The Blessing of an Inheritance & Trusts – Sam & Carrie Stevens

Carrie Stevens came from a loving and well to do family. She knew her parents were well off; they had both been financially savvy and wise. Her parents had also mentioned that they had done some estate planning for her and her siblings, but Carrie had no idea what or how much. They lived nearby, and as they got older, she and her husband Sam and their children enjoyed spending time with them.

Carrie and Sam were living a comfortable but not extravagant life. Although they were doing well, they were still concerned about the future and retirement, and were careful about their saving and expenses. When her parent’s passed, Carrie was stunned to find out that they had left her a very large sum of money in the form of trusts, houses and cash and investments.   

Their Goals and Desires

Carrie knew how diligent her parents had been in accumulating their wealth, and she felt a great deal of responsibility to honor them in the way she used their money. She also missed them and was struggling with the emotions of losing parents.

They were being inundated with calls from her parents’ tax preparer, trustees and attorneys, and felt overwhelmed and somewhat unsure of what steps to take and what decisions to make.

It was important to them to secure their own financial security, to help and bless their kids, to share some of their inheritance with others, and to try and minimize taxes and costs as the estate was being distributed. They also wanted to re-evaluate and reconsider their own lifestyle, goals and dreams in light of the generous gift and major change in their financial status.

Their Questions and Concerns

  • They scheduled an appointment with the Gevers Wealth Management team at which they wanted advice and help with the following questions:
  • What steps do we need to take to deal with the estate and trusts?
  • How do we coordinate with the various professionals involved?
  • What will the tax liabilities be, and are there any steps we can take to minimize taxes?
  • What do we do with the investments in the trusts and estate?
  • How do we set up and transfer the trusts and who should the trustees be?
  • How should the trusts and inheritance be invested?
  • Can and should we change our lifestyle and consider a career change with the new assets we have been blessed with?
  • How should this inheritance impact our existing investments? Should we make any changes?
  • How should we draw from our investments and is there a strategy for an optimal income plan?
  • Should we consolidate our accounts?
  • Do we need to redo our own estate plan?
  • Are there any other issues we should be considering or steps we should take?

The Outcome

The Gevers Wealth Management Team took Carrie and Sam through a planning process specifically for dealing with inheritances and trusts based on years’ of experience working with families in similar circumstances. Over the course of several meetings they offered objective advice for their questions, and endeavored to provide a balanced perspective with both benefits and potential disadvantages of the many decisions they were facing. The team also provided written notes with a summary of each meeting, along with an overall plan.

At the conclusion of the planning meetings, Carrie and Sam had achieved the following; 

  1. They had a plan and process for working through and finalizing the estate, and they worked with their Gevers Wealth Management advisor to coordinate that plan with their CPA and attorney.
  2. They discussed and developed a plan for how the estate assets were to be dealt with; some for family enjoyment and to bless their kids, some for charitable giving and support of good work in their community, and some to enhance their own personal financial security and to generate income.
  3. They reviewed trust and trustee issues and considered and made decisions for each.
  4. They had a comprehensive income plan which detailed how much income they planned to draw, and where they planned to draw it from, coordinated with a withdrawal strategy to attempt to maximize income and minimize income taxes.
  5. They re-examined their own life and retirement goals and adjusted them for the changes in their circumstances.
  6. They integrated their other financial assets, Social Security, and other retirement benefits into their overall income plan.
  7. They discussed and had a much better understanding of investment principles for their portfolio and how they might best allocate their investments.
  8. They had an age-based schedule which outlined upcoming time-sensitive financial decisions and issues they would need to deal with in the months and years to come.
  9. They had a cash plan in place addressing their liquidity needs, short term spending, and need for a cash balance.
  10. They had a comprehensive asset allocation and diversification plan for their overall investment portfolio, including their new assets from the trust and inheritance and their existing assets, which they planned to implement and have managed by the Gevers Wealth Management Team.

Implementing their Plan

Once Carrie and Sam had a plan completed that they were comfortable with, they took a number of steps to reach their goals. They met with their advisors at Gevers Wealth Management several times during the estate distribution to help them with the overall process.

A transfer plan for the trusts and the estate proceeds was implemented, new accounts were set up, and the team assisted with the steps necessary to move the accounts into their new portfolio. The Stevens’ decided to take a monthly income distribution from their new portfolio, and a direct deposit was established into their bank account. An account set up and review meeting was held right after the new trusts and portfolio were established to go over their statements and to review the transfer process and their new investments, and answer any of Carries and Sam’s questions. (Click here to read more about our Investment Management Services)

Carrie and Sam were scheduled on a pro-active meeting schedule to get together twice per year to review progress, discuss the portfolio, the economy and the markets, and help with any planning needs that they might need to discuss. They also were set up on an age based calendar that identified many of the time-sensitive financial decisions that they may need to take care of in the future. Carrie and Sam were also set up with comprehensive web access to their account, along with regular statements, and an aggregated portfolio and asset allocation view of their entire financial situation. The Gevers Wealth Management team also connected with their CPA and attorney to help coordinate and facilitate any financial information or assistance that their other professionals might need. (Click here to read more about our Wealth Management Services)    

Sam and Carrie Stevens were able to successfully walk through the estate distribution process, and Carrie felt that she had taken every step she could to honor her parents and be a good steward of the financial blessing that they had left her. They had more confidence for their future, and they also felt good that they had a long-term partner to help them along the way with advice, guidance, and to manage their assets.

This example is a case study for illustrative purposes and are not actual clients. The principles and strategies and advice are based on our years of experience working with families with similar circumstances. To request a consultation please contact us at