit.
- Trust: A trust allows you to say what you want done with your assets and to name a trustee, the person or entity you want to manage assets if you can't, and who gets those assets when you die. There are several types of trusts, but the main two are revocable and irrevocable. Unfortunately, as you age you become a target for financial fraud and scams. Because of this, you may need increasing levels of assistance to handle financial matters and protect assets. Some elderly people find it difficult to properly manage their assets, while others worry that mismanagement and debt could deplete the assets they need for their support. To help combat that, trusts can be created to hold a person’s assets in a legal structure that affords different types of protection and, if desired, external control. Although you may name individuals to serve in capacity of Trustee, our Trust Officers have expertise and oversight in serving in the role of Trustee.
While the above are general overviews of different ways we support clients in aging with grace, please know each specific individuals’ circumstances vary. We offer complimentary consultations with our Trust Officers to talk through your needs and goals. Although many people consider carefully what happens when they die, we want to make sure our clients also consider what happens if they are no longer able to manage their affairs during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the best estate plans can be unwound during that time, either intentionally (fraud, scam, self-dealing) or unintentionally (misunderstanding of law, taxes, etc). Let our team help you navigate the “in-between” as you age gracefully. Please contact us at email@example.com or 641-422-1600 to get started!