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Wealth Management & Investment Services
With people living longer and health care costs continuing to rise, our savings must grow larger and last longer. With hundreds of investment options to choose from, deciding where to put your money can be very confusing. And if you make a wrong decision, it can be very costly. One option you shouldn’t overlook is the bedrock of asset management and personal service-the corporate trustee.
What is a corporate trustee?
A corporate trustee is a bank trust department or trust company. They can help you build, manage and protect your wealth when you put your assets in a trust. A trust is simply a legal document that lets you reduce unnecessary legal fees, save taxes and keep control over your assets while you are living, if you become physically or mentally incapacitated, and after you die. When you set up a trust, you need to name someone (a trustee) to manage the assets your trust controls. While you can choose just about any adult, there are very good reasons why you should consider a corporate trustee.
When would I use a corporate trustee? Corporate Trustee
If you set up an irrevocable trust (like a charitable or life insurance trust), or you plan to make gifts in trust- strategies often used to save estate taxes by removing assets now from your taxable estate-you will probably need to name someone other than yourself as trustee for tax reasons. A corporate trustee is a natural choice to make sure your irrevocable trust is administered properly.
If you set up a revocable living trust-which will avoid probate when you die and prevent court control of your assets at incapacity-you can be your own trustee. Even so, there are many benefits to having a corporate trustee involved. They can assist you in several ways:
As trustee, a corporate trustee has full responsibility for managing your trust assets according to your instructions.
This would be an excellent choice if you are elderly and have no one you can trust to take care of your financial affairs. You may be widowed, have no children or other trusted relatives living nearby (or don’t want to burden them), or you may be in declining health.
If you want to take advantage of a corporate trustee’s investment experience but still be involved, you could have one work with you as co-trustee.
Developing a working relationship with a corporate trustee now lets them become familiar with your objectives, your trust and your beneficiaries’ needs and personalities.
You could also name a corporate trustee as agent. While a co-trustee has equal responsibility with you (usually both signatures are required to transact business), an agent can have as much responsibility as you wish.
You can have an agent manage only a portion of your trust’s assets (your stocks and bonds).