Build 'Trust' and Protect Your Family's Future
Everyone has a different idea of what trust means to them, but for me it's that peace of mind knowing someone is looking out for you—protecting what's important to you and your loved ones. Trust is such an emotional act, and it's full of openness and honesty. By surrounding ourselves with people we trust, we're able to create a more secure future.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Jim Cole, Vice Chairman and CEO of Country Club Trust Company (a subsidiary of Country Club Bank), who filled me in on how he's building trust with our community. Jim has been both an attorney and a banker, and has been in banking in Kansas City since 1981 and with Country Club Bank for nearly 16 years. Needless to say, he has a good perspective about why trusts are so crucial to protecting your assets.
So what makes Country Club Trust such a strong partner when clients want to protect their loved ones?
It's simple—we're all about helping people. Of course, we have the expertise: six investment officers with their CFA designation, 11 lawyers, lots of experience and education. But it all comes down to how we help people. I remember one day around 4 p.m. someone just dropped off an elderly lady in a wheelchair in our lobby—then left. We could have easily said, "At 5 p.m. we’re going home." But no, we didn’t. We tracked down the lawyer who had been involved in the past and got an agency involved. They got the lady to a place where she could stay until housing arrangements could be made for her. You always want to do the right thing for people. It doesn’t matter if they’re a client or not. If you come in contact with someone, you want to do the right thing.
Plus, I think being local is very important. If you need someone to help you, you’d really like them to be close at hand. At Country Club Trust, we serve the Kansas City area, and we come to you. Clients can talk to the people actually making the decisions. I think that’s really important!
It’s not a novel concept to always think of the client first, but not everyone does. I can honestly say we do it all the time.
Where did the "trust" in trusts come from?
Trusts as we see them today actually started back in the Middle Ages when people went off to the Crusades to fight the wars. They left their farmland to their next-door neighbor or best friend to take care of until they came back. The neighbor or best friend had to farm the land and take care of it for the benefit of the wife and the children who were left behind. We use the same concept with our modern-day trusts. The trustee takes care of the property entrusted to it for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
In a few words, we help people take care of their financial assets. That can be during their lifetime or when they die. Basically, we take care of their assets and make sure those assets ultimately get to whom they’re supposed to.
So are trusts only for older people?
Too often people think that. As soon as people have some assets, they may want to consider having a trust. Sometimes people have no one to turn to for help. Let’s say their kids have moved away or they’re young but their parents have already passed away. In both situations, the question might be, "Who’s going to take care of things if something happens to me (death or incapacity)?" For example, “Who will care for our newborn child?" That’s why estate planning is so important—and a trust can be an important part of an estate plan.
So, really, it could be a young person; it could be someone who’s 90 years old. Or, it could be someone in middle age who has children, but there's a concern whether the children know how to take care of money, or perhaps the children don’t get along. There could be various reasons to want to have a trust department like Country Club Trust Company involved.
Do you have to have a lot of money to set up a trust?
A trust can be valuable no matter how much money you have! I've found that “wealth” is really in the eye of the beholder. Everyone thinks someone else is wealthier than they are. We had a lady one time who called in with $90,000, and she asked if we could help her. I also once heard someone say, "I have $50 million; is that enough for a trust?" Trusts are really for everyone who wants to make sure their loved ones are taken care of.
You've been an estate planning lawyer as well as a banker. Why do you prefer your current role?
One of my favorite things about the trust business is we’re not billing hours, and I think people like that. It gives me plenty of time to talk to people and really hear their story—to learn what's important to them without them feeling like they're on the clock.
Aside from the Country Club Bank and Country Club Trust team, what other teams are you a fan of?
My wife and I follow a lot of soccer here in Kansas City. We have season tickets for Sporting Kansas City as well as FC Kansas City, the women’s professional soccer team here in town. FC Kansas City is such a good team. I feel bad they don’t get nearly the recognition as Sporting KC. They won the NWSL Championship two years in a row! They're a great example of the power of teamwork, and we love watching them succeed!
We'll Earn Your Trust
As Jim would attest, securing your family's future is a crucial part of your financial planning, and although he and his team do not provide legal advice, nor draft estate planning documents, a discussion about the estate planning process can give you valuable peace of mind.
Plus, not only is he extremely knowledgeable, Jim's just a nice guy—and he truly cares about our clients! He's just another example of how all of our associates, regardless of their area of expertise, create a stronger Country Club Bank team.
Marla Youk serves as a senior vice president and the director of marketing for Country Club Bank. Tweet to her @CountryClubBank or share your thoughts on the Facebook page!
Country Club Trust Company, NA is a subsidiary of Country Club Bank. Trust and Investment Services, Are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, Are not deposits of, nor guaranteed by, the Trust Company or any Trust Company Affiliate, and May lose value. The opinions, information, and material provided are informational only and are not intended as legal, financial, actuarial, accounting, or other professional advice.