Stewardship in Action Program
The Stewardship in Action Program is an excellent onramp for beneficiaries to learn more about fiduciary concepts and the role of a trust. This comprehensive coursework is designed for those who are new to learning about trusts, the role of a beneficiary, and the fiduciary care of a trustee. This program explores the relationship between a beneficiary and a trustee and how it evolves over time. There are interactive case studies, podcasts, exercises, and more to bring this content to life.
This program is comprised of nine introductory courses and focuses on the concept of stewardship, the factors that erode wealth over generations, the roles, and responsibilities of a beneficiary and trustees.
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- Videos, quizzes and interactive content designed for a proven learning experience
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This program is ideal for those recently coming of age, those who are learning more about the family’s estate plan and intentions, and/or those who are ready to have beginning conversations on key principles around stewardship. Adults who may have little or no understanding of the family wealth will find this learning program a useful introduction to key stewardship concepts that are universal to beneficiaries in North America to those residing internationally. The courses are delivered in English, and there is no assumption that a beneficiary has knowledge about the family’s wealth or trust(s).
The learner will benefit from the applied nature of the content to start and enhance their relationship with the trustee. The courses provide guidance to beneficiaries about their role and responsibilities as well as clarifies that of the trustee. A deeper look at the evolving relationship of beneficiaries and trustees is explored, with suggested exercises and activities to foster the trustee/beneficiary relationship. Learning resources include activities, podcasts, articles, books, and learning case studies. Learners can test their knowledge at the end of each course.
Outline of Lessons
The Stewardship course introduces the concept of stewardship and the role that stewarding principles play in beneficiary’s lives. Students explore values in terms of how they relate to stewardship and being a beneficiary.
Beneficiary Fundamentals - Course 1
Beneficiary Fundamentals Course 1 introduces the four “M’s” that inspire beneficiary stewardship. The course reviews important stewardship concepts when it comes to beneficial ownership around
- mentoring, and
Beneficiary Fundamentals - Course 2
Beneficiary Fundamentals Course 2 focuses on beneficiary and trustee relationships, including how the relationship evolves over time from the beneficiary’s childhood to adulthood. The types and nature of the fiduciary relationship are also explored. At the end of the course, learning checks challenge the student on their knowledge gained of the trustee/beneficiary relationship.
Beneficiary Fundamentals - Course 3
Beneficiary Fundamentals Course 3 focuses on the core responsibilities of a beneficiary, exploring how this role is unique, the special characteristics, and the best practices of a successful beneficiary. The course then expands on the important duties of the beneficiary including education and empowerment, monitoring and management, and planning.
Beneficiary Fundamentals - Course 4
Beneficiary Fundamentals Course 4 shares a fictionalized, anonymized case study that illustrates the relationship between trustees and their beneficiaries. The case provides insights about the beneficiary and trustee relationship and focuses on education and empowerment.
Trustee Basics - Course 1
Trustee Basics Course 1 introduces the main parties to the trust – the grantor, the beneficiary, and the trustee. Additional parties to the trust are introduced, such as advisors with specific oversight functions that may be required over several generations and common types of trustees and beneficiaries. The course concludes with applied learning and a helpful resource and concise summary of the trust concept, key terms, responsibilities, and duties of a trustee and beneficiary.
Trustee Basics - Course 2
Trustee Basics Course 2 focuses on the core responsibilities and primary duties of the trustee. Four primary oversight areas of the trustee are explored including:
- administration and monitoring of the trust,
- investment oversight,
- distribution authority,
- education and empowerment of the beneficiary, and
- planning with respect to the beneficiary’s trust.
Trustee Basics - Course 3
Trustee Basics Course 3 focuses on the various ‘forms’ that the trustee can take, specifically those categorized as individual trustees and as institutional trustees, and their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, institutional fiduciaries, commercial trust companies, and private trust companies (PTC) and setting up a PTC are explored. The course also discusses the purpose and role of co-trustees.
Trustee Basics - Course 4
Trustee Basics Course 4 provides further guidance on various approaches to identifying individual and corporate trustees. Steps are discussed regarding the process of sourcing trustee candidates, including writing a job description, vetting, interviewing, and prioritizing the best candidates. This course also shares insights regarding trustee compensation and effective ways to transition trustee duties to a successor.
- What key criteria is important to identify when you need to fill particular trustee positions?
- How do you craft the position description and set the expectation for the type of trustee you hope to attract?
- Where do you find good trustee candidates?
- How do you set them up for success once selected?