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Investment broker vs. investment advisor: who should you choose?

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What’s the difference? Which is better?  

Let me try to clear up some of the confusion. In the investing world, there are two standards of care that can be given by financial service providers: the fiduciary standard and the suitability standard. Before we look at the differences between brokers and advisors, let’s first define the two standards.

The fiduciary standard – Your financial service provider must advise you without conflicts of interest and for your sole benefit as the client they serve, always putting your interests above their own. The fiduciary standard of care was established by the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.

The suitability standard – Your financial service provider must make recommendations consistent with your best interests and in line with your investment objectives and tolerance for risk. Suitability rules are established by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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Some believe that there should be a uniform standard of care. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, legislators in Washington D.C signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law in July 2010. Part of the act directs the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to study the need for establishing a new, uniform standard of care for the investment industry. To this day, multiple agencies, industry groups and regulators continue to debate what that standard should be, and there are plenty of arguments for and against a uniform standard. The debate has been going on for years with no resolution. Here’s why: there is not just one right answer.

On its surface, a uniform standard makes perfect sense. In reality, consumers of financial services may need a provider operating under either or both standards and many providers are able to act as both, depending on the needs of the client.

Now, let’s take a look at the difference between advisors and brokers.

Investment advisors

Investment advisors provide a fiduciary standard of care. They give advice on what to invest in and will typically charge a fee for their advice on an ongoing and fully-disclosed basis. It could be either a flat fee or a percentage of your investment assets. Investment advisors are regulated by the SEC and the states in which they do business.

Investment brokers and agents

Investment brokers and insurance agents provide a suitability standard of care. They sell financial products like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance and annuities. Brokers and agents typically charge a commission on the product they sell or are paid a commission by the product manufacturer. Investment brokers are regulated by FINRA and the states in which they do business. The states also regulate the insurance industry.

So which is better, broker or advisor?

Again, there is no right answer. For example, perhaps you need help with planning for retirement and have a nest egg to invest, but don’t have the time or inclination to invest the money. An investment advisor that can do the planning, choose investments, monitor your portfolio and make changes along the way may be a good choice for you.

Or, maybe you know that you want to buy or sell a stock, bond, mutual fund, buy life insurance, an annuity or even add gold or silver to your portfolio. A broker or agent can help you make the transaction.

Who should you choose?

Depending on your situation and needs, it could be one or the other or both. When searching for a provider, look for a person or firm by clearly communicating your needs:

  • your expectations for service,
  • asking what you will receive,
  • when you’ll receive it and
  • how much it costs.

Many financial firms can provide both brokerage and advisory services, so there are many providers to choose from with varying products, services and service levels. Like anything else you buy, shop around, ask questions and take your time to find the right fit.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 

DISCLOSURE AND IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:

UMB Private Wealth Management is a division within UMB Bank, n.a. that manages active portfolios for employee benefit plans, endowments and foundations, fiduciary accounts and individuals.  UMB Financial Services Inc * is a wholly owned subsidiary of UMB Bank, n.a. UMB Bank, n.a., is an affiliate within the UMB Financial Corporation. Banking and trust services offered through UMB Private Wealth Management, a division within UMB Bank, n.a.

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UMB Financial Services Inc * is a wholly owned subsidiary of UMB Financial Corp and an affiliate of UMB Bank, n.a.

This report is provided for informational purposes only and contains no investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any specific securities. Statements in this report are based on the opinions of UMB Private Wealth Management and the information available at the time this report was published.

All opinions represent our judgments as of the date of this report and are subject to change at any time without notice. You should not use this report as a substitute for your own judgment, and you should consult professional advisors before making any tax, legal, financial planning or investment decisions. This report contains no investment recommendations and you should not interpret the statements in this report as investment, tax, legal, or financial planning advice. UMB Private Wealth Management obtained information used in this report from third-party sources it believes to be reliable, but this information is not necessarily comprehensive and UMB Private Wealth Management does not guarantee that it is accurate.

