Understanding High Net Worth (HNW) Reporting Around Alternative Investments

High Net Worth (HNW) individuals often seek to diversify their investment portfolios beyond traditional assets like stocks and bonds. Alternative investments have gained popularity among this demographic due to their potential for higher returns and portfolio diversification. However, understanding the reporting requirements for alternative investments is crucial for both investors and financial professionals to ensure compliance and transparency. This article explores the nuances of HNW reporting, types of alternative investments, and the associated reporting requirements.

Alternative investments encompass a diverse range of assets beyond traditional stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. Common types of alternative investments include private equity, hedge funds, real estate, collectibles, commodities, and venture capital. While these investments offer the potential for higher returns, they also introduce complexities in reporting and valuation.

  • Private Equity: Private equity investments involve acquiring ownership stakes in privately-held companies. Reporting requirements for private equity investments may include periodic financial statements, valuations, and disclosures of investment strategies. Additionally, investors must adhere to regulatory guidelines governing private placements and investor accreditation.
  • Hedge Funds: Hedge funds employ various investment strategies, including long-short equity, arbitrage, and derivatives trading. Reporting requirements for hedge fund investments often involve disclosing performance metrics, risk profiles, and fund expenses. Investors may also need to report their hedge fund holdings for regulatory compliance and tax purposes.
  • Real Estate: Real estate investments encompass residential, commercial, and industrial properties, as well as real estate investment trusts (REITs). Reporting requirements for real estate investments may include property appraisals, rental income statements, and depreciation schedules. Investors must also comply with tax regulations governing capital gains, rental income, and property deductions.

Reporting on HNW statements requires meticulous attention to detail and adherence to regulatory standards. It is crucial to accurately compile financial information, including the proper booking of alternative investments, to reflect the comprehensive position of the individual and their overall portfolio. Each type of alternative investment may require a different accounting treatment based on its characteristics and regulatory requirements. It is essential to stay updated on accounting standards and consult with professionals to ensure compliance and transparency in booking alternative investments.

Additionally, HNW statements should provide a breakdown of asset allocation across various investment categories, including alternative investments, to offer a holistic view of the portfolio’s composition. Compliance with reporting standards ensures consistency and comparability. Regular reviews and audits by qualified professionals help maintain the integrity of HNW statements and instill confidence among stakeholders including investors, regulatory authorities, and financial institutions. Overall, thorough reporting practices facilitate effective wealth management and decision-making for HNWI and their advisors.

Consolidating tracking of alternative investments involves implementing a robust system to monitor and manage diverse asset classes effectively. One approach is to utilize investment management software that integrates data from various sources, including private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate holdings, and commodities. This centralized platform enables investors to access real-time information on portfolio performance, risk exposure, and liquidity.

  • Benefits of Consolidating Tracking
    • Enhanced visibility into asset allocation
    • Streamlined reporting processes
    • Improved decision-making.
  • Challenges That May Arise
    • Limited transparency
    • Illiquidity, and
    • Valuation discrepancies

With proper tools and expertise, consolidating tracking of alternative investments can optimize portfolio management and maximize returns while mitigating risks associated with these non-traditional asset classes.

In conclusion, comprehending HNW reporting concerning alternative investments is indispensable for both investors and financial professionals navigating the complex landscape of wealth management. By accurately documenting these investments and integrating them into comprehensive financial statements, HNWI can gain clarity on their portfolio composition, risk exposure, and performance. With a steadfast commitment to transparency, diligence, and expertise, HNW investors can effectively harness the potential of alternative investments to achieve their financial objectives in today’s dynamic investment landscape.

Take the Next Step Towards Financial Ease and Clarity: Experience the benefits of secure and streamlined financial management. Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment services can enhance accuracy, save time, simplify record-keeping, and reduce stress. Your peace of mind is our priority.

Expense Tracking for Wealthy Individuals: Tools and Strategies for Comprehensive Financial Oversight

For high-net-worth individuals, managing finances extends beyond simply tracking income and expenses. It’s about gaining comprehensive oversight of a complex financial landscape that may include investments, trusts, real estate, and more. In this context, meticulous expense tracking becomes an essential tool for informed decision-making, optimizing wealth preservation, and achieving financial goals.


Let’s start with the basics. Why track expenses?


