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Halstead Center

E Trustee Counselor

What is an E Trustee Counselor?

You are a trustee of all of the resources that you have. You get to decide how you invest the time, talent and resources which you have, do you ever feel like you could use some help in making those investment decisions?

You have the opportunity and at times, the obligation to decide how you invest the time, talent and resources which you have. Do you ever feel confused and would benefit by seeking direction in making those investment decisions?

Why are you calling me a trustee?

A Trust is usually a written agreement whereby one person transfers property to another person to manage that property for a third person. The person transferring the property is the Trustor or Trust-maker. The one managing the property is the Trustee. The one receiving the benefit is the Beneficiary. The Trust-maker gets to decide what some of the rules are that the Trustee has to operate under when managing and distributing the trust property to or for the Beneficiary. Those specific rules are usually contained in the trust document but there are often many general rules which apply as well which the Trustee needs to know about.

The first questions you may ask is who is the Trust-maker and what are the rules that I have to operate under as a Trustee? One more pertinent question may be who are the Beneficiaries that I am managing the resources for?

The answers to those questions depend upon your worldview.

If you believe that you own and are responsible for obtaining everything that you now own through the sweat of your brow, then you would probably say that you are the Trust-maker, the Trustee, and at least one of the Beneficiaries.

In that case, you would be the one deciding what the rules are which you must follow in managing and distributing the trust and you get to determine who the Beneficiaries of the trust are and when and how the Beneficiaries get distributions and who takes over as Trustee and Beneficiary when you are no longer around. While you are alive and well then you are all three positions of the trust. That is what is often referred to as a living trust and is a popular form of estate planning.

In that worldview, an E Trustee Counselor would counsel you as the “E”state Trustee, and probably as the “E”state Trust-maker, in determining what the rules are that you have to follow as Trustee. The counseling that would take place would be to help you understand the various circumstances that could exist and the pros and cons of deciding to do different things in those various circumstances. Even in that worldview, although you have a lot of discretion to decide what the rules are because you are the Trust-maker, Trustee, and Beneficiary, there are still a lot of rules which you must be aware of such as trust law, tax law, investment rules, and fiduciary law. Those rules may be different in different circumstances. Thus, it is advisable to have a knowledgeable counselor to help you with those decisions, whether it is as Trust-maker or as Trustee, or both.

If, on the other hand, you believe that God is the creator and owner of all things, and that He has entrusted you with time, talent, money, material possessions, great opportunities, and your very life then you would probably realize that God is the Trust-maker and you are the Trustee and at least a partial Beneficiary.

Under this worldview, you understand that God has established the rules by which you are to manage the trust for His glory and benefit and for His Beneficiaries according to His Purposes. You are allowed to collect a reasonable salary as the Trustee, but the rest is to be used for God’s purposes. Now God has made us, as believers, a partial Beneficiary by giving us the gift of eternal life, but He has also promised us greater eternal rewards if we perform well as His Trustee here on earth. It is important that we discover what God’s Trustee manual has to say about what God wants us to do with His resources so that we may prove to be good and faithful Trustees and be rewarded as His Heirs and children.

In this worldview, an E Trustee Counselor would counsel you as the “E”ternity Trustee, in determining what the rules are that you should follow as Trustee.  Your “E”ternity Trustee Counselor still needs to counsel you as to the rules of this world, like trust law, tax law, investment rules, and fiduciary law, but he must also be able to counsel you in God’s rules, which can be found in the Bible.

Omaha Estate Planning Attorneys Rodney Halstead and Stephen Schmidt serve clients in Omaha, Nebraska and licensed in Iowa, as well as the surrounding cities of Fremont, Millard, Gretna, Elkhorn, Bellevue, Papillion, LaVista (La Vista), and Ralston. Please feel free to contact the office if you or a family member is in need legal assistance with Nebraska Probate and Estates, Nebraska Estate Planning and Asset Protection, Nebraska Elder Law, Nebraska Trust Planning, Nebraska Tax Planning, Nebraska Medicaid Planning, Nebraska Wealth Transfer Planning, Nebraska Business Succession and Planning or Nebraska Fiduciary Services.

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