From Will Bonner – Strategic Review (United States) –
Shortly after her grandfather’s death, Heather learned that she was the sole beneficiary of a substantial trust. She became riled up as she read her trust agreement for the first time. A bright, well-educated twenty-six-yearold, Heather’s anger was immediately triggered by the impersonal language of the document and what sounded like way too much control given to the trustee. The trust had been set up by her grandfather who had outlived her father by several years. Both men had been very controlling and uncompromising.
After an initial five-minute phone call with her trustee to schedule their first meeting, Heather was even more upset. The trustee sounded just like her father: cold, uncaring, and rigid. During that first phone call, Heather did not have an opportunity to introduce herself very well. She only had a chance to tell her trustee that she would like to have some input into how her trust was invested, and she shared with him that she believed in green companies.
Her trustee responded crisply that it was his job to manage the investments and he would invest according to his own expertise, with no suggestions from her. The hairs on the back of Heather’s neck went up. To provide her with some authority and to even out the power balance, she immediately decided to take her attorney to her first face-to-face meeting with the trustee.
Heather’s trust was a well-written document. But it included nothing to indicate that it had been written specifically with Heather in mind. There was no wording to show that her grandfather cared about his granddaughter’s life.