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The Caldwell Trust Company Blog

How Does a Winter Resident Prove Florida Residency? Consult with a Licensed Florida Trust Company

Posted by Sheryl Vieira

As some of our clients are “winter” residents in Florida, more and more people are making a permanent move to Florida to enjoy the great weather year-round and the many other benefits of living in our state.

If you are thinking about making Florida your permanent residence, have already moved to Florida on a permanent basis, or live in another state part of the time, proving your domicile is primarily based on intention and documentation. Here are some steps to take to be considered a Florida resident:

  • File a Florida Declaration of Domicile in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which you will be residing. This is the primary method of determining your domicile is in Florida especially if you live in two different states.

  • Live in Florida for most of the year. You should spend more months residing in Florida than you do in another state.

  • Obtain a Florida Driver’s License and consider cancelling your old (previous state of domicile) driver’s license. If you do not drive, you can obtain a Non-Driver Identification Card.  You will need to check with your local division of motor vehicle (DMV) office on what documentation is required from them to obtain a new driver’s license.

  • Register your out-of-state car. Transfer your car title and get registration for your car “in Florida”.

  • Register to vote in the county in which you are residing in Florida and vote in the next election. You can complete your voter registration while you are at your local driver license office or at the Supervisor of Elections office.

  • For tax reasons, it would be a good idea to change your official address with the IRS to your Florida address.

  • Purchase a residence in Florida and claim any homestead exemptions that may be available.

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Caldwell Trust has significant fee reductions for retirement benefit plans

Posted by Caldwell Trust

Caldwell Trust Company has significantly reduced the investment fee for our  retirement plans that we manage as plan trustee. The savings result from a decision by Vanguard, one of our providers, to move investors in many of its funds from the Investor share class to the Admiral share class, which operates at much lower costs.

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Topics: Retirement Plan Services

Market Snapshot - Malthusian? Economic choices must be at work

Posted by Caldwell Trust

Thomas Malthus was an 18th Century Economist who did some fantastic work on populations.  His main contribution was to illustrate the relationship between food supply and population and showed how natural population increases faster than food supply.  For you math majors out there, population increases geometrically while food supply grows arithmetically (see below).  The term “Malthusian” is used as a rather unsightly forward looking scenario where humanity grows too fast and many starve due to lack of food.  

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Topics: Investments

5 Benefits of a Non-Family Member Trustee

Posted by Wendy Fishman

Most of us want a family member looking after our assets when we’re gone. However, there are sometimes complications to this genuinely noble idea. Notably, problems may arise if the family member lacks the knowledge, time, or efficacy to perform his or her duties.

One way to avoid these issues is to assign a non-family member trustee. This neutral party can ensure that your wishes are met, providing your estate with respectful and dignified management while keeping your family and loved ones free from conflict.

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

Caldwell Trust has become a trust leader and we intend to remain one

Posted by Sheryl Vieira

James F. Gabbert, chairman of Caldwell Trust Company, is proud to be associated with Caldwell Trust Company and to be able to say that we provide the same level of service to our families that we provide our clients. In the late 80's, he was a customer of brokerage firms but was not extremely happy with the level of growth of his accounts. After a few meetings with Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company, Jim realized that he could afford trust services with a trust officer. After looking into the fees his brokerage firms were charging and his net returns, he quickly became a client of Caldwell Trust Company and never looked back.

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Topics: Corporate

Legal experience in addition to being a trust officer helps our clients

Posted by Caldwell Trust

As a trust officer, people often ask me how my legal experience comes into play in my day-to-day job. They don’t often understand the role that a trust officer has and how you might use your legal experience in that career. I have found what I’ve learned from practicing law in a previous career has been very helpful in helping me represent and advocate for clients.

I think of course as an attorney you learn the technical side of the business. You learn how to understand, interpret and draft documents for people. What you don’t always see is the other side of that which is during the administration of a trust and how your words actually come into play when you’re working with a family.

I find it very interesting to be on the other side of that document interpreting it and helping people either better plan ahead of time working with their attorneys in the drafting so they know what they really want to happen will happen once their gone or sitting beside them administering documents for their family and making sure that the words that are crafted are handled in the way that they would want to.

At Caldwell Trust Company, I am actually surrounded by seasoned professionals with lots of initials behind their name, MBA, CPA, PhD, CFA, but what I’ll tell you is the common thread among all of the professionals there, is that they truly care about their clients.

One area where we really try to help facilitate things for our clients to the extent that they’ll let us is helping them really communicate with their families and to really educate the next generation on the psychology of wealth and money. We have really found that giving money or leaving money to people that either aren’t prepared to handle it or not educated in how to handle their finances can truly be a disservice. There is nothing better than sitting down with the family, parents, grandparents, talking with them and helping them really understand how they want them to succeed in life and how the planning they have done is so instrumental  in making that happen. I find that it is truly out of love for the family and making sure that this money doesn’t become a hindrance to them but really helps them achieve the success that they can in life.

I’ve found that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. So even though a lot of our day is spent interpreting documents or working with complex investment solutions for our clients, what we really do is get to know them and their families and empathize with what they’re trying to do with their lives. I think that’s what sets Caldwell Trust apart. We really are able to have the flexibility and the freedom to be creative with our clients and really help them achieve what they want to with their plans.

 

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Topics: Trusts & Estate Planning

Appoint a Trustee or Take Advantage of the Popular Prepaid Florida College Plan

Posted by Sonya Kristie

There are many ways to ensure your children or grandchildren can attend college without them being buried in debt or your earmarked funds being sidetracked. One approach is to include language in your trust document stating that certain assets can be used only for college expenses, and only by the heir(s) specified. You can also appoint a trustee to ensure that your instructions are carried out according to your wishes.

Another method is to invest in one of the many prepaid college plans offered by 11 states, numerous colleges and many financial institutions. Prepaid, fixed-cost plans have the advantage of locking in the cost of tuition, thereby providing a hedge against inflation. They are most cost-effective when choosing colleges within the sponsoring state. An alternative is the 529 College Savings Plan, provided by all 50 states and administered by state-selected investment companies such as Fidelity, Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, Schwab or Learning Quest. The cost of a 529 can fluctuate with financial markets but there may be tax or other advantages. Both plans provide options should the student choose not to go to college, and a student can have both a Prepaid Plan and a 529 Plan.

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Topics: Corporate

Tim Videnka of Caldwell Trust Company Speaks of Significant Wealth

Posted by Caldwell Trust

Caldwell Trust Company manages money by starting with clients and working backwards. Often times, we find clients have similar goals and objectives. From our point view, their portfolios may end up looking the same but its not our starting point.

Tim Videnka, CFA, manages the investment department at Caldwell Trust Company. His favorite client story is about someone who was the patriarch of a family who had significant wealth. Before we even got into the investment conversation, we spent a lot of time listening to this prospect like they hadn’t been listened to before which resulted in the realization that his concerns weren't really about money. He had concerns that surrounded the family. We were lucky enough to spend quality time getting to know them and the real intent for their family wealth.

This client who didn’t even start out as a client, is a happy client today. We’re looking forward to carrying out their wishes and really fulfilling on the concerns that they have.

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