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FAQs

  • Trust Basics
    • What are the four basic types of trusts and how do they differ?
      • Revocable trusts can be amended or revoked during the grantor's lifetime. Once the grantor dies, the trust typically becomes irrevocable.
      • Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed after they're made. They're often used to fund legacies for children or grandchildren, or make gifts of property or life insurance.
      • Testamentary trusts are usually included in a person's will. They take effect after the grantor has died. They are also considered revocable because your will can be changed anytime during your lifetime.
      • Living trusts take effect during the grantor's lifetime.

      Every trust must have four primary elements.

      • The "grantor" or "settlor" – the person who makes the trust.
      • The "trustee" – the person or organization that manages the trust assets and performs functions of the trust. If the trustee dies or is no longer able to serve in that capacity, a "successor trustee" – is appointed as a replacement.
      • The "beneficiary(ies)" – the person or class of persons who will benefit from the trust.
      • The "corpus" – the assets within the trust.
      Can Thrivent Trust Company serve as the executor of my estate?

      We can provide this service in all 50 states. By naming Thrivent Trust Company in your estate planning documents, you place the responsibility of managing your estate with professionals who are experienced in these important duties. When you die, we will work with your attorney and family to ensure the smooth and accurate disposition of your property and the execution of your final wishes, according to the terms of your will.

      To name Thrivent Trust Company as executor of your estate, have your attorney name Thrivent Trust Company as executor or personal representative in your will and forward a copy of the will to us. Fees will only be incurred if we serve as your executor.

      Why should I appoint a corporate trustee?
      Thrivent Trust Company has significant experience in the investment, tax, legal and administrative duties of a trustee or executor. Our professionals are impartial concerning conflicting or competing family desires, which may help preserve family harmony. In addition, we work under stringent government regulations designed to protect your interests.
      How do I name Thrivent Trust Company as a successor trustee of my trust or executor of my estate?
      Contact us for a copy of our preferred trust and will language memorandum. We are willing to review your estate plan relative to that memorandum at no charge.

      We ask that you forward copies of any documents that name Thrivent Trust Company as a trustee or executor to us. There is no charge or service fee for safekeeping of an estate planning document in which we are nominated to serve. Fees are only incurred if we serve in a fiduciary capacity.

      Can Thrivent Trust Company draft a trust document for me?
      No. We are not authorized to draft estate planning documents.
      Is Thrivent Trust Company limited in whom it may serve?
      Thrivent Trust Company is federally chartered and serves the needs of the general public. This means we can help you, regardless of where you live and whether or not you are a member of Thrivent Financial.
      Where can I find information about how to get started planning my will or estate?
      Your Thrivent Trust Company officer or Thrivent Financial representative can provide you with the information you'll need to get started.
      What is estate planning?

      In its basic sense, estate planning is the process of making a plan in advance and naming the people you want to receive the things you own after you die. It should:

      • Include instructions for passing your values (e.g., religion, education) in addition to your valuables.
      • Include instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die.
      • Name a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children.
      • Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits.
      • Provide for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or may need future protection from creditors or divorce.
      • Include life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury.
      • Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability or death.
      • Minimize taxes, court costs and unnecessary legal fees.
      • Be an ongoing process, not a one-time event.
      I'm not rich. Do I really need an estate settlement plan?

      For the most part, yes. Believe it or not, nearly everyone has an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything you own – your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture and personal possessions.

      Estate planning doesn't have to be expensive. If you can't afford a complex estate plan, start with what you can afford. For a young family or single adult, that may mean a will, term life insurance, and powers of attorney for your assets and health care decisions. Then, let your planning develop and expand as your needs change and your financial situation improves. An experienced attorney will be able to provide critical guidance and peace of mind that your documents are properly prepared.