Expense tracking for wealthy individuals offers several unique advantages:


  • Identify spending patterns. Track where your money goes, from regular bills to occasional indulgences. This reveals areas for potential cost-cutting or strategic reallocation of funds.
  • Monitor asset performance. Track the specific expenses related to various assets like vacation homes, yachts, or art collections.
  • Inform investment decisions. Understanding spending habits can help to guide investment strategies. If you know how – and how much – is being spent, you can better determine the types of investments you should be making.
  • Catch mistakes before they happen. With exact and itemized expenses, it’s easy to spot something that doesn’t look right.
  • Ensure tax compliance. Accurate expense records are crucial for tax preparation and audits, especially for charitable giving. When expense tracking is set up properly it can help save both time and money with tax preparation.
  • Achieve financial goals. Tracking expenses against set goals, like saving for a second home or philanthropy, keeps you on track.


There are also a few effective expense tracking strategies that we suggest to all our high-net-worth clients.


  • Set clear goals. Define your financial objectives and tailor your expense tracking to monitor progress towards them.
  • Choose the right tools. Select a tool that aligns with your needs, preferences, and level of financial complexity. For example, the Plumb Bill Pay app is a great tool for providing clarity into finances.
  • Categorize meticulously. Create custom categories to accurately reflect your spending patterns and identify areas for improvement. At Plumb, we create the categories that best suit our clients’ needs so they can see their expenses exactly how they want to see them.
  • Review regularly. Schedule regular time to analyze your spending data and identify trends or areas for adjustments. Plumb provides customized reporting to our clients, as frequently as they need, with as much detail as they want.
  • Seek professional guidance. Consult a financial advisor or wealth manager for personalized recommendations and strategies, and seek outsourced bill payment and accounting support – like the experts at Plumb – to ensure effective management of your expenses.


Remember, expense tracking is about gaining valuable insights into your financial behavior, making informed decisions, and ultimately, achieving your long-term financial goals. By embracing effective tracking strategies and utilizing the right tools, wealthy individuals can transform expense management from a chore into a powerful tool for financial empowerment.


Take the Next Step Towards Financial Ease and Clarity: Experience the benefits of secure and streamlined expense management. Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment services can enhance accuracy, save time, simplify record-keeping, and reduce stress, and fortify the security of your financial transactions. Your peace of mind is our priority.

Customized Expense Categories for HNWI: Tailoring Reports to Individual Financial Goals

Beyond Budgeting: How Personalized Expense Categories Empower HNWI Clients

While expense categories are essential for any budget, for high-net-worth individuals with intricate financial lives, customization becomes vital.

At Plumb we understand the unique needs of our high-net-worth clients. We believe that tailored categories can unlock granular tracking, insightful decision-making, and refined budget planning. However, we’ve also seen where excessive detail can have a downside. Too many categories, lacking meaningful insights or tracking benefits, can risk becoming an overwhelming burden.

In this brief article we outline why expense categories matter, the benefits of these categories, and some best practices — and challenges — of implementation.


Importance of Expense Categories

  • Track spending: Organizing expenses into different expense categories helps HNWI clients with multiple properties and complex finances track where their money goes.
  • Customization: With QuickBooks class tracking, the clients can see their expenses broken out in whatever way they want and need to see it. This granular categorization might include categories for different properties, children’s school tuition, credit card purchases, country club expenses, or it can be as detailed as individual doctor fees and specific retail stores.
  • Decision-making: Detailed reports based on these customized categories empower clients to make informed financial decisions.


Benefits for HNWI Clients

  • Detailed insights: Drilling down into specific expense categories allows for better budget planning and cost control.
  • Control over finances: Clients can see where their money is going and take control of their spending habits.
  • Improved reporting: Customized categories enable clear and accurate financial reports for better analysis. At Plumb, with customized expense categories in place for all clients, we issue reports efficiently and seamlessly – whether they are shared regularly or based on an ad hoc request.


Implementation Best Practices and Challenges

  • Standardized Chart of Accounts: This helps maintain consistency across clients while still allowing for customization based on what the client needs.
  • Data overload: Highly customized categories can lead to complex data and reporting challenges. If there’s no benefit to the client, and it’s getting in the way of providing updated and accurate data, we will make the recommendation to the client for a better approach.
  • Matching and accuracy: Ensuring accurate data capture and categorization can be complex with many details. This is where Plumb shines. Our expert bill pay team has the tools and experience to create timely, accurate, and meaningful reports for our clients – regardless of the complexity of the expense categories.


With our decades of experience managing the bill payment and expenses of our high-net-worth clients, we understand the best practices of creating customized expense categories: how to create them, how to utilize them to drill down to important information, and how to create valuable and insightful reports.


