The special assets team at Cumberland Trust, led by Dayton Hale and April Drennan, harnesses their collective expertise in all matters of unique, illiquid and hard-to-value assets held in trust. In this installment of the Trusted Ideas blog, the special assets team breaks down what is involved in maintaining trust-owned residential real estate, which represents a large portion of the assets under administration at Cumberland.
One of the most common special assets held in trust is the beneficiary-occupied home. Our department, along with trust administrators, works with families to ensure that these homes are optimally managed, maintained and insured. In keeping with Cumberland’s unique directed platform, when possible, the beneficiaries can appoint a “Family Property Manager” for each home to communicate with the trust officer regarding day-to-day upkeep and maintenance issues, as well as to inform us of larger problems or issues that might occur.
Whether or not there is a family property manager appointed, Cumberland’s special assets team is responsible for numerous activities related to trust-owned homes:
- Insurance – Cumberland maintains a robust master insurance policy for trust-owned homes that includes full replacement value, flood coverage and $11 million in liability coverage. We handle the administration of these policies and review them annually for changes.
- Maintenance and Repairs – Cumberland has developed relationships with nationwide vendors that specialize in the maintenance of our trust-owned homes. Many times, through these networks, a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor can be on site within 24 hours (sooner for emergency situations).
- Property Taxes – Cumberland coordinates the payment of property taxes for city, county and school district payments, which can vary considerably. We have systems in place to ensure timely payments.
- Purchases and Sales – When, for various reasons, a client’s trust-owned home is no longer meeting their needs, Cumberland’s special assets team will coordinate sales and purchases. Our streamlined, comprehensive process helps clients receive competitive prices from a home sale, and value in a home purchase.
- Appraisals and Inspections – Our team coordinates regular inspections and appraisals of properties to determine any changes in market value or condition of the homes.
- Special Needs Focus – One of Cumberland Trust’s many strengths is in the administration of special needs and distinctive care trusts. The care and maintenance of homes in these special trusts play a large role in what we do.
In addition to beneficiary occupied homes, we also handle these responsibilities for other trust owned real estate, which could include vacation homes and rental properties. Cumberland Trust’s special assets and administration teams can help you navigate the world of beneficiary-occupied real estate and all that it encompasses. In future blog posts we will discuss additional unique assets including closely held businesses, mineral oil & gas, timber, farmland and commercial real estate.
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