      What if I die without a trust or estate settlement plan?
      If you die without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to the probate laws in your state. In many states, if you are married and have children, your spouse and children will each receive a share. That means your spouse could receive only a fraction of your estate, which may not be enough to live on. If you have minor children, the court will control their inheritance. If both parents die (e.g., in a car accident), the court will appoint a guardian since they would be unaware of your choice.
      What if I become disabled without a trust or estate settlement plan?
      If your name is on the title of your assets and you're unable to conduct business due to mental or physical incapacity, only a court appointee can sign for you. In other words, the court – not your family – will control how your assets are used to care for you through a conservatorship or guardianship. This can be expensive and time consuming. Plus, it is open to the public, and it can be difficult to end even if you recover.
  • SIMPLIFY
    • How will I know when bills are paid?
      Payments are processed when the bill is received. Payment details are summarized on your statement, and you can view transactions via online access.
      Will someone review the bills before payment is sent?
      When we set up an account, we discuss the bills you want us to pay and ask you to provide the standard amounts of those bills. When a bill comes in, it will be processed for payment unless it is inconsistent with the information you provided. In the event of discrepancy, we will contact you to learn more. If you anticipate a larger-than-normal charge (due to something, like a vacation or an unexpected repair), you can call your trust officer to alert us so that when the bill comes, it can be processed.
      Can bills be automatically paid from my account?
      No. At this time, all bills are paid via a physical check that is mailed to the payee. This process gives us the opportunity to review charges before they are remitted.
      How are my investments managed?
      We work with you to determine your investment objectives (e.g., income, growth or a mix), based on your needs, risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals. We then help you identify one of our five well-diversified model portfolios that is most-appropriate for you.
      How are bills paid and when is my portfolio rebalanced?
      Bills are paid from your model portfolio's money market allocation. As payments are processed, Thrivent Trust Company will rebalance your portfolio to replenish cash levels.
      What is the minimum amount necessary to open a SIMPLIFY account?
      The minimum amount required is $200,000.
  • Personal Trust Services
    • Why would I include a trust in my estate plan?
      A trust is a flexible legal tool that manages assets and distributes funds to chosen beneficiaries.
      Can Thrivent Trust Company serve as the executor of my estate?
      Yes. By naming Thrivent Trust Company in your estate planning documents, you place the responsibility of managing your estate with professionals who are experienced in these important duties. We will work with your attorney and your family to ensure the smooth and accurate disposition of your property and the execution of your final wishes, according to the terms of your will.
      What should I consider before appointing a corporate trustee?
      Take time to find a trustee that is right for you. That person or institution should be knowledgeable in managing investments. Thrivent Trust Company has experience in the investment, tax, legal and administrative duties of a trustee or executor. Our professionals are impartial about conflicting or competing family desires, which may help preserve family harmony. In addition, we work under stringent government regulations designed to protect your interests.
      How do I name Thrivent Trust Company as a successor trustee of my trust or executor of my estate?

      Contact us for a copy of our preferred trust and will language memorandum. We will review your estate plan relative to that memorandum at no charge.

      Be sure to forward copies of any documents that name Thrivent Trust Company in a fiduciary capacity (e.g., trustee, personal representative or executor) to us. There is no charge or service fee for safekeeping of an estate planning document in which we are nominated to serve. You will only incur fees if we serve in a fiduciary capacity.

      Can Thrivent Trust Company draft a trust document for me?
      No. We are not authorized to draft estate planning documents. Since a trust agreement is a legal arrangement, you will need to discuss its provisions and your requirements with your estate planning attorney.
      What is the minimum amount necessary to open a Personal Trust Services account?
      The minimum amount required is $300,000.
  • Private Client Services
    • What personal financial management services are provided?
      Like our personal financial management service, SIMPLIFY, we help you pay bills, manage cash and help organize and retain records.
      How are my investments managed?

      We view each client's needs as unique and take time to fully understand your needs to help you:

      • Define overall investment objective.
      • Develop a strategy that considers all of you investment accounts.
      • Identify tax – sensitive needs.
      • Report for tax purposes.

      With one of our models as a foundation, we can customize a portfolio to help meet your specific needs. We frequently use institutional-class mutual funds, individual securities and exchange-traded funds since they often have significantly lower expenses yet provide similar exposure to the asset classes we believe are needed for proper diversification.