Take the Next Step Towards Financial Ease and Clarity: Experience the benefits of secure and streamlined financial management. Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment services can enhance accuracy, save time, simplify record-keeping, reduce stress, and fortify the security of your financial transactions. Your peace of mind is our priority.

Plumb Bill Pay + Sage Intacct Use Cases for Multiple Real Estate Holdings

Many of Plumb’s high-net-worth clients manage and own multiple real estate investments, and we are experts at assisting them with their bill pay and accounting needs.

How do we do this?

  • Property Management:  We understand how pivotal it is to record and track complex financial transactions related to property management.
  • Financial Consolidation and Reporting: We provide crucial consolidated, accurate, and timely reporting needed for clear visibility into each property and overall portfolio.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: We create budgets and forecasts that allow our clients to make more strategic decisions.

Plumb works with HNWI clients with multiple real estate holdings.

We have decades of experience helping high-net-worth-individuals manage the accounting of their real estate holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

Advanced Threat Detection for High-Net-Worth Clients: A Proactive Approach

High-net-worth clients (HNWIs) possess highly sensitive financial information and assets, making them attractive and common targets for cyberattacks – and these attacks are only becoming more advanced and sophisticated. Strong digital security is crucial to protect their data and privacy.

Plumb has decades of experience protecting the security and privacy of our high-net-worth clients. In this document, we review the methods and processes Plumb has put in place to reduce risk and ensure data protection in a world where cyber threats are increasing and continually evolving. We also include important recommendations and best practices which should be employed to protect high-net-worth clients.

Rising Sophistication of Threats

Implementing basic security practices is effective in reducing risk and securing data; however, due to ever evolving cyber threats and the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI), it is critical to use advanced tools and methods to provide additional protection. Early phishing attacks were relatively easy to identify:

  • Obvious subject lines like, “You’ve won a prize” or “update your password” were common.
  • Poor grammar and misspelled words.
  • Generic salutation/introduction.
  • Request for immediate or urgent response.

However, the sophistication of phishing email attacks and campaigns have greatly increased with new technologies and AI. Today, most people can be easily tricked into opening and acting upon phishing emails because the messages appear to be authentic and legitimate. Due to the increased sophistication, it is important to always abide by the following guidelines when opening/processing e-mail:

  • Always be alert when reviewing e-mail.
  • Verify the sender’s e-mail address.
  • Be suspicious of messages that are demanding an urgent response.
  • Never click on embedded links.

Forward suspicious messages (as an attachment) to your IT team for analysis. New attacks exploit vulnerabilities in outdated technologies and procedures, which is why it’s more important than ever to update security platforms and protocols – and to stay vigilant.

Practical Security Measures

Training Staff

Providing staff with regularly scheduled Information Security (IS) training is crucial in the protection against cyber threats and data compromises. These training sessions need to be current, providing members with information on the latest threats and security techniques and methods to avoid attacks. The training enhances awareness, promotes safe and secure behaviors, and equips members with the knowledge to both identify and mitigate security risks.  Frontline staff and their IT team must work closely together to minimize risk and maximize data protection.

Secure Password Management

Utilizing online password storage platforms like Keeper, which employ zero-knowledge encryption and multi-factor authentication (MFA), protects login credentials and other sensitive information. These secure online tools allow users to use unique, highly complex passwords which cannot be easily memorized. Zero-knowledge encryption protects data with a master password which is known and maintained by the end-user alone. Neither the admin nor the platform developer has access to the user’s password or data. This type of encryption provides numerous benefits: reduces risks from data breaches, insider threats, or unethical practices; even if a service is hacked, your encrypted data remains secure, and it helps meet industry standards related to strict data privacy regulations.

Advanced Threat Detection

Advanced threat detection goes beyond basic antivirus software by using smarter tools and techniques to identify and stop sophisticated cyberattacks before they cause harm. Utilizing cloud-based firewalls with intrusion detection systems allows early identification of unauthorized access attempts, password guessing, and port scans.

Secure Cloud Migration

Shifting from a private cloud to a well-established platform like SharePoint OneDrive simplifies access while offering robust security features and data collaboration options.

Layered Security Solutions

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Mandatory MFA adds an extra layer of protection beyond basic user credentials like usernames and passwords. A properly configured MFA reduces fraudulent sign-ins, system compromises, and account takeovers by 99%. MFA is a powerful tool that strengthens security and fosters trust in the digital world. It is a simple but effective way to significantly enhance online security and protect valuable information.

