What My Friend Lee Taught Me About Checkbook Control

The other day I was talking to my friend, Lee Hoffman, of Planned Giving Design Center, and said I was about to launch my course called The IRA Checkbook Control Trust: A Step-by-Step Guide. Lee’s site (https://www.pgdc.com/) is a publisher of Planned Giving news and materials, especially for financial advisors.  When I told him about this course, he asked,

“What is Checkbook Control?”

That stopped me for a moment, and I replied,

“You know, you start with a Self-directed IRA, and then set up an entity, such as a trust or an LLC, or even a corporation or limited partnership.  You submit a request to transfer money to it to your Self-directed IRA Custodian.  The custodian reviews your request.  Once you have your entity funded, now you are on your own to choose your own investments for your IRA and are not limited to other custodians’ limitations on investment choices."

After my brief explanation, I paused for a moment and asked him,

“Do you really not know what a Self-directed IRA Checkbook Control entity is?”

He was baiting me, like a good marketing professional would!  Of course, he knew.  His message to me was not to forget that folks need to start at square one when they are jumping into a new topic. 

He’s right.  And the jumping-off point for anyone who wants to use a Checkbook Control entity to make his or her own choices in IRA or 401(k) investing is to begin with carefully choosing a custodian qualified to handle Checkbook Control entities.  It is not a one-size-fits-all. 

How do you do that?  I have prepared for you a series of questions to ask yourself, and then another series of questions to ask a custodian, interview style.  Ask several custodians who say they are qualified to be Self-directed IRA custodians.  When you are satisfied with a custodian’s responses, you have found your match with whom you will work comfortably for many years.

This report is free for you.  Two sets of questions and a spreadsheet to put your answers on for efficient comparison.