      What is the minimum amount required to open a Private Client Services account?
      The minimum amount required is $1 million.
  • Institutional Trust & Investment Services
    • Can Thrivent Trust Company customize our nonprofit's portfolio to specifically accommodate our investment policy?
      Yes. Our staff will work as a team to give your organization the insights of our combined investment experience. With one of our models as a foundation, we can customize a portfolio to meet your specific needs. We often use institutional-class mutual funds, individual securities and exchange-traded funds because they often have significantly lower expenses yet provide similar exposure to the asset classes we believe are needed for proper diversification.
      What sets Thrivent Trust's services apart from the competition, and what unique value-added services can it provide?
      Thrivent Trust Company knows the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations. We provide administrative services, such as bill paying and sub-accounting, which can streamline much of the administration that may otherwise be done by a staff member. The institutions we work with appreciate our understanding of their investment management needs and their need for detailed comprehensive administration.
      Do you help organizations develop an investment policy statement?

      Yes. Thrivent Trust Company recommends that institutions maintain an investment policy statement (IPS) that avoids ambiguity and provides sufficient detail to adequately communicate the organization's goals, expectations and any specific restrictions. We can help you identify or create:

      • An overall investment objective.
      • Asset allocation ranges that are different than those provided by standard models.
      • Client-specified security-related mandates, such as inclusion or exclusion of certain asset categories that are in the standard model (e.g., high-yield bonds, alternative assets, individual debt securities, proprietary and nonproprietary mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and common stocks).

      The IPS and discussions with your investment committee are the primary factors that drive asset allocation and security selection. Thrivent Trust Company's typical institutional clients use a blend of individual fixed-income investments, equity and fixed-income open-end mutual funds and ETFs.

      What performance measurement (benchmark) reports are provided, and how often are they made available?
      We have a robust and flexible reporting package that lets us customize data to meet your organization's needs. We deliver the information you specify in a user-friendly format so it can be most meaningful to you. Monthly or quarterly statements, featuring performance, are available after the close of the reporting period.
      What is the minimum amount required to open an Institutional account?
      The minimum amount required is $500,000.
  • Estate Settlement Services
    • What is included in an estate plan?
      Most estate plans, at a minimum, include a will, durable power of attorney, advance medical directive, and a health care agent form. Trusts may be another important planning tool. In community or marital property states, a community or marital property agreement can also be a key component of your estate plan. Your estate planning attorney can help you decide which tools will work best for you and your loved ones.
      How long will it take to settle my estate?
      When you have an estate plan that includes a will, estate settlement may take several months. However, without a will, it could take much longer, and your assets may not be distributed as you would have liked.
      Who should I name as my personal representative or executor?
      You could name your spouse or an adult child. Or you could appoint a person or entity with no potential conflict of interest (e.g., a bank or trust company). Choosing an independent executor is a good approach when beneficiaries do not get along or when you have a large estate. Your estate planning attorney can advise you about this.
      What factors influence estate settlement?
      Estate and gift taxes vary according to the size of the estate, the state you live in and other factors. The way your property is owned or titled greatly influences the process and the cost. The best advice is to have legal counsel and a will. This helps ensure the best plan of action to meet your individual needs.
      What does a personal representative (i.e., executor) do?

      Your personal representative helps ensure the necessary tasks are completed according to your instructions and in the best interest of your beneficiaries. He or she will:

      • Offer your will for probate.
      • Gather and organize the assets of your estate.
      • Establish a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for the estate.
      • Pay your valid debts.
      • Pay the estate's administrative expenses.
      • Carry on or liquidate any investments or business interests you own, pay your federal and state income and estate taxes.
      • Make tax decisions under the Internal Revenue Code and state tax laws.
      • Enforce claims on your behalf or on behalf of your estate.
      • Make an accounting to the beneficiaries.
      • Distribute the remaining assets according to the terms of your will.
      What is the minimum amount required to open an estate settlement account?
      The minimum amount required is $300,000.
  • Glossary of Terms
    • Advance medical directive
      A document that lets you influence decisions about your medical care when you would otherwise be unable to do so. It helps ensure your medical care wishes are honored if you are unconscious, unable to competently make decisions or unable to communicate. In doing so, it helps free loved ones from having to make hard decisions during a highly stressful time and help avoid the loss of financial assets on medical treatments that may only prolong the process of dying.
      Attorney-in-fact
      An agent named under a power-of-attorney document to handle a person's financial affairs on his or her behalf.
      Beneficiary
      A person or organization who receives the benefits (e.g., bequests of property, income or principal) of an estate or trust.
      Bequest
      A gift, by will, of personal property. Typically describes all transfers made under a will.
      Charitable remainder trust
      An irrevocable trust whereby a grantor gifts assets into a trust, and receives a set percentage of the assets as income for life. After the grantor dies, the remainder of the trust goes to a predesignated charity (or charities). In addition to providing an income stream, the grantor may potentially bypass capital gains tax and receive an income tax deduction.
      Community property
      Property owned by a husband and wife in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas or Washington (see "Marital property" for Wisconsin). Community property rules can affect the distribution of assets under a will.
      Conservator
      A person or institution appointed by a court to care for the finances of a person who is deemed to be either partially or completely incapacitated.
      Decedent
      A person who has died.
      Durable power of attorney
      A written document that lets a person (the "principal") designate someone else as the "attorney-in-fact" or "agent" to act on his or her behalf while he or she is still living. A durable power of attorney is not terminated by the principal's subsequent disability or incompetence. All powers of attorney are terminated immediately on the death of the principal.
      Estate administration
      The process for collecting a decedent's assets, liquidating liabilities, paying taxes and distributing property to heirs, carried out by the personal representative or executor under the supervision of the probate court.
      Estate planning
      The branch of law which – in arranging a person's property and estate – takes into account the laws of wills, taxes, insurance, property and trusts while carrying out the person's wishes for the disposition of property upon death.
      Estate tax
      A tax imposed on the right to transfer property at death. The federal estate tax is imposed on transfers exceeding the applicable exclusion amount. States also may charge an inheritance or estate tax.
      Executor
      See "Personal representative."
      Fiduciary
      A fiduciary is a person or institution holding assets in trust for a beneficiary. The fiduciary is responsible for investing the assets wisely and always acting in the best interest of the beneficiary. Fiduciaries include executors and trustees.
      Guardian
      A person with the power and duty to take care of and/or manage the property and rights of another person who is incapable of handling his or her own affairs. The guardian's power is granted and overseen by the court.
      Guardianship
      The court process of granting authority to a guardian to handle the personal and/or financial affairs of an individual who is incapable of doing so for himself or herself.
      Grantor
      A person who creates a trust, sometimes also known as the "settlor," or "trustor." He or she decides what property to contribute to the trust, and who the beneficiaries will be.
      Intestate
      To die without a valid will.
      Irrevocable trust
      A trust in which the grantor gives up control and ownership of assets contributed to it. It can be set up to keep these assets out of the grantor's estate for estate tax purposes.
      Life insurance trust
      This is a special type of trust commonly used in connection with family settlements and estate planning. Life insurance contracts can be transferred to or purchased by a revocable or irrevocable trust. The trust is usually named the beneficiary of the insurance. If the life insurance is transferred to an irrevocable trust, the proceeds may not be subject to federal estate tax if the contract was transferred more than three years prior to the death of the insured.
      Living will
      An advance medical directive that lets people inform their physicians that they would not want life-sustaining procedures to extend their dying process if they become terminally ill or injured and be unable to communicate.
      Living trust
      This trust is created and operates while the grantor is alive. It can also provide for distribution of trust assets upon your death, and can be set up for the benefit of the grantor or for someone else.
      Marital property
      Wisconsin's version of community property. Marital property laws can impact the distribution of assets under a will.
      Personal representative
      A person appointed to carry out the directions in someone's will, and transfer the property according to her or his wishes.
      Trustee
      A person, bank or trust company that holds and administers trust property for the benefit of a third party. Trustees prepare and file tax returns, make distributions to beneficiaries, and manage all assets.
      Will
      A written instrument, executed with the formalities required by statutes, that states how to dispose of a person's property after he or she dies.