Perhaps the single most important factor in the ultimate success of a trust-based asset and wealth management plan is the choice of fiduciary. A wide range of capabilities is required for the effective discharge of a trustee’s responsibilities. By law, and subject to the specific terms of the trust document, the trustee may have remarkable power over the fate of the family fortune. Trust creators need to have confidence that such power will be exercised wisely by the trustee.
Why choose Countybank Trust Management Services to serve as your trustee?
- We treat estate and trust administration as a full-time job.
- We have facilities and systems for asset and wealth management that individuals lack.
- Trust funds in our care are doubly protected, both by internal audits and regulatory oversight by state or federal officials.
- We have an unlimited life, while an individual may die, become incompetent, or just disappear.
- We bring long experience and group judgment to the job of investment and wealth management.
- We will treat beneficiaries impartially, and most beneficiaries will appreciate that.
- We can withstand pressure when a wayward beneficiary asks to bend the terms of a trust, while an individual trustee might give in to requests for “more.”
A Partial Checklist of Fiduciary Duties
How do the investment responsibilities of trustees differ from those who are not considered “fiduciaries” under the law? The following obligations are imposed upon the trustees of most trusts:
- Duty of skill and care
- Duty to give notices
- Duty to furnish information and to communicate
- Duty to account
- Duty not to delegate
- Duty of loyalty
- Duty to avoid conflict of interest
- Duty of impartiality
- Duty to invest
- Duty of confidentiality
Source: “What It Means to Be a Trustee: A Guide for Clients,” The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.