Corporate Trustee, Trust Company, Bank as Fiduciary?
Here are some facts to consider before you decide:
1.These types of trustees are businesses driven by numbers. They are staffed by individuals who have no personal connection to grantors or beneficiaries, your family or your heirs. While they do administer assets as your will or trust dictates, they lack sensitivity toward the people they are hired to serve.
2. Is your estate large enough to be "worthy" to the bank or corporate trustee? Small banks usually do not have trust departments. Large banks do not handle estates below a certain value. To some banks, the estate has to be more than $300,000. For others the minimum estate value is one million Dollars and there are banks who will not administer estates unless they are worth many millions of Dollars.
3. If your trust is less than the minimum, and a large bank is named as your executor or trustee, a number of things could happen when the bank is called to fiduciary duty: Your file could be transferred to the bank's national trust department in another state where the bank handles thousands of files in one central location. Clients and professionals involved with the trust will be given a tollfree number to call if they have issues or questions, creating a very distant and impersonal relationship. Or the bank could hand the estate over to an outside fiduciary who handles smaller accounts. In either case, once you have named a bank and they become your fiduciary, all decisions concerning the administration of your trust or estate are completely up to the bank.
4. Banks and corporate trustees are corporations driven by profit motive. While there is nothing wrong with making a profit, corporations in general will do only what is required by law to fulfill their obligations. They will carry out the instructions in your will or trust, but they cannot be expected to go the extra mile for you or your beneficiaries. There is no personal connection between the company's staff members and your heirs or beneficiaries. Your trust or estate will just be a number, handled by some trust department employee who is paid a salary and who is expected to handle a certain number of files every day.
5. Corporate trust departments and banks are many times slow in reacting to the needs of heirs and beneficiaries. It is not unusual for staff to react only after they receive requests or inquiries. Like any large business, banks and corporate trustees require employees to spend as little time as possible on a project. Their staff works in first place for the interest of the employer, not the client.
6. Banks are very conservative by nature and slow to make decisions. Like any large corporation they have self-preserving motives. Any decisions they make must first be reviewed by their legal department to not cause harm to the company.
7. Trust department personnel generally have no clue about the individuals or or understanding of the family dynamics of the people they are supposed to serve. Therefore personal feelings will not come into play and all decisions can be expected to be made strictly "by the book" to protect the company.
If you have a small trust or estate, or you wonder if a bank is right for your estate, you might be better served by an independent professional fiduciary.
Premier Fiduciary Services offers personalized service to all our clients. We get to know you, your family and your circumstances. We build long-term relationships based on trust and mutual respect. Our clients are like family and their wishes and instructions are paramount in the performance of our duties.
If you have doubts or questions about selecting the right fiduciary for your estate or trust,
please call us to find out how we could be of service to you.
We offer free confidential consultations.
Call locally: 602-334-4084
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