Originally published on fwtx.com on April 8, 2020
BY: KATHY CHRISTOFFEL, CTFA
Market President, Argent Trust-Fort Worth Market
These are unprecedented times and the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. We all want to know when this will be over so we can get back to our regular lives.
Working together, we will get through this. Meanwhile, use this time to take some simple steps to safeguard your personal and financial health:
1. Stay safe and healthy: First and foremost, please protect yourself, your family, and loved ones and your co-workers. Ways to do this include socially distancing yourself from others, washing your hands frequently, and staying home whenever you feel ill. Follow the recommendations of health experts.
2. Temporarily disconnect from the media: Don’t make emotional decisions based on today’s headlines and news stories. Take a break from the media and take a walk.
3. Focus on what you can control: Confer with your trust and estate professionals to determine if certain planning strategies make financial sense:
- Trust distributions: Review distributions of income from your trust if the money is dependent upon near-term sales of marketable securities (stocks and bonds).
- Estate tax exemption: Consider transferring wealth now so beneficiaries may benefit from the eventual rebound in currently depressed asset prices.
- Charitable contributions: Evaluate making contributions in equities now so charitable organizations can take advantage of future stock price appreciation when the crisis is over.
It’s during times like this that we all need someone to talk to. Reach out to your trusted advisor and don’t be afraid to share your feelings or concerns. Let them be your “designated worrier” so you can focus on what’s more important – taking care of your family and loved ones.
To learn more about these trust and estate planning strategies, please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (817-502-3586), or reach out to any of our Argent Trust Company professionals at 817-502-2931. We are ready to help.
About the author: Kathy Christoffel serves as market president for Argent Trust Company’s Fort Worth wealth management team where she oversees business development and provides client solutions. A certified trust and financial advisor, Kathy has 27 years of experience as a trust and wealth management professional. She is also involved with several professional organizations, including the American Bankers Association, Tarrant County Probate Bar and Institute of Certified Bankers