All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. This information is not intended to be a forecast of future events and this is no guarantee of any future results. Neither UMB Private Wealth Management nor its affiliates, directors, officers, employees or agents accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising out of your use of all or any part of this report.

“UMB” – Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Copyright © 2012. UMB Financial Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

*Securities offered through UMB Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA, SIPC, or the Investment Banking Division of UMB Bank, n.a.

 

Insurance products offered through UMB Insurance, Inc. You may not have an account with all of these entities. Contact your UMB representative if you have any questions.

Securities and Insurance products are:

NOT FDIC INSURED * NO BANK GUARANTEE * NOT A DEPOSIT * NOT INSURED BY ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY * MAY LOSE VALUE


Mr. Ellis is the president of UMB Financial Services, Inc., UMB’s securities broker/dealer subsidiary, and UMB Insurance, Inc. He is responsible for strategic planning, products and services, personnel and financial management. He joined UMB in 1996 and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Ellis volunteers his time to not-for-profit organizations needing advice on investment policy and governance issues.



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Gifting a new set of wheels this holiday season

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Every holiday season people plan celebrations and select presents to give their loved ones. For the most special people in your life, you may be inclined to spend a little more money.

A new car with a large bow strapped to the top is a familiar image many commercials have incorporated into holiday campaigns. However, if you are thinking about gifting a new vehicle, you should consider a few factors.

Car Gift New Christmas Key Bow Car Key

Know the deals
Fortunately, December is an especially good month for individuals to invest in a new set of wheels, according to Consumer Reports. Consumers will typically see the best prices during the holiday season.

“Last December was absolutely the best month of the year for deals,” said TrueCar spokesman Alan Ohnsman, according to Consumer Reports. “Black Friday has become a major opportunity for dealers to promote year-end deals.”

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Kiplinger echoed this sentiment noting that prices usually fall because dealers are looking to make room for the new models coming in. Consumers purchasing a vehicle at the end of the year can save as much as 10 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Research deals on various makes and models before heading to the showroom, and ensure you know what you are looking for and how you plan to finance the vehicle.

Pick a car that fits
If you decide to give a vehicle as a gift, Auto Trader noted you will need to make sure you select a car that’s appropriate. Consider their unique needs and how a set of wheels should accommodate them. Size, horsepower and fuel efficiency should all be considered. Remember, you are not purchasing a car for yourself, but for another person.

You also want to ensure that a car is the right gift for the person you are giving it to.

“A woman told me her husband gave her a car with a big bow on top for Christmas, just like the ads you see on TV,” said Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist who teaches at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, according to Consumer Reports. “But unlike the scenes in the ads, she wasn’t delighted by it. She felt cheated because she’d had no say in picking out the car, and it was really a family purchase, rather than a gift specifically for her.”

Before picking out a car for your spouse or family member, reflect on the decision and ensure it is appropriate. If it is, find out their car preferences and match them as much as possible. Have other people ask about dream cars, colors or other preferences and report back to you.

Let the dealer in on the surprise
When working with a professional, you will probably want to let him or her know that you are planning to surprise someone special with the vehicle. If you are gifting it to your spouse, he or she will also need to sign the paperwork. However, by notifying your dealer that you plan to give the car as a holiday present, you may be able to put off finalizing the purchase until after you have surprised your husband or wife.

In addition, by letting the dealer know it is a surprise, it can prevent them from calling and unintentionally letting the cat out of the bag.

Understand registration and taxes
There are a few other considerations regarding the purchase of a vehicle that are different when you are giving it as a gift. According to The Nest, you can give an individual up to $13,000 annually to a person. If the car you purchase is more expensive than that, you will need to file a gift tax return. However, this does not always mean you will owe any gift tax.

You will also need to think about registration. Register the car to the individual who will be driving it. The sooner this can be done, the better it will be for the person receiving the gift.

