When a Trust or Inheritance Comes Your Way…

By Peter Krull

We have had several clients over the past few years who have inherited investments or trusts from parents, grandparents, etc. While this event is typically a bittersweet occurrence, there is often a second level we have to address.

Many of the younger clients inheriting the wealth do not have the same values as their parents or grandparents. And so when they receive inherited assets they often find investments that are not aligned with their values, including fossil-fuel companies, defense contractors and big pharmaceuticals.

What we hear from many new clients is that the financial advisor who had been managing the account previously was not interested in transitioning the account to one with responsible investments. Occasionally this is a difficult situation to resolve – many times the advisor has been a family friend for many years. Sometimes, simple inertia takes over and the account stays where it is for years.

But eventually folks find their way to us. What we do is empower clients to be changemakers and invest with their values. We work with clients to identify those investments that do not represent their interests and use a tax-managed approach to divest and reinvest in more appropriate opportunities.

The truth is that you do not have to settle for investments that keep you up at night. You can change and you can make a difference. Better yet, you can do so and still have competitive returns. All you have to do is ask.

Peter Krull is President & Founder of Krull & Company, a leading socially and environmentally responsible investment management firm based in Asheville, NC.