Its kind of too late to ask a person exactly how they want their estate handled when they have already passed away! Thus, the birth of WILLs and TRUSTs etc.! So when a person goes to the length of having a WILL drawn up, a TRUST drawn up and has provided such to RJF that person lives out their life knowing they have left things in the order they want things left in when they pass. SURPRISE! Not so! If your TRUST has been left as the Beneficiary of your IRA, RJF gets to decide if equal shares will be parcelled out to said beneficiaries or not! BOOM! The anmswer is NO! Or at least ours was NO! Gee I guess Old Grandpa (or Grandma) died thinking they had planned accordingly and that all those costs and time involved were well worth it! Compared to probate, it was time and money well spent but it doesn't explain or justify RJF chaning the cards in heirs/trustees hands after the game has already started! I would urge folks dealing with RJF to get IN WRITING, the status of their said Trust/IRA/Will etc., scrubbed by RJF legal so you truly KNOW what kind of mess or system you are leaving behind. Of course the IRS can change laws overnight so they too, play a role in screwing beneficiaries who were thought to have been taken care of by Dear Old Mom and/or Dad!
RJF, you can voluntarily provide such disclosures to clients or have it forced upon you, your choice. Boar. By the way to be fair, this mess exists at nearly every custodial firm I am aware of but there might be exceptions, I don't know.
Trusts can be a mess anywhere ... or very simple .
The real issue is ... Did someone who sold used cars or worse help Grandpa after they passed a basic math test and became a "VP of INVESTMENTS" or CERTIFIED BLAH BLAH !!!
Ive worked directly and indirectly w/ ALL the firms . This one amuses me the most . Merrill is comical too and lately they seem to have a hard time finding people to work for 33 cents on the dollar earned .
The whole business is changing as people wake up and realize they can do most of this so called investment planning themselves thru a variety of HUGE discount brokers and save the aggravation of dealing w/ "brokers" who arent as smart as my Dog .
You really just need a SHARP LAWYER and a SHARP CPA . They exist .