Wrap it creatively
If you have gotten the car and plan to surprise the recipient, have some fun with the presentation. This is an opportunity to be creative and make the individual feel celebrated. Consider wrapping the keys or a framed photograph of the new vehicle. For a little extra fun, wrap one of these items in a small box, then wrap that box in a larger box, and so on. It’s a fun way to throw the recipient off when giving them the gift.

 

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Mr. John Peine is an Assistant Vice President Financial Center Manager at UMB . He is responsible for leading banking centers in Olathe, Kansas. In his time at UMB, John has built his career from teller to personal banker, and he is now manager of two branch locations.



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9 Tips: Teaching children to save: easy as 1,2,3

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Learning good money habits like saving at a young age will help ensure responsible financial decisions in the future. If you have children, consider these tips to help teach your young ones the importance of saving money.

Provide an allowance
One of the best ways to teach proper money management is by giving your child an allowance. According to Bankrate, working for money and enforcing good budgeting habits are two benefits to offering an allowance to your children. “When your child gets their first dollar, we suggest that you teach them to save 10 percent, invest 10 percent, give 10 percent and live from 70 percent,” said Lori Mackey, author of Money Mama and the Three Little Pigs. “When you give them a dollar, you give them two quarters and five dimes and then you sit with them and say this dime is for something that is important to you or that you want to help.”

Savings blocks

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Teach the power of patience
Sometimes even adults need to be reminded they may have to wait to buy the things they want. According to Forbes, teaching kids delayed gratification early on is beneficial in the long-term. Set an example and practice holding off on buying certain items. Explain to your children why waiting a little longer to get the things you want may help you save and stay within your financial means.

Encourage children to make goals
One way to teach young ones financial responsibility and how to save money is by making a savings goal chart, noted Money Crashers. Use stickers or drawings to visually demonstrate the amount of money saved each week to show progress. If your child wants to save up for a specific item, consider adding a picture representing what he or she wants to purchase with the saved funds as a motivation.

Consider matching contributions

A 401(k) retirement plan that matches what you put into retirement is a great way to encourage more regular saving habits. Consider implementing the same type of reward system for your child, but make sure you establish specific rules or guidelines ahead of time. For example, have a required amount your child must save each week, but anything above that can be matched by his or her parent and added to the fund.

Focus on long-term saving
When kids are between 11 and 13 years old you can begin discussing long-term goals for saving. For example, discuss a car-buying goal with your child when he or she reaches pre- or early-teens. Look at prices of current cars and discuss budget and long-term financial goals.

Work together to create a plan to save a certain amount of money, whether it’s the child saving alone, or with the parents matching the savings contributions. Understanding the importance of long-term saving goals early on will make saving for large purchases easier in the future.

Deal with spending decisions
While encouraging saving money is a good way to instill valuable skills, sometimes it’s OK to let your children learn from mistakes, noted Bankrate. “Let them make impulse buys, that kind of thing,” said Greg Karp, author of The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart. “There is an opportunity cost and it teaches that money is finite. You really want them to regret some decisions because they won’t forget them.”

Create a list of priorities
Before your child spends his or her money, write down what he or she wants and rank how essential each item is. Don’t settle on just toys or books, ask your child to think long term. Ask if he or she wants to save for college, a trip in the future or other investments he or she wants to make. Prioritizing these wants can help young ones commit to saving early.

Open a savings account
Having their own independent account may encourage older kids to save more money, and it will make them feel more responsible. Head to a local bank with your kid and open an account with him or her. Consider asking the banker to discuss why saving is important so your child hears it from someone other than you. Repetition will help solidify the importance of stashing away money.

Encourage giving
Bankrate indicated in addition to saving, you may want to teach your children the importance of giving to others. Suggest giving a certain amount of their allowance to a charity of their choice or to use for gifts for friends or family members. Saving money is an important step to becoming a financially-responsible individual. By instilling this skill in your children early on, you can rest assured they are better prepared for their futures.

