Explore What You Can Control

March 31, 2020

family drawing
Artwork by Hudson Brown, age 9, from “home school” art class.

To Our Families and Advisors:

Pendleton Square’s role is to be a conduit to peace of mind. This is why we work hard to serve our families every day. Volatility and uncertainty in financial markets can breed negative emotions ranging from mild concern to genuine fear about the future. Our core tenets of protection, integrity and fiduciary responsibility are how we help families protect and sustain their wealth and legacies.

The onset of the coronavirus has posed unique challenges. This is the definition of “turbulent times” and it is the role of the trustee and family advisors to be the steady hands at the wheel during uncertain periods. This is a time to explore what you can control. There may be opportunities to make the best of a challenging situation. To that end, we encourage you to confer with your estate planning counsel and investment advisors to determine if these opportunities or suggestions are a fit for your family:

  1. Estate plan review: Review the overall intent and structure of your estate plan. Many will discover that their estate plan is outdated and may benefit from a fresh look and updating. (Click here for our Estate Review Checklist.)
  2. Estate tax exemptions: Consider transferring wealth now to benefit from currently depressed asset prices. This is an especially compelling time for estate planning with reduced valuations and generationally low interest rates.  
  3. Charitable contributions: Evaluate whether to make family foundation, donor advised fund or checkbook gifts ahead of schedule. Organizations need your support now more than ever. Consider the timing of any anticipated gifts to help the causes you care about survive and thrive through this crisis. 
  4. Letter of wishes: Take this opportunity to draft a letter of wishes to your trustee and/or heirs to provide insight and guidance pertaining to your estate planning documents. (Click here for our Guide to Writing a Letter of Wishes.)
  5. Trust distribution adjustments: Proactively review trust distributions with your trustee and investment advisors and adjust appropriately, based on changed personal needs and current market and portfolio conditions.

Your Pendleton Square team is here to assist you in any way during these times. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your trust officer or relationship manager with any questions or requests.

Stay safe,
The Pendleton Square Team