Bruce & Shelly Wilhelm, Denver, CO

See how a CRT rollover helped the Wilhelms realign a CRT they'd established years ago.

After completing the transaction, Bruce Wilhelm wrote an open letter to CRT income beneficiaries.

Dear Fellow CRT Owners,

We thought we had it all. A way to take care of our family’s financial needs while supporting charities that mattered to us; what could be wrong with that? A CRT seemed to have the best of everything we were looking for, so my wife Shelly and I proudly founded the Wilhelm Charitable Remainder Trust. For years we were very happy with the results.

But, as we all know, time goes on and circumstances can change. That happened to Shelly and me; it was a bit of a shock to realize our CRT was no longer working for us. Suddenly we discovered we were over-distributed and were no longer able to rely on the predictable cash flow we had come to expect. We felt stuck by the limitations of our trust. And like many people, we didn’t have any idea if, or how, we could change the terms or conditions of our CRT.

Frankly, I was afraid that I had made a bad financial decision and felt like our hard-earned money was being held hostage to regulations that weren’t doing what they were supposed to do–protect me and my family.

Not sure where to begin, I started talking with financial and legal experts. The name Sterling kept coming up, and my advisory team thought they were a resource worth exploring. We were quickly able to set up an in-person meeting with Evan Unzelman, the president of Sterling. When I learned that Sterling was the first firm to recognize the real need to provide options for CRT owners, and that they were leading the industry by pioneering a strategies that would help families like mine, the seeds of trust and possibilities were planted in my mind.

So with the endorsement of a trusted team of consultants—our financial advisor, lawyer, and accountant, we starting working with Sterling. Throughout the whole process, I never felt like Sterling was trying to “sell” me. They took the time to listen to our challenges, asked thoughtful questions, made no assumptions, and got to know my family’s needs. Evan’s calm, thoughtful, and responsive approach gave me complete confidence that Sterling had our best interests at heart. I knew we had made the right decision.

Now our new CRT is once again providing Shelly and me with the income we need, while keeping our commitment to our charitable beneficiaries. We feel like our finances are back on track, and we’re once again embracing all the good things life has to offer.

I can honestly say that, as a result of this whole experience, I’m not only a fan of Sterling, I am also an advocate—so much so that I’d love to have the chance to personally share more of my story with you. I invite you to reach out to me directly by phone at (303) 246-7519 or email at, or you can also contact Sterling directly for more information. Your solution is close at hand!


Bruce Wilhelm
Wilhelm Charitable Remainder Trust
Denver, Colorado