 

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Mrs. Adriean Castro is an Assistant Vice President Financial Center Manager for UMB at the Shawnee, Kansas banking center. She joined UMB in 2003 and has 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. Adriean has a passion for philanthropy and coordinates volunteer opportunities throughout the year for UMB consumer associates. She is also an ambassador for the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.



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Rising rental rates encourage homeownership

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The 2015 Rental Market Report conducted by Rent.com showed that rates for apartment units are likely going to continue to increase.

The 2015 Rental Market Report conducted by Rent.com showed that rates for apartment units are likely going to continue to increase. The survey gathered responses from more than 500 property managers in the U.S. to determine the current and forecast state of the rental market.

Rising rent encourages home buying

Rent will rise
According to the survey, 53 percent of property managers indicated they would prefer bringing in a new tenant and charging a higher rate over negotiating a lease renewal with a current tenant.

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In addition, the survey showed 88 percent of managers raised rent in the last year, and 68 percent of participants believe rates will continue to rise into the next year. Many expect rent to rise by an average of 8 percent, which is a 2 percent increase from the expected rent rise predicted in 2014.

The increasing cost of renting an apartment is turning many renters into interested homeowners, according to a recent survey done by TD Bank.

“Rising rents are motivating Americans to purchase a home,” said Scott Haymore, Head of Pricing and Secondary Markets. “With an improving job market and economy, renters are gaining more confidence in the housing market and starting to explore homeownership as a feasible option.”

Mortgages may be more appealing
Many current renters are seeing substantial increases in the rent they regularly pay, which is making them more interested in becoming a homeowner. The survey indicated the breaking point for many consumers deciding to transition from renting to buying is when their rent reaches $1,100 per month. The average monthly rent currently sits at $1,000 making the breaking point for many individuals very close.

Many renters have already experienced substantial increases in the rent they pay each month. More than 50 percent of respondents indicated their rents increased by nearly $300 in the past two years.

Rising rent was 47 percent of survey participants’ biggest motivators for purchasing new homes.

The American Dream
Owning a home is still a critical component to the American Dream. Almost 60 percent of consumers and 76 percent of millennials indicated it was “extremely” or “very important” to own a home in the TD Bank survey.

While 51 percent of respondents indicated money is the primary concern when it comes to purchasing a new home, the average surveyed renter was able to save more than $50,000 for a down payment, and 24 percent of millennials have saved $100,000. The ability to save is the true key to homeownership.

“We can see from our data that rents are rising, and while many renters feel that saving for a home is out of reach, there are other options they should consider,” said Haymore. “Today, potential buyers can take advantage of state and government affordability programs, which offer options outside the traditional 20 percent down payment. This enables them to pursue homeownership, build equity and still feel comfortable with their monthly payments.”

Saving for a down payment
Gathering the funds to save for a down payment on a new home requires dedication. According to Zillow, hopeful homeowners will want to first establish exactly how much money is needed to pay for the perfect house. Reaching out to a real estate professional will help to get a better idea of what the current local market looks like and whether buyers or sellers have the advantage.

In addition, contacting a mortgage lender can help an interested buyer figure out what can be expected from the entire lending process. If a consumer wants to secure a lower interest rate, he or she may want to provide a larger down payment.

Once it’s been decided how much is needed to invest in a new home, interested borrowers should examine their current spending habits. Budgeting downfalls can lead to issues when saving for a down payment, but fixing these issues will help hopeful homeowners reach their financial goals even faster.

Another way for interested buyers to build their savings for a new home quickly is by earning more cash to contribute to funds. Individuals can get a second job for a certain amount of time, or they can figure out a way to turn a favorite hobby into a profitable one using websites like Etsy or Facebook as a marketing platform.

Holding a garage sale is another way to increase savings and build a down payment fund. Decreasing the number of items that must be moved will also be beneficial when it’s time to pack everything up and relocate.

