Have you ever acted as a Trustee?
If you have, you will know what a demanding and unrewarding job it is.
I am a trustee for a Trust and, moreover, the treasurer. This means totting up the income, deducting the allowable expenses, calculating the tax and paying it, and then distributing the remaining income to the beneficiaries.
I think we, the trustees, made a mistake in choosing our bank. You see, at the time we signed up to this account, we had no idea they only issued statements if there had been a payment made from the account. Income received doesn’t count, apparently.
When I came to do the accounts and pay the tax, I had only the last month’s income available to see online, and the last time the trust paid out any expenses was six months ago. I am missing five month’s income. It’s so frustrating, because I had intended to complete the tax return yesterday.
I could, at this point, spend several hours on the phone, waiting to speak to a human, while being told that my call is important to them, and they are experiencing higher than normal call rates. Have you noticed these institutions are always experiencing higher than usual call rates? I could, as an alternative, spend just as long talking to the chat bot.
Or I could do what I did, which was to pay myself a pound and pay it back immediately. This will trigger a statement at the end of the month. I don’t like doing that. Any auditor would query it immediately. Fortunately, there is no auditor, but I don’t like it even so.
The Trust is selling a small piece of land in order to simplify our accounts. We chose the wrong solicitors too. The contract was supposed to be signed by Christmas but there were many mistakes in it. Back it went to the solicitors, who didn’t do anything for weeks. Following an irate phone call, we received the contract again – still with many of the original mistakes. At this point we thought that at least we would have everything sorted by Easter, But no. Our buyers’ solicitor said that getting any response from our solicitors was like shouting into a black hole. He wanted to know if it was us, the Trustees, who were holding things up.
I decided the best way of dealing with the situation was to phone our solicitors, and phone them, and phone them. I phoned every day. I was polite, but firm: we wanted the correct contract sent out and soon. After four days of phone calls, we got the contract with no mistakes, which we signed yesterday.
There are so many cases in life where we can choose to stand on principle, or we can be stoical and jump through the hoops to solve the problem. So long as we are breaking no laws and it’s a minor point of principle, does it matter?
I would rather just get things done.