Microsoft Security Suite

Leveraging Microsoft Defender for endpoint and server protection, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for sensitive information detection, and email encryption ensures comprehensive security of emails and data. Microsoft Defender scans all incoming messages and quarantines threats before they reach the user’s computer. The individual computers include their own anti-malware scanners for additional protection.

Plumb utilizes Data Loss Prevention to scan outgoing emails for sensitive information like social security numbers or wire transfer instruction. Messages which contain sensitive information are returned to the sender with instructions on how to enforce message encryption.

Least Privilege Access Control

Granting access to systems and data on a “need-to-know” basis minimizes potential exposure and strengthens overall security posture. At Plumb we have implemented processes with clearly defined separation of duties in the requesting, configuration, and verification of permissions.  This process includes a verification step where permissions are audited and verified on a periodic basis, ensuring that user’s access is restricted to a “need-to-know” basis.

By implementing both practical and layered security measures, by staying on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity, and through consistent updating and auditing of the systems and procedures in place, team members working with HNWI clients are reducing the risk of cyberattacks and safeguarding our clients’ valuable information in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Discover the Plumb Advantage: Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to explore how Plumb’s expertise and state-of-the-art security and privacy protocols can deliver peace of mind. Let us tailor solutions to meet your unique financial goals, providing the specialized attention your wealth deserves.

Plumb Bill Pay + Sage Intacct Use Cases for Family Offices

Plumb provides financial clarity and peace of mind to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients and the family offices that manage their wealth.

We know the following is true:

  • Consolidated financial reporting is crucial for family offices managing the wealth of multiple family members or multiple generations of a family.
  • Automated accounting processes for those with complex financial transactions provides efficiency and transparency.
  • Compliance and audit support for family offices is critical.

Plumb helps Family Offices with accounting needs.

We have decades of experience helping family offices manage their accounting needs. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

Family Office Services Outsourcing: The Ultimate Audit Checklist

Finding the right outsourced family office service provider can be challenging enough, but once that decision is made, how do you know if you’ve made the right choice? And what steps can you take to ensure that your needs and goals are being met?

At Plumb we pride ourselves on providing clarity in accounting and stewardship in service for our high-net-worth bill pay and accounting clients (and their trusted advisors). This guides everything we do – from our seamless client onboarding process to our ongoing check-ins and accurate, customized reporting.

Here we take you through our top 5 recommendations for monitoring the effectiveness of your outsourced family office bill pay and accounting provider. Use this simple checklist to ensure that you are getting the service you need from your outsourced firm.

  1. Clarity

Working with an outsourced service – regardless of what that service is – should provide you with clarity. When it comes to bill pay and accounting, clarity is paramount. But what do we mean by clarity? It’s not just about having organized spreadsheets and balanced books. It’s about seeing the story behind the numbers: understanding where your money comes from, where it goes, and why. This clarity will help pave the way for successful wealth management and maintenance.

  1. Communication

A key component to any solid and productive relationship is communication. This is no different when thinking about your relationship with your outsourced service providers. Do you feel like you are kept up to date on everything you need to know about? Are your emails and calls responded to with urgency? Does the team working with you understand your goals, your needs, and your expectations? Are the updates and reports they provide clear and well-explained? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you should address this with your outsourced firm to see what can be adjusted.

  1. Access

How easy is it for you to get the data and information that you need? Does your outsourced service provider have an app (like the Plumb proprietary bill pay app) that you can access anytime, from anywhere? What about customer support access? How much access do you have to the team handling your account?

  1. Comprehension

Do you feel that you understand what this outsourced service provider is responsible for, as well as any data and information that they are sharing with you? Are they sending updated and timely reports? Better yet, do you have access to a digital dashboard where you can view the data you need, in the way you want to view it?

  1. Peace of Mind

At the end of the day, are you able to relax and rest easy knowing that your bill pay and accounting needs are being met? That you don’t have to worry about keeping track of due dates and cash flow because your outsourced team is on top of it? The ultimate goal for any outsourced service provider is to alleviate the daily stress and worry their clients face. At Plumb, we want our clients to focus on the things in life they enjoy and love – and to leave the bill pay and accounting details up to us. We’ve got it covered.

Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to explore how Plumb’s expertise can elevate your bill pay and accounting experience. Let us tailor solutions to meet your unique financial goals, providing the specialized attention your wealth deserves.