 

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Planning last minute holiday travel

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Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming.

Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming. Sometimes a vacation to help forget the ice, snow and wind is the most welcome gift anyone can receive.

If you are considering booking last minute holiday travel, prices will likely be very high due to demand. However, there are ways to reduce costs and book a budget-friendly vacation.

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Plan a holiday vacation


Find the best deals
According to The New York Times, one of the best times of the year to travel to Europe is during the holidays. While airfare might be pricier than other seasons, hotels tend to be far more affordable, making a holiday trip to Europe more plausible.” Europeans tend to stay at home for the Christmas holiday,” said Gabe Saglie, a senior editor at Travelzoo. “That means there are hotel deals to be had in popular destinations.” Traveling parties can enjoy upgrades and discounts during the slower season, which provides a little more wiggle room when working with a fixed budget.

Even domestic hotels are more affordable during the holiday season. “Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a bargain proposition because the business traveler is not booking those hotels,” said Saglie.

Consider booking a cruise
When it comes to kicking back and relaxing during the holiday season, there is no better way than on a cruise. These trips are especially beneficial because they often include the price of everything from food to entertainment. This package deal eliminates some of the pressure accompanying planning a trip and saves you money. U.S. News & World Report suggested using the help of a travel agent. These professionals can help you find deals that aren’t available to the general public – ultimately saving you money. Last minute booking can also save you a bit of money when paying for a cruise, noted U.S. News & World Report. However, you’ll need to be flexible with dates to get better deals.

Determine a plan for saving
When planning last minute holiday travel, gather as much money as possible to use toward the trip. Independent Traveler suggested opening a savings account designated specifically for travel expenses. Contribute to the fund regularly to build a nice stash of spending money you can use while on your vacation.

Since the holidays are approaching so quickly, consider setting up automatic deposits to ensure you regularly contribute a certain amount of each pay check to your savings account.

In addition to having a savings account, a change jar is another easy way to build additional funds for the trip. While it may not initially seem like very much, change can add up quickly and really bolster the growth of vacation savings.

Enlist the help of others
When you are bringing the whole family on a vacation, it provides a unique opportunity to teach your children a little bit about saving money for something special. Ask your young ones to help make their very own contributions to the family vacation savings account. Whether they have an allowance they want to deposit into the fund, or if they decide to give up weekend outings to cut costs, kids can help make a substantial impact on your savings for a holiday getaway.

Even though flight prices can be higher in the holiday season, a vacation shouldn’t be written off as out of the budget just yet. With a little planning and dedication, you and your family can enjoy some time away.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Individual retirement trust: a new way to save for retirement

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An individual retirement trust allows you to maintain the tax advantages that come with saving and investing in an individual retirement account (IRA), while providing you with the long-term control of a trust. You may be familiar with the uses and benefits of an IRA, and you may have a good understanding of trusts, but this unique solution can be the best of both worlds.

Individual retirement trust: a new way to save for retirement

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The basics

An IRA, whether Roth or traditional, is a savings mechanism that allows you to invest funds for your future retirement. The sooner you begin putting money into an IRA, the more time your money has to grow before you reach 70½, the age at which you are required to begin taking distributions from the account. IRAs prepare you for retirement and provide tax advantages, allowing you to choose whether to make contributions tax-free (traditional) or receive your distributions tax-free (Roth).

A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to set aside funds for specific beneficiaries to receive when you pass away. Trusts can be managed by a third party called a trustee. The trustee handles management of the trust, including things like managing trust investments, making distributions to beneficiaries and taking care of trust assets, both during your lifetime and after your death.

An individual retirement trust combines the tax advantages of an IRA with the long-term control of a trust. This type of account allows you to save for retirement while maximizing tax advantages and ensures your IRA funds are distributed according to your wishes. Simply select your beneficiaries—whether people, organizations or charities—and the percentage of funds each beneficiary should receive, plus any conditions you have in mind. Once you have selected beneficiaries and determined percentages of distribution, the trustee oversees all of the distributions, including adjustments you may direct over time.

