Trustee services are important to making sure your trust is administered correctly. It can be difficult to give up the control of your trust money to an outside company.  The extra trustee fees gives people doubt. Often, individuals will hire friends or family members to serve as trustee for their trust. Sometimes this is a great idea, but sometimes it is not. Hiring a Corporate trustee to perform trustee services can be the best decision you make. If a friend or family is serving as trustee, then it can put tension on the family relationships. In many cases individuals will resign because the amount of work, family demands, and/or the stress it causes. Trustee services provided by a professional will flow smoothly, depending on the Corporate trustee. Unfortunately, there is a cost.

What is a Trustee regarding Trustee Services?

A trustee is an individual or company performing a fiduciary duty of managing a trust. When you are trusting someone with your assets you create a “Trust”. The overseer of those assets is the trustee. Trustees administer assets or property for the benefits of another. They can be an individual, administrative corporate trustee, bank or they can be a combination of two. Choosing a trustee is critically important because they control everything. The trust document outlines what the trustee can or cannot do. Sometimes a trust will provide for discretionary distributions, the trustee use their own judgments to how much money can be distributed to a beneficiary.  You want a collaborative trustee.

When do I need a Trustee to perform Trustee Services?

Thanks to the Romans and the creation of “testamentary trusts”, anytime a trust is created you must have a trustee. When choosing a trustee, you have three different options, an individual, an administrative corporate trustee, or a bank trust company. Each option has different types of advantages and disadvantages to serve you and manage your trust assets. Understand that you have choice and control over the trustee fees you are charged and the trustee you choose you use.

What are Trustee services?

Any trustee has a huge responsibility to execute their fiduciary duty to care for the assets of a trust. It is important for any trustee to understand that these are not their assets. Unfortunately, we see the opposite. For example, some companies are more concerned with keeping the trust assets instead of distributing them. Why is this a problem? Beneficiaries will be frustrated with this bad service because firms make it complicated to get their money. The trustee is safeguarding the assets, not keeping them. If you are working with corporate trustee, they will assign you a trust officer. The main responsibility of the trustee should follow the grantors intent outlined in trust document. Their trustee services varies depending on the type of trust assets owned and other responsibilities outlined in the trust document. Any trustee will be responsible for trust administration, trust accounting, and investment management.  Advisor friendly trust companies either fall under directed trust or delegation rules regarding the investment management of the trust assets.

If you are named as an individual trustee, you do not have to serve alone. An individual can serve along with a trust company to help with trust administration. The services a trustee provides is important to protecting your family’s legacy.