All About Estates

Reflections on my debut year in Estate and Trust Administration

This blog was written by Collia Barnaby

After four years as a Financial Advisor, a role that I was very passionate about, in 2018 I made the transition, to work in the Estate and Trust Department.  I would never have imagined how interesting this role can be and what a rewarding feeling as I mature in my new career!

Exploring my new found love in Estate and Trust Management can be likened to reading or writing a novel. As I work on each administration, it reveals the many characters, or should I say beneficiaries of the will where the testator has the final say. This work of art takes our researches across many countries and even continents, tracing the history and family lineages as far back as three generations, to find beneficiaries named in wills dating back to the 1960s. Each search reveals a new chapter and a whole new world of predecessors and their antiquity. This new role brings with it the gratifying feeling of trust. We are carrying out the wishes of the testator with integrity and great honor in leaving no stone unturned.

In my previous role I often spoke with clients about protecting and transferring their legacy. It was this passion that stimulated my interest to apply to work in this area. Now I am involved in their stories of unfolding the roots of these families’ wealth that they have built and protected, and to see how their legacies are impacting the lives of generations many years later.

The most exciting part about a new “fall-in” or account, is to discover all the little treasures that you will now be entrusted with to safeguard and ensure it gets to its correct new owner. In some cases, we find items such as postcards dating back thirty years, coin collections, four generations of family heirlooms; the thought of all the family history that was passed down each time is simply mind blowing.

For those looking to embark on a career in Estate and Trust Administration, I would say it is a very intriguing and interesting role. It involves extensive areas of law which is not only limited to estate administration. The potential exists to develop a greater appreciation for history, as you research the value of the items you find in the homes of clients. Fulfilling the last wishes of a client brings with it a feeling of indescribable satisfaction that you will understand only when in the role. In my role as an Estate & Trust Administrator, I have developed a strong sense of pride as I am a part of the team that thousands of families entrust to carry out their final wishes. It is for these stated reasons I would encourage you to follow your passion if you’ve seriously considered this career.

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1 Comment

  1. Cathy Williams

    December 3, 2020 - 3:42 pm

    I have just started taking on more final and estate tax returns, from a local law firm. I too find it very rewarding, helping families in a difficult time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

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