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Helping Clients Bring Their Legacies to Life

Helping Clients Bring Their Legacies to Life

adrianGet to know Adrian Snyder, Vice President, Trust Officer

Adrian gives insight into the world of trusts, and the importance of staying connected with clients and colleagues during a pandemic.


1. How would you describe your job/role to someone outside of our industry?

As a trust officer, my role focuses on managing daily finances and assets on behalf of our clients at two points in time: during any period of disability, and after a client passes away. A client engages our services by naming D.A. Davidson Trust in their will or trust. We serve on behalf of clients as an objective and professional trustee. For a client who becomes disabled, our team manages his or her everyday finances. This is important because if you take a moment and think about all the tasks involved in keeping your financial life in good shape — paying bills, investing, managing a retirement account, maintaining a home, rental properties, insurance coverage, taxes — the list grows quickly. When a client passes away, our team pays final bills, completes tax returns and distributes remaining assets to the persons listed in the client’s will or trust. For some clients, we may continue to manage trust assets for the benefit of a young child or family member with special needs. In essence, we are there for our clients when they need support to manage their finances.

2. Why should someone consider establishing a trust?

A trust is the most efficient way to transfer assets to the people and causes you care about. A common misperception is that trusts are solely for the wealthy. Trusts are for anyone who wants a flexible, lower-cost way to handle their finances if they are disabled or after their death. In contrast to a will, a trust simplifies your estate plan by allowing you, in a single document, to name the person you want to manage your assets, provide instructions on how to manage your finances during any time of disability, and designate the people or organizations to receive your assets after your death. If you have a will instead of a trust, there will be additional time and expense required for the probate process. The probate process is the court process required for all wills. And lastly, a trust keeps your financial and family matters private. The probate process required for wills is generally part of the public record for all to see.

3. How has the pandemic affected your work in an industry and company that focus on personalized service?

The nature of my work as a trust officer often involves clients who are aging and in poor health. To stay safe, our clients were among the first affected by the stay-at-home requirements and will be the last affected. Many of these clients choose D.A. Davidson Trust because they do not have family nearby. Consequently, it is even more important that we find creative ways to stay in touch. Market updates and assurances about their portfolio are a given. Handwritten notes or sending flowers are great ways to connect during this time of social distance. The challenge to stay connected with clients has created a new way of thinking that I plan to continue once the restrictions are lifted.

4. What is the most fulfilling part of your work?

We work with families who are dealing with the failing health of a loved one. They are trying to navigate the emotional, health, legal and financial issues related to aging and declining abilities. We are able to use our skills and resources to support them by providing a roadmap for what needs to be done and how they will get there. It is fulfilling to provide clarity at a time that can be very confusing for many families.

5. What book is currently on your nightstand?

“The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters” by Priya Parker. I began reading this before stay-at-home orders left us unable to gather anywhere other than at home. It has taken on even more significance as we begin reopening our office and consider the physical aspects of gathering. As professionals, we spend a great deal of time in meetings with clients, co-workers, and centers of influence. In my experience, meetings can fall into familiar routines that leave participants minimally engaged. “The Art of Gathering” is giving me a better understanding of what does and does not work to make meetings more meaningful and impactful. As a starting point, she asks that we spend time thinking about the meeting’s purpose and let that guide the structure and content. Just that one suggestion has been very helpful. I look forward to finishing the book and reimagining my gatherings!

6. Which living person do you most admire?

My mother, Hallie. Somehow, she survived raising eight children (including seven boys) and kept not only her sanity, but also her ability to work hard, incorporate faith into daily life, and see the opportunity in all situations. My hope is to live life with the same determination and grit.

7. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

The Oregon coast with my family. For us, there is something magical about the sand, waves and rugged coastline that makes time stand still, lets the concerns at home melt away, and enjoy the moment together. It may not always feel like perfection  mdash; grumpy kids trapped in a car, trying to agree on where to eat for dinner, cleaning sand out of everything — but it certainly feels like happiness.

D.A. Davidson & Co. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser that does not provide tax or legal advice. Information contained herein has been obtained by sources we consider reliable, but is not guaranteed and we are not soliciting any action based upon it. Any opinions expressed are based on our interpretation of the data available to us at the time of the original article. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Copyright D.A. Davidson & Co., 2020. All rights reserved. Member SIPC.