It was the personal relationship that Equity Trustees had with their cherished client, Muriel that made all the difference once she passed.
In the eyes of Equity Trustees’ National Manager, Teghan Rawson, every client is an individual with a life that should be honoured with person-centred service that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
For Muriel*, a very independent woman who lived on her own in a residential property until she was 103, the provision of personalised service meant all the difference to her life and later, in death.
“Muriel managed all her own affairs and paid her own bills,” Teghan says. “Initially, we assisted her by providing ad hoc advice and investing on her behalf. But as she got older, practical things got a little bit difficult for Muriel.
“As it turned out, a senior manager in our company actually lived up the road from her. He used to pop in to see her after work and help her with odd jobs like getting her keys cut, reading or interpreting letters on her behalf, or taking photocopies of documents when needed.”
It’s these small gestures and the thoughts behind them that made all the difference to Muriel in her last years of life.
“To us, customer service in estate management is not just a matter of going through the motions, calling in the assets and distributing the funds in line with the will,” she said. “We’re here to take care of many other things, whether it’s cleaning out the fridge after a loved one dies or trimming the roses. We really do take care of everything.”
Thanks to the close relationship that Muriel had with Equity Trustees, when she passed away, the team had a very thorough understanding of her financial affairs and wishes.
In Muriel’s will, she left a gift to charity with a request about how the charity should apply the funds.
“In some instances, someone might say ‘I want to leave $20,000 to the local school after I die’. In other instances, their will may state that they want to leave $20,000 to the local school and have the funds allocated to a scholarship under the deceased’s name.”
The specific nature of the charitable request led to Equity Trustees to working with Muriel’s nephew who was fully briefed on the matter. He was aware of the finer points of her intentions.
“We worked closely with her nephew and the charity when making the charitable distribution under the will, to ensure her wishes were carried out appropriately.”
It took the unique skillset of Equity Trustees to navigate the intricacies of Muriel’s gift, and ensure the charity allocated the funds as Muriel specifically intended.
“We have a specialised, market-leading philanthropy team within our business, which has strong relationships with the majority of Australia’s major charities. We work with them on an ongoing basis and use their expertise when it comes to making direct gifts to charities, or establishing perpetual charitable trusts under a will.
“It’s this internal expertise that enables us to carry out people’s charitable wishes so effectively.”
*Name changed to protect privacy