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The Sandy Spring Way

The Myths and Truths of Estate Planning – Account Numbers

July 3rd, 2013 | By Beau Mercer

Item_Stmt_CalcTruth – The number of account numbers you have will affect the speed and cost of your estate settlement.

I recently left a client meeting where I realized the importance of efficiency and how it may affect estate settlements costs and potential delays. The client I met with had over 50 different account numbers that her decision maker would have to deal with.

Diversifying is important but it can be accomplished in a more efficient way. Consolidating stocks into one holding account can significantly reduce the amount of time, work and expense in the estate settlement process. The same can be accomplished with mutual funds and Bank accounts. Multiple IRA accounts can be consolidated into one or two IRA accounts.

The fewer letters to write and death certificates and letters of administration to provide, can reduce the stress and hassles that can come when a client has an illness or passes away. Cleaning up your financial accounting and record keeping is a gift to the individual who will take care of you during an illness and handle your estate when you die. Think about how many account numbers you have and go from there.

Whoever is named as your Agent under a Power of Attorney, Trustee or Executor will thank you. Your beneficiaries will also thank you.
Fun fact: The first mutual funds were established in Europe. One researcher credits a Dutch merchant with creating the first mutual fund in 1774. The first mutual fund outside the Netherlands was the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust, which was established in London in 1868 (the same year Sandy Spring Bank opened its doors). Mutual funds were introduced into the United States in the 1890s. They became popular during the 1920s.

Phil Fish