What Types of Services Do Trust Companies Provide?
Estate Planning. Trust companies have extensive knowledge in the area of estate planning and advise their clients on the best estate planning strategies for large estates. If estate taxes are a concern, a trust company can help you develop solutions to minimum estate taxes. If you are interested in learning about the best way to pass wealth on to the next generation, a trust company can assist with legacy planning.
Customized Trusts. Establishing a trust to protect your wealth or pass it on to someone else can be very complicated. Because there are so many different types of trusts, you really need an experienced advisor to assist you. In-depth knowledge of tax law is crucial to selecting the right type of trust for your needs. Whether you are considering a living trust, charitable trust, grantor-retained annuity trust, generation-skipping trust, family pot trust, life insurance trust, special needs trust, or asset protection trust, you will benefit from the expertise of a trust company in creating and funding the trust.
Estate Settlement. If you have been named executor or personal representative of a large or complicated estate, you may want to retain an advisor to help you with the probate process. A trust company or bank can serve as executor or personal representative of the estate, or can serve as co-executor, depending on your needs. In addition, if the settlement of the estate is contentious due to battling or disgruntled heirs, a trust company or bank can serve as an objective and impartial point of contact for family members. Trust companies are experienced at valuing estate property and can help ensure the estate is administered in accordance with applicable laws.
Trust Administration. Managing a trust involves property management and making decisions about how to invest trust funds. If you are the trustee of a trust but lack experience with investments and asset management, a bank or trust company can serve as a professional trustee or assist you in your fiduciary duties. A trust company can distribute estate property or trust income and ensure it is done properly. Trust companies also have access to investment options such as hedge funds and institutional funds that may be unavailable to the individual investor. If the trust will own corporate stock, real estate, or other business interests, the trust beneficiaries may be better served by having a trust company serve as trustee.
Charitable Gift Planning. If your estate plans include legacy planning or charitable giving, you may benefit financially from consulting a trust company about the use of charitable foundations, charitable trusts, endowments, and charitable gift funds. A professional trust advisor offers the resources and knowledge necessary to allow you to reduce estate taxes, income taxes, and gift taxes while maximizing the amount you can leave to charity or your beneficiaries.
Tax Services. Whether it is managing distributions from IRA's or advising on changes in federal and state tax laws, a trust company can provide the tax services needed to administer a complex trust or settle a large estate. Most trust companies can also prepare estate tax returns and income tax returns for their clients.
Family Business Services. If you own a family business or large amounts of corporate stock, a trust company can help you develop a business succession plan, form a family limited partnership or advise on the most advantageous way to manage a concentrated stock position. Most business owners have no background in business succession planning, so using a professional advisory service for estate planning is highly recommended.
Professional record-keeping. Whether you are settling a complicated family estate or managing a trust, it is essential that your financial records be able to withstand strict scrutiny. The records of estates and trusts are often subject to stringent review by probate court judges, beneficiaries, and disgruntled heirs. If you are dealing with a guardianship or conservatorship, you may also want to retain professional services. To ensure the financial statements, tax records, inventories, and accountings of an estate or trust are properly prepared and maintained, consider using a bank or trust company.
List of Trust Companies
The following companies offer trust administration services:
When contacting a professional trust company, be ready to tell them the estimated dollar amount of money, assets or property you will be transferring to the trust. To retain a trust company to establish or administer your trust, you will need to meet their minimum dollar amount or threshold amount to become a client.
Other Options to Get Help with Trust Drafting or Administration
If you are interested in establishing a trust or need help administering an existing trust but do not want to use a trust company, contact an estate planning attorney or a probate lawyer. If you wish to handle some aspects of the trust preparation or administration on your own, refer to our Books for Trustees page.