About Us

Staff


President / CEO

Trevor Murphy

Trevor Murphy is a California licensed (#822), bondable private fiduciary. He is a partner with Professional Fiduciary Services (PFS) of California. PFS is a group of independent professional fiduciaries who serve as trustee in a Living Trust (any type of trust), personal representative in a Will, agent for Advance Health Care Directives and Power of Attorney for Financial Matters. He also is qualified to serve as a probate court appointed Conservator of the Person and of the Estate.

Along with his fiduciary duties, Trevor concurrently holds the title of President & CEO for Financial and Estate Literacy. This is a nonprofit, 501c3 organization, that presently conducts annual programming “It’s Your Estate!” and “It’s Your Money!” educational workshop series per year. The mission of Financial and Estate Literacy is to prevent financial elder abuse by educating seniors to take control of their financial, estate, and charitable giving decisions. As president, Trevor manages a network of estate planning attorneys, financial advisors, and planned giving experts that volunteer as presenters at public libraries, community centers, and senior center in Orange County.

Trevor is also a member of the Orange County Planned Giving Roundtable; OC Chapter for the Association of Fundraising Professionals; Orange County Bar Association associate member for the Trust and Estates, Elder Law, and the Conservatorship, Guardianship, and Protective Proceedings sections.

Trevor’s educational background includes a MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington DC, with a concentration in International Business and Government. He also earned a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley. Trevor is also certified in Fiduciary Management for Trustees by CSU Fullerton.

Prior to becoming a professional fiduciary, Trevor was the Executive Director and Chief Development Officer for Save Our Youth where he handled all aspects of charitable planning and major gifts. He stewarded the largest private financial incentive merit scholarship program in California; responsible for dispersing over $500,000 annually to qualified, low-income students going to college.

While living in Washington DC, Trevor also worked as Political and Economic Risk Analyst for Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). This organization is the US government’s development finance institution that mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances US foreign policy. Trevor also worked for the US State Department in the Bureau of African Affairs on their Economic Policy staff.

Other international work experience includes serving as Executive Director the Amy Biehl Foundation in Cape Town. Trevor managed a $1 million grant from USAID to develop youth violence prevention programming in post-apartheid South Africa. Trevor also served in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, East Africa where he was an Economics faculty member at a Tanzanian college.

Trevor executes his fiduciary duties by establishing trust, encouraging open communication, promoting independent thought, and attaining performance excellence and accountability. His experience will play well in working with families to resolve financial conflicts.

Senior Vice President

Joyce E. Severson

Joyce began her nonprofit career in 1973 with the American Cancer Society, holding positions from Executive Director to Division Director of Business Operations. She joined the American Heart Association as Executive Director for Riverside County in 1985 and rose to Senior Vice President in charge of Southern California.In 1994, she became Director of Planned Giving for Southern California and Utah. Upon retiring from the American Heart Association in 2006, she joined Financial Empowerment and Estate Literacy, Inc. as Senior Vice President.

Joyce attended Indiana University, the University of Arizona, and is a graduate of the Planned Giving Institute of William and Mary and the Charles Schultz Comprehensive Planned Giving Program.

A lover of the outdoors, Joyce completed full marathons in Las Vegas and Kona and numerous half marathons. An avid walker, she is equally at home on the hiking path or the golf course.

Membership and volunteer positions have included Director of the Public Health Nursing Association of Marion County, Indiana, member of the Orange County Planned Giving Round Table and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and graduate of the Community Emergency Response Team for the cities of Anaheim and Villa Park. Joyce is currently a volunteer at Congregation Beth Shalom Synagogue and the California Institute for Women in Corona.

Joyce and her husband of 55 years, David, and are the proud parents of Frank, David, and Teresa and grandparents of Paul, Rachel, and Trevor.

Philanthropic Advisor

Don Vivrette

I was born and raised in Southern California. I graduated from USC in 1971 in Accounting and Statistics and went overseas to work in Iran for a couple of years. Back to USC for a Masters in International Business in 1975. Got married and went to work for KPMG, a large accounting and consulting firm and while there I got my CPA.

Living overseas and many years of consulting made me appreciate different ways to make things happen. Being open minded has served me well in looking at how best to solve issues. When one focuses on the needs of the individual, then better solutions appear.

I left KPMG and started my own consulting firm in 1985. Over the next 30+ years I kept our first client I had through all the years. Having learned to listen to people and help them solve their problems served me well.

Last year our two daughters took over full ownership and control of our company and I retired. So what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

In 2017 my wife and I decided to sell an office building we had owned for many years. The good news is the building had gone up significantly in value over those 20+ years. However, this can cause a Capital Gains issue. Being a CPA, a data nerd and having a well-developed curiosity, I went looking for alternatives.

I attended many of the sessions from the Financial and Estate Literacy seminars. Having known Pete Kote for many years through some non-profit boards, we met and he suggested looking at a Charitable Remainder Trust to defer, not remove the tax issue.

Over a couple of months, attending seminars and licensing the software that run charitable options for you, we elected to create a Charitable Reminder Unitrust and funded it with the building. The building was sold, the funds invested and now paying us an income. The trust has operated for several years and we remain convinced it was the right thing for us to do.

Before doing the trust we did not realize that you can give something away and still get money for life. That sounds a bit odd, but if structured effectively it all works. We get an income for the rest of our lives, the government gets their taxes over that time and when we have both died, the remainder of the money goes to the charities we designate.

The most important thing to us was to talk about what we wanted to do. What was best for our family. And give something to charity when we die. The trust accomplishes all that for us.

So after all this research and talking to a lot of people, I will be teaching the Charitable Giving sessions at this fall’s It’s Your Estate seminars around the county. A few years ago I would not have guessed that in my retirement I would be teaching seminars on charitable giving, but coming from a family that always believe in giving, I guess I should not have been surprised.