Illuminating the Accounting of Art, Collectibles, and Luxury Assets

There are people who invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or real estate; and then there are people who invest in more unique assets. These assets can range from photographs and paintings to jewelry and classic cars. More often than not, this is born out of a true love for these items. That they may hold extraordinarily high values is just the cherry on top.

With Plumb’s decades of experience helping high-net-worth clients and their trusted advisors with their bill pay and accounting needs, we are very familiar with the best practices of the reporting and accounting requirements related to these special assets.

Here are some of the ways we work with clients and their luxury assets:

Art or Car Collections

  • It is recommended that clients that have art or classic car collections should itemize every piece or vehicle in the collection.
  • These items may also be held in separate entities – especially if clients do a lot of buying and selling. We may recommend the use of Sage Intacct to make use of their dimensions for ease of tracking. Otherwise, we can utilize subaccounts in QuickBooks.
  • If a client loans a piece or a collection to a museum, a loan agreement is needed, and we will help coordinate with the insurance company. The museum is responsible for the insurance of the piece(s) while it’s in their possession, and when returned, the insurance again needs to be updated.
  • If an appraisal is conducted, we will coordinate with the appraiser to receive the report on both the inventory and assigned values.


  • Jewelry is not always itemized since most clients have a rider on their home policy up to a certain amount that can cover this type of asset. However, we recommend itemizing if clients have more valuable jewels or watches.
  • As with art or car collections, if the client requests an appraisal, we’ll receive the report directly from the appraiser.

At the end of the day, our goal is to accurately itemize these unique, luxury assets for insurance purposes, and they are tracked separately for accounting reasons. And our clients usually just want to ensure that they – and their children and grandchildren – can enjoy these magnificent possessions for a long time to come.

Take the Next Step Towards Financial Ease and Clarity: Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment and accounting services can help you accurately itemize and report on your luxury assets. Your peace of mind is our priority.



Unmasking Wire Fraud: Safeguarding High Net Worth Clients with Expert Vigilance

Wire fraud. We hear about it on the news and perhaps from friends or family members who have fallen victim to it, but what exactly is it? And why do high-net-worth individuals need to be especially concerned, and more importantly, how can they be protected?

What is Wire Fraud?

At its most basic level, wire fraud is a criminal offense that involves using some form of electronic communication – like phone calls, emails, or texts – to defraud someone. And it happens more often than you might think. According to the FBI, wire-transfer fraud causes approximately $2 billion in losses annually – and this has only been increasing in recent years.

Different Types of Wire Fraud

There are different types of wire fraud perpetrated by criminals. These include activities such as:

  • Phishing: Imposters send fake emails appearing to be from legitimate entities with the goal of capturing personal or financial information.
  • Identity theft: Criminals steal someone’s social security number or bank account information.
  • Investment scams: Offers of fraudulent investment opportunities are made via email or phone, often with a promise of high returns or guaranteed profits.
  • Business email compromise: Criminals gain access to an employee’s email account and use it to transfer sensitive information or funds to themselves.

Wire Fraud and High-Net-Worth Individuals

HNWI and UHWNI can be especially vulnerable to wire fraud for a few main reasons:

  • Their extreme wealth makes them a target for criminals.
  • The average age of a HNWI living in the United States is between 70 – 74, which is another group widely targeted by criminals.
  • Criminals assume that these people won’t notice or miss if/when funds go missing.

Because of these reasons, providing safe and secure financial services to high-net-worth clients is vitally important. Understanding the warning signs of a wire fraud attempt, and what to do to prevent them, is a key component to ensuring this protection.

{Read more about how we securely handle wire transfers, ACH, and check payments for our high-net-worth clients here.}

Wire Fraud Red Flags

The expert accountants and executives at Plumb are highly educated in how to spot wire fraud, and they undergo monthly training sessions to ensure that they are up to date on any recent wire fraud developments.

Here are some signs that might indicate a wire fraud attempt:

  • An urgent request for funds. This is especially concerning if it comes from a client who doesn’t typically place urgent requests – but any urgent request should be verified and vetted.
  • “No verbal approval required” messaging. This is a definite red flag, especially if the client usually requires verbal approval.
  • Small changes to a known email address. For example, perhaps there’s one letter missing in a name.
  • Request to send to a foreign entity if the client has only ever sent funds domestically.

