Susanna P. Starcevic
2801 B Street, No. 137
San Diego, CA 92102

O: 619 / 239 2617
M: 619 / 840 2617

Why Use Us

“The heart to conceive, the understanding to direct and
the hand to execute.” - Junius

We are often asked: "What exactly is an independent professional trustee or fiduciary, and why should we use one?"

An independent trustee is a trained licensed professional who steps in, usually as a successor trustee, to manage a trust. Typically, it's because the current trustee no longer wishes – or is no longer able – to act, and there is no appropriate person to step in among the "inside circle" of family, named beneficiaries or close associates/friends of the original trustee. The independent trustee can be named by the settlor (creator) of the trust, an attorney or legal advisor, or appointed by a court. But regardless of the size of the trust or how the trustee is named, the benefits of using an independent professional trustee remain the same.

They include:

Maintaining family accord. A death in the family often triggers complex emotions than can involve siblings, surviving spouses or partners, contentious beneficiaries, and minors – and the mix of money with those relationships.

Using a professional independent trustee, a person with extensive experience including how to deal with the emotional terrain, goes a long way toward maintaining family accord by reducing contentiousness within the family. It allows family members to concentrate on what's most important – family and their pattern for the future.

Protecting trust assets. We bring an array of business, financial, and legal expertise, along with experience in managing trust assets. Are the investments appropriate for the purposes of the trust? Are they sound? If not, what options exist?

In one trust experiencing a significant investment loss, we determined that other investors holding the same security had recouped their losses. We quickly identified statute-of-limitation concerns, promptly engaged securities fraud counsel and filed an action – all within a very short time.

In addition, a professional trustee can provide bonding, as needed, to protect the assets of the estate from bad faith, malfeasance and other actionable conduct.

Protecting family interests. While bound by law and professional ethics to act within the guidelines and directions of the trust, you'll find we are anxious to take the time to get to know what the family wants within the bounds of their trust. We have a professional responsibility to make sure clients receive timely action that keeps things moving when they should.

We feel there is no substitute for genuine personal interaction, and that goes a long way toward informing us about how to handle profoundly personal and sensitive matters involving family assets, be they businesses built by a family member, long-held and cherished artworks or real estate, or – often the most sensitive asset of all – the family home and all it stands for.

Cost savings. It's true that using an independent professional trustee may cost more at the outset. However, by knowing the terrain and drawing on our experience, and by knowing how to manage trust activities efficiently, we find that those costs are usually more than offset by the savings we bring to trust administration – particularly when managing securities, real estate and other financial assets. And we know when and why calling on any of a community of coordinating professionals will save costs or headaches.

Peace of mind. Working with a professional who understands the legally-required actions involved in trust administration, and adheres to a strict code of professional ethics, means having someone always at your side who knows the trail ahead. Our commitment as an impartial third party is to assist you, and it's a commitment you and your family can depend on.