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Trust Services: Asset Management, Estate Planning


Nate Birkholz
(507) 457-1156

Sara Brandon
(507) 457-1158

Terry Hawkings
(507) 457-1151


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As part of your wealth management strategy, depend on Merchants Trust Services to fill important needs... estate planning, asset management and healthcare planning.

Trust Services are perfect for people who are living alone, want the freedom to travel, want to remain independent, or have special needs.

At Merchants, we offer these services:

Day-to-Day Financial Management
From paying bills, transferring funds, to balancing your checkbook, our team is here to make sure your money is working hard for you.

Healthcare Coordination
We can handle all health-care related financial matters, including the coordination of insurance and Medicare benefits.

Tax Preparation and Filings
We can assume responsibility for filing income tax returns & make sure any estimates get paid on time. We may even find ways to reduce your tax burden.

Asset Management, Investment Services
Our Investment Services professionals will organize your investments into one account and monitor the performance. We make sure our recommendations match your wealth management objectives.

Estate Planning
Anyone who owns property — a home, a car, a bank account, investments, business interests, a retirement plan account, collectibles, personal belongings, etc. — needs estate planning. An estate plan allows you to direct how and to whom your property will be distributed after your death. If you have no estate plan at all, your property could be distributed according to your state’s laws without regard to family needs or your desires. Contact Us for a free Estate Planning Guide.


We Offer Estate Administration

If designated as your Personal Representative, we will settle your estate quickly and efficiently, as we have for thousands of others over the years, saving your spouse and other family members time, money, and stress. We ensure that final bills are paid, proper legal and tax forms are filed and that your assets are distributed, as you desire. You may also designate the Bank as co-Personal Representative or alternate Personal Representative. Advance estate planning is an important part of your wealth management picture that simplifies the process in your family's time of need.


Which type of trust is right for your asset management needs?

Trusts are tools for asset management that extend past your lifetime, and can be an important component of estate planning. Your situation will help to determine which type of trust will be most beneficial for you. Our team will help you make the right decision:

Living Trusts are set up and in effect during your lifetime to provide for your needs. Living Trusts can be either revocable, which means you can terminate the trust at any time, or irrevocable, which means you give up any right of termination. If desired, a Living Trust can preserve family holdings such as a business interest, farm or other real estate.

Trusts Under Will, sometimes called Testamentary Trusts, are designed to reduce the burden many beneficiaries feel, whether the beneficiary is a parent, a spouse, a child, or a grandchild. Many people feel they do not have the time or experience it takes to invest and manage money wisely. Trusts Under Will can be very flexible, and can be changed from time-to-time, as family needs change. Trusts Under Will come into operation only after death.

Charitable Trusts can provide permanent professional management for endowment funds for specific charities or for foundations and are designed to give the customer flexibility in ongoing charitable gifts. Charitable Remainder Trusts are another way to fulfill a promise of a charitable gift, yet retain lifetime income.

Power of Attorney, Guardian or Conservator. You may wish to designate the Bank as Power of Attorney in the event you are unable to manage your financial affairs due to illness. We oftentimes are named by family members through the court system to act as a Guardian or Conservator for another person who did not make prior arrangements. We have many years of experience, and the time and resources necessary, to serve in this important capacity.

If you have any questions, please Contact Us for more assistance.


Who are Trusts for?

People who are Alone
Many of our clients prepare for the possibility of being alone. Often, the surviving spouse is not the one responsible for handling day-to-day financial matters. We work to make sure that all of the personal affairs of the surviving spouse will be handled the way our clients choose. Wealth management planning and estate planning provide security for the surviving spouse.

People Looking for Freedom
If you want the freedom to travel at a moment’s notice, it’s a relief to know that somebody will take care of your finances. Whether you are at home, or halfway around the world, the Trust Specialists at Merchants Bank are prepared to manage your affairs 365 days a year. It's wealth management that's as hands-on as you want it to be.

People wanting to Stay Independent
We have clients who continue to enjoy their independence because they or a family member have turned to us for help. We can help you prepare for the day when it may be appropriate for us to manage your personal financial affairs and perhaps even arrange for nursing care in your home.

People with Special Needs
Every client situation we manage in the Trust department is unique. Our experience allows us to accommodate all situations, including those involving special needs. We often work in partnership with other trusted advisors you may have, such as an attorney or accountant, to give you peace of mind.


Online Trust Account Access, a valuable asset management tool

You can view and download a current review of assets in your trust account along with recent transactions. To sign up for this service, call us at (800) 944-6285 or contact the Trust Department.