Our team is trained to look out for patterns, and if a pattern is altered, they pick up the phone to confirm. They are also trained to follow the pre-set guidelines and process in place – regardless of whether the amount is $100 or $1,000,000.

Best Practices for Protecting High Net Worth Clients

Some essential measures Plumb has in place to protect HNWI clients from wire fraud include:

Robust cybersecurity measures

  • Implementing robust firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
  • Regularly updating and patching software and systems.
  • Conducting security audits and risk assessments.
  • Encrypted email and messaging platforms.
  • Multi-factor authentication for sensitive transactions.

Plumb’s strict firewall requires multi-factor authentication and encryption for all wire transfer instructions. Additionally, all new wire instructions must be verbally authenticated to ensure legitimacy.

Ongoing staff education

  • Employee training on identifying and preventing wire fraud.
  • Internal controls and checks/balances among team members.

At Plumb, the training starts from the moment a new junior team member begins their job, and it continues – consistently – from there. We also send members of our team for professional development specifically focused on cyber security and wire fraud so that they have certifications in Wire Transfers and Fraud.

The internal controls we have in place further help to protect our clients and their assets.

We take our role as stewards of our clients seriously, and we are proud of our impressive cybersecurity measures and education.

Take the Next Step Towards Safe and Secure Financial Services: Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment services can enhance accuracy, save time, simplify record-keeping, reduce stress, and fortify the security of your financial transactions. Your peace of mind is our priority.

3 Keys to Trust Accounting and Reporting

Managing the accounting of trusts can be complex. There are a variety of ways in which trusts can be established, and the rules and regulations of trust accounting vary by state. To simplify, trust accounting is essentially the tracking and bookkeeping of cash in various accounts. Anneke Stender, the EVP of Plumb Bill Pay and Family Office Accounting, likens it to one big bank reconciliation.

  1. Background on the Basics of Trust Accounts

An account in trust (or trust account) refers to any type of financial account that is opened by an individual and managed by a designated trustee for the benefit of a third party per agreed-upon terms.

Trust assets are generally either “principal” or “income” where the principal is the assets owned by the trust, and the income is what is earned by those assets. Assets in a trust can be anything from cash, stocks, bonds, privately held companies to real estate holdings.

  1. Trust Accounting Main Concerns

It is imperative that the allocation of income versus principal is both accurate and accurately reported to maintain the integrity of the trust. The beneficiaries of the trust need to know what funds were allocated and to whom. This helps to ensure that the beneficiaries receive their fair share of the allocation, and it also reduces the risk of disputes.

To further eliminate the likelihood of arguments or disagreements over trust allocations, many trust reports will be filed by an attorney with the court.

One other challenge of Trust Accounts is that not all of them are protected from creditors. Typically, an irrevocable trust protects assets from creditors whereas a revocable living trust does not. However, the protection of an irrevocable trust varies depending on the state. It is highly recommended that you reach out to an attorney who is experienced in this field with specific questions about protections.

  1. Benefits of Trust Accounts

There are tremendous benefits to setting up Trust Accounts, and these tend to outweigh any of the downside. Among these benefits are:

  • Asset protection
  • Better control of those assets
  • An equitable division of assets among family members/beneficiaries

Another notable benefit of trust accounts is the avoidance of probate. When assets are held in trust, beneficiaries typically bypass the probate process in the event of the account holder’s death. Additionally, trusts provide a means to reduce or even eliminate substantial estate taxes. By transferring assets into trusts, individuals can effectively decrease their overall taxable estate.

Maintaining a trust is relatively straightforward for both beneficiaries and other involved parties, especially with a knowledgeable team that understands state regulations and the trust’s objectives.

As expert accountants for high-net-worth individuals and families, Plumb has decades of experience preparing the accounting for trusts. This includes:

  • Managing the books on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
  • Working with the trustee in processing payments to vendors and beneficiaries.
  • Allocating income and principal funds.
  • Providing necessary reports for the attorneys, CPAs, trust beneficiaries or the court.
  • Preparation of annual court accountings

There is specialized accounting that is required for trusts, and the rules and regulations vary by state, so it is important to understand the specific requirements of your state.

For those unfamiliar with the specific accounting requirements of trusts, consulting with expert accountants and attorneys who specialize in this area is strongly advised. They can help manage the books, make accurate allocations, and provide the necessary reporting – essentially making the complex straightforward. Whether you are a beneficiary, a trustee, or someone considering setting up a trust, arming yourself with knowledge and a proficient team can help you optimize the advantages that trusts offer.