Using an individual retirement trust allows you to bypass the complicated IRS requirements involved in naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary, which is an alternative option. The trust portion of the account also helps protect your legacy from asset seizure by the potential creditors of your beneficiaries. If your heirs inherit your IRA assets without the protection of a trust, funds can be taken by a beneficiary’s creditors in the event of a beneficiary’s bankruptcy.

Also, individual retirement trusts can be set up with disability provisions that ensure your accounts are maintained in the event of your illness or long-term incapacitation. In this case, the trustee will take over the management of your retirement fund investments, coordinate bill pay and administer distributions as set forth in the document—all without the need for a separate guardian or conservator.

Who can benefit from an individual retirement trust?

Individual retirement trusts offer a unique structure that may not work for everyone. Most importantly, this structure is best for those who already have significant retirement assets and are concerned about the future management of those assets.

If you are particularly tax-sensitive, you may benefit from an individual retirement trust because it allows you to maximize the tax deferment available through the stretch payout option, whether the IRA is a traditional or Roth account.

If you have divorced and remarried, this solution can help you streamline the inheritance process by allowing you to select a variety of beneficiaries with varying inheritance percentages. Step-children can be included, as can organizations of your choice. For blended families, individual retirement trusts are beneficial in that they provide extensive control over the distribution of assets. Specifically, beneficiary designations will not be changeable, even after your passing, which ensures the heirs you have chosen are provided with exactly what you have determined for them regardless of later marriages or life changes.

Individual retirement trusts are also good vehicles for those concerned with the use of the funds by heirs and seek to include limitations. Any amount set aside for a beneficiary that is more than the required minimum distribution (RMD) can be subject to the trustee’s discretion.

Bottom line:

An individual retirement trust can help you achieve the tax advantages of an individual retirement account paired with a comprehensive asset management plan for your heirs–now and in the future. You will be able to build and customize your legacy with multiple beneficiaries, long-term control and detailed asset distribution options. Combining an IRA with a trust can streamline your legacy administration and simplify the process in one efficient document.
 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Conley is a vice president and legal counsel for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for reviewing estate planning documents and working with attorneys, clients, trust and bank associates regarding various legal issues that arise in the creation of trusts and estates. He joined UMB Private Wealth Management in 2000. Mr. Conley is an attorney and Certified Public Accountant. He is licensed to practice law in Kansas and Iowa.



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Estate planning and how to avoid probate

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probate and wills

In a recent blog post, we discussed what might happen if you pass away without a will and what might happen with a will. When you pass away owning property in your sole name (regardless of if you have a will or not), your assets might need to go through probate in order for your heirs to inherit your property. Having a will does not avoid probate—it just determines who will receive your property. If you die owning property in your sole name without a will, your estate still passes through probate—but who receives your property will typically be determined under the laws of the state where your primary residence is at your date of death (the “intestacy laws”).

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Probate is a court process to provide for an organized way of winding up a deceased person’s affairs. During this process, a personal representative or executor is appointed by the Probate Court to supervise the collection of your probate assets, payment of your final bills and taxes, and distribution of your assets according to either your will or the intestacy laws. This may or may not be what you intend and might be more expensive than if you made other plans in advance.

Avoiding Probate

There are ways to distribute your property at your death according to your wishes without going through probate. While the techniques might vary from state to state, these typically include:

  • titling property jointly with another (“joint tenants with rights of survivorship”)
  • creating a beneficiary deed for real estate
  • adding a “transfer on death” or “pay on death” designation to assets, such as bank or investment accounts, or by beneficiary designation for assets such as your retirement plan, IRA or life insurance
  • creating a “revocable” or “living” trust and retitling your assets in the name of your trust

The trustee holds the legal title to the property owned in the revocable trust, not you as owner. The trust property is held by the trustee for your benefit during your lifetime.  You can choose to serve as your own trustee as long as you are able. At your death, the property held in the trust is distributed by the successor trustee of the trust to those family members, friends or charities you name in your trust agreement, similar to the instructions you can leave in your will.

