One of the most responsible things you can do for your family is plan for the transfer of your estate. By prioritizing long-term financial objectives and developing a strategy for passing wealth to your heirs and beneficiaries, you can avoid the confusion and significant tax consequences that occur without proper planning.
Even if you have drafted a will, you should consider establishing a trust as the foundation of your estate plan. If you're a business owner, it is even more critical for you to establish clear succession plans and methods for funding those plans.
Our trust professionals have the experience and expertise to provide the guidance you need in making these significant decisions.
Because establishing a trust is a highly personal process, we will first work with you to determine your objectives. Then we'll bring together some of the most respected money managers and accounting professionals in the state to develop the proper plan for you.
Our trust professionals will be here for you every step of the way, ensuring your distinct needs are met. To learn more about any of these trust services simply request an appointment, call us at 864-942-1569, or email us.
To learn more, read our most Frequently Asked Questions below.
Trust & Estate FAQs
Do I have to have a trust to use your investment services?
No, you're not required to create a trust. Many of our customers choose trust arrangements because of the unique advantages they offer. If you prefer, you can put our professionals to work on a less formal basis. All it takes is a simple letter of instructions, designating us to act as your investment agent.
What are the advantages of a trust?
With a trust you can not only draw on our broad investment capabilities, but also arrange to have us perform any number of special services, now or in the future. These personalized services could range from making payments of estimated taxes while you're traveling abroad to providing full personal financial management in the event you suffer an incapacitating illness.
You can also name one or more beneficiaries to receive the assets of your trust at your death. These distributions avoid probate. Or, you can have your trust continue beyond your lifetime, serving as a source of continuing income and support for your spouse, a child or others whom you designate.
Is it difficult to set up a trust?
Not at all. To put a Countybank trust professional to work as your trustee, you take two simple steps. You bring us the money and/or securities you wish to place in trust, and you give us your written instructions in the form of a trust agreement. The agreement, drawn up by your attorney, is signed by you (as creator of the trust) and by Countybank (as trustee). That's all there is to it.
If I create a trust, can I maintain control of it?
Certainly. Our trust customers control their trusts in three ways:
- The trust agreement specifies that they may make withdrawals (or additions) at any time.
- They reserve the right to cancel the trust.
- They reserve the right to give us new or different instructions by amending the trust agreement.
Are trust services expensive?
No. Our fees are competitive with those charged by investment advisory firms (for services that may not include custodianship of securities, record keeping and other conveniences) or by mutual funds.
How big does a trust fund have to be?
If you think of millions of dollars when you hear the word "trust," you're the victim of a widespread misconception. Today's trust institutions have developed ways to handle even relatively small trusts efficiently. In any case, we don't think in terms of fixed minimums. Instead we ask ourselves, "Is a trust the best way to meet this person's financial management needs?" To find out whether a trust would be right for you, just contact our trust services division. One of our trust professionals will be happy to sit down with you to determine if a trust is right for you. Email us today or contact Trust Services at 864-942-1569.
How much of a return will I get on my money?
That depends on your goals — current income, long-term growth to offset inflation, or some balance of the two — and on ever-changing investment conditions.
Historically, diversified portfolios of good quality stocks have produced a total annual return (dividends plus growth in principal value) averaging around 10%. Bonds have produced somewhat lower returns overall, but they offer a higher level of current income than stocks.
As your trustee, our goal is to provide reasonably consistent returns over the years. We emphasize careful asset allocation, the selection of quality investments and constant vigilance.
Are trust funds insured by the FDIC?
Primarily, trust funds are invested in stocks, bonds or other income-producing assets. These trust investments are not bank deposits. Securities and other assets administered by a bank as trustee are held separate from the bank's own assets, under strict audit controls, and cannot be reached by the bank's creditors
As a result, the need for FDIC insurance is generally limited to uninvested trust cash, such as income awaiting distribution. Under FDIC regulations, uninvested funds held or deposited by the bank as trustee for a revocable trust are insured together with other deposits of the trust's owner.
How can I find out more about trusts?
That's easy. Our trust professionals will be glad to assemble further information for you, analyze your investment requirements and answer questions not covered here. Just give us a call.
How can I view my Trust portfolio online?
To learn how you can view your Trust portfolio online, email us or contact Trust Services at 864-942-1569.