We’ve all heard of Preferred Provider Organizations when it comes to the medical profession, but a PPO in the financial world? You better believe it! How do you choose your doctor, your surgeon or your pharmacist? Usually, you ask for recommendations from someone you trust, ensure that they accept your insurance and/or check them out to see if they are legitimate or have any complaints filed against them. Why wouldn’t you do the same with your financial advisor? Unfortunately, there isn’t a rating system out there for financial companies, but there are regulatory agencies that oversee us and there is certainly word of mouth and plenty of news coverage. The regulatory agencies can tell you if a company is properly licensed, whether there have been complaints filed or even action taken against a company. There have also certainly been plenty of negative news stories about various financial institutions lately. You don’t have to be a newshound to know that these companies have not had their clients’ best interests at heart. So, how do you find one that does? Do the same thing you would to find a reputable PPO from another industry- ask around and from people who know. Ask people who have used their services. Ask other professionals who have worked with them. For example, at ONST, we have worked with generally every estate planning attorney in town. To the point where I can confidently say that they feel comfortable providing our name to clients to do business with us. I’ll give you some real-life cases.
Attorney Eric Smith contacted me refer a client who needed a trust, but he felt that they needed some extra “hand holding” that they would not receive from another institution. He said that the client was getting on in years and he thought the she would appreciate someone that would help her pay her bills, file her tax returns, discuss her investments, make gifts to her children and take care of her in general. He felt like she would get the kind of attention that she both needed and wanted from ONST since we are so service driven. We met and accepted the trust, opened the account and have been fast friends ever since.
Attorney Jane Doe called me with a unique situation. She said that she had a client with a trust that would be distributing most of the assets held in it. However, there would be a small amount of funds left inside the trust for a minor beneficiary. A large bank was named as trustee, but did not want to keep the account because of the size. They had been the trustee for many years while the trust was much larger, but didn’t want to continue holding the trust since it was now going to be small. Wow. After years of taking fees, they no longer wanted to do the job because the fees would be lower. The trust agreement stated that the trustee had to be a corporate trustee. The attorney asked me if we would take the trust, then decant it (which is a fancy trust term for pouring the trust into a new trust with substantially the same terms) with the provision that there be an individual trustee. We did so, charged a nominal fee to do it and everyone was happy.
A former client contacted me because his trust contained real estate and the institution that was named trustee no longer wanted to hold the real estate. It was a house that had belonged in the family for many years. The bank wanted to sell the house and the client did not. The bank was going to force a sale or fire the client. He called me and asked if we would consider taking the account. After reviewing the trust agreement and the holdings and having a discussion with the family, I agreed that there would be no issues that ONST couldn’t handle. We took the account and today everyone involved is happy. The real estate remains an asset of the trust and will continue to be a part of their family legacy for many years to come.
So, as you can see, ONST has strived very hard to become the PPO of the financial world! Why don’t you check us out and make us your PPO today?