A Living Trust

There are many advantages to creating a living trust:

  • Control: You can be your own trustee during your lifetime and then you name a successor trustee (such as a bank) to serve after you cannot or do not wish to serve.
  • Flexibility: You can typically change the terms of the trust at any time while you are living. If you become disabled, your successor trustee can step in and pay your bills, manage your investments and allow you to avoid “living probate” where otherwise a court appointed conservator might be needed to manage your affairs. You can create trusts for your minor children or grandchildren to be created after your death, hold assets in further trust for disabled or disadvantaged beneficiaries and even create trusts for charities.
  • Privacy: The terms of the trust and its assets and values are typically private, unlike a probate proceeding, which is a public matter where your will (if any) and list of assets are filed with the court and open to inspection by anyone.

Your living trust would be part of your overall estate plan, which would likely include a “pour over will” (just in case assets weren’t retitled into your trust’s name at your death), powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions and a living will.

 

Be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss what estate plan is right for you under the circumstances.  We also recommend discussing your options with a wealth advisor who can assist you with your financial goals, working together with your attorney and other trusted advisors.

 

 

UMB is not providing you with any legal or tax advice.  You need to consult with your own legal and tax advisors to determine what estate plan is best for you and how the laws of the state governing your estate might affect you given your specific circumstances.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Teson is a Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Management’s Senior Legal Counsel at UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing Private Wealth Management’s Legal, Fiduciary Tax and Real Estate and Unique Asset teams. She joined UMB in 1992 and has been a licensed attorney for 32 years. She is also a Certified Financial Planner.



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Benefits of a will

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A will allows you to protect and distribute your property owned by you at your death* through a written legal document. By detailing who should inherit what, you try to ensure that your possessions are distributed by your wishes, rather than state laws.  Remember, having a will does not mean that your estate will avoid probate.
Benefits of Having a Will

*Your will only affects property owned by you at your death titled in your sole name. It typically does not affect property which is owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, which passes by beneficiary deed or designation, including “Pay on Death” or “Transfer on Death,” or which is owned by a trust.

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UMB is not providing you with any legal or tax advice.  You need to consult with your own legal and tax advisors to determine what estate plan is best for you and how the laws of the state governing your estate might affect you given your specific circumstances.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Teson is a Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Management’s Senior Legal Counsel at UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing Private Wealth Management’s Legal, Fiduciary Tax and Real Estate and Unique Asset teams. She joined UMB in 1992 and has been a licensed attorney for 32 years. She is also a Certified Financial Planner.



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How saving money differs in your 40s, 50s and 60s

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We already told you how your financial goals and habits vary from decade to decade in your 20s and 30s. The same is true as you move into your 40s and up until retirement. Here are some pro tips on how to take full advantage of each unique decade.

generations

Things to DO in your 40s

Do meet with a financial planner to make sure you’re on the right track to retire when you want and with the right amount to continue living the lifestyle you want. Retirement may seem very far away, but you don’t want to let yourself be caught in your early 60s playing catch-up on your 401(k).

Do decide how saving for major purchases balances with your retirement saving. If you have children, are you going to pay for all or some of their college tuition? What about your children’s weddings? These are examples of things that can cause parents to be caught off guard and can put a pause on your important retirement saving. For more information on these decisions, take a look at our recent post on Kids’ college vs. retirement: where to save?

And one thing to AVOID in your 40s

Don’t miss out on the maximum match from your employer on your retirement plan. As we’ve recommended from your first job in your 20s, be sure to take full advantage of the match from your employer. Of course, going above that amount is also a great idea; just be sure you’re reaching that minimum amount to get your full match.

