Mental Health and Trusts

mental health trusts

People set up Revocable Living Trusts for a wide variety of reasons. Some want to travel extensively and need someone to handle things while they are away. Others fear they will become ill or incapacitated and want continuity in their financial management.

As a corporate trustee we are intimately involved with our clients, not only as investment advisors but more importantly assisting in all matters of their lives. Our relationship with our clients spans many years, sometimes decades. As the years go by, it is difficult to observe some clients as they struggle to interact not only with us as trustee but also with their families as their personality shifts dramatically in a short period of time.  We see a client who used to be outgoing, warm, and friendly, now becoming more irritable, secretive, and quick to anger. Very often we see these changes before a family member does. We recognize that this unexpected behavior can be a sign of the onset of a medical problem. We share our concerns with their children or other family members and, when there are no family members we will call upon Social Services to assess our client for their own protection. Understanding that by recognizing these subtle and sometimes not so subtle changes, we can help to minimize dangers to their safety and well-being.

Having a proper living estate plan in place to protect oneself against incapacity is one of the most important plans you can have in place. It’s not only about money management!

If I may, this month focuses on mental health, I would like to share that Garden State Trust Company at the end of May, 2016  has passed a Resolution declaring ourselves a Stigma-Freecompany.  This all came about through a conversation we had with a North Jersey estate planning attorney.

Stigma-Free is an initiative through the National Alliance on Mental Health. On their website they outline 3 Steps to becoming Stigma-Free.

Step 1

Educate Yourself and Others

Everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts about mental illness can help you educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding mental health isn’t only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions but dispelling many false ideas about mental health conditions as well.

Step 2

See the Person and Not the Illness

1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition and each of them has their own story, path and journey that says more about them than their diagnosis. Whether you live with mental illness or are a friend, family member, caregiver or medical professional getting to know a person and treating them with kindness and empathy means far more than just knowing what they are going through.

Step 3

Take Action on Mental Health Issues

Our mental health care systems have been in crisis for far too long and often keep treatment and recovery out of the hands of many who need it. We can take action now as we push for better legislation and policies to improve lives for everyone. By lending your support you can show that this cause is important to you and desperately needed for millions of Americans.

See more information here.

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About Ira Brower

I have been in the financial service industry for more than 40 years primarily providing wealth management solutions for retired and soon-to-be retired individuals. I am President and Founder of Garden State Trust Company. Our clients depend on us for elder care solutions, such as; trust and estate planning, investment services, and lifestyle management. We also administer to “special needs” or “supplemental needs” trusts.

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