 

Things to DO in your 50s 

Do think of this decade as your time to save the most (less expenses with children out of the home and typically higher income than you earned earlier in your career). Consider paying off high-cost debt, such as your mortgage, if you haven’t already and then save aggressively.

Do add catch-up contributions to your retirement savings. Even if you’re tracking well toward your retirement goals, you’re allowed to save more now, so do it!

And one thing to AVOID in your 50s

Don’t wait until your 60s to purchase long-term care insurance. The average age to buy this type of insurance is 57. If you wait until a few years later, it will be much more expensive.


Things to DO in your 60s
 

Do prepare aggressively for retirement…even before your planned last day of work. It’s difficult to predict when health, layoffs or extra time needed to care for your aging parents will cause you to retire earlier. This is the case with more than 40 percent of workers.

Do think about downsizing. This isn’t something that needs to wait until you’re already retired. If you’re single or if it’s just you and your spouse in your home, consider where you want to live for the next few decades and if moving makes sense.

And one thing to AVOID in your 60s

Don’t keep the same insurance policies you had in your 30s. You might not need life insurance anymore. Check your long-term care insurance policy to see what benefits it includes.

Remember, whether you’re 21 or 68, it’s never too late to improve your financial plan.

 

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References: *2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Inspired by a Daily Finance article

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Ponce is a Financial Center Manager for UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing the Collinsville micro-market. She joined UMB in 1991 and has 23 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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How saving money differs in your 20s and 30s

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Have you noticed that your eating, sleeping and entertainment habits changed after high school and again after college? The same is true of your financial situation. With a different lifestyle comes different financial needs, which is why we’re bringing you a few dos and don’ts for these crucial decades.

generations

Things to DO in your 20s…

Do contribute to a 401(k), one of the 9 financial habits we told you about earlier. How much should you save? At least as much as it takes to receive what your employer is willing to match. Beyond that, 10 to 15 percent of your pre-tax income is a great start.

Do lay a sound financial foundation by developing good habits. Contrary to what you may hear, how MUCH you save for retirement when you’re young isn’t as important as saving consistently starting as soon as possible.

Do find inspiration in growth charts / calculators like these. It’s hard to focus on something that is decades in the future, such as retirement, so calculate how dramatically your goals can be reached if you start early. For example, if you start saving $300/month in your 20s, you could have nearly $100,000 by the time you’re 50 (and that’s only factoring a less than 1 percent annual interest rate).

And one thing to avoid in your 20s…

Don’t ONLY save for your retirement. Many people in their 20s make this mistake. Since you can’t touch this money until you’re 59½  (with limited exceptions), you’ll need to make sure you have separate savings for emergencies and non-retirement goals.

 

Things to DO in your 30s…

Do ask yourself if you should buy a home. The median age of first time home buyers is 31*. While that doesn’t mean that age will be the right time for you, it does indicate that your 30s are a great time to start considering home ownership during this decade. If you’re a star student and are reading this section as a 20-something, good job. Because the money you save in your 20s will come in handy when it’s time to buy a home in your 30s. The down payment, closing costs and inevitable home repairs that pop up as soon as the home becomes yours add up quickly.

Do get life insurance if you now have dependents. It’s a bummer to dwell on, so don’t over think it. You and your family will appreciate the financial peace of mind it gives.

And one thing to avoid in your 30s…

Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about money. If you are among the 30-somethings with children, you can start teaching them as young as pre-school or early elementary school the concept of spending and saving. Playing imaginary restaurant or store with them is a great learning tool.

Update: check out how to save in your 40s, 50s and 60s!

 

 

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Reference: *2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Inspiration for article from Daily Finance

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Johnson is a VP/Financial Center Manager for UMB Kansas City. He is responsible for driving sales and relationship activities within the Walnut Lobby Financial Center. He joined UMB in 2007 and has 11 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Johnson earned an Associate’s Degree from MCC. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science Degree majoring in Management and Finance from Park University.



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