Three Key Ways a Corporate Trustee Can Help Your Clients
by Arden Trust
Part two of a series; read part one
You’ve spent some time talking to your client about their estate plan, and they’re indecisive about who to name as a trustee. This is the opportune time to educate them on their options and, in particular, the benefits of working with a corporate trustee.
Especially in complex estate matters, such as those involving blended families, corporate trustees can serve as a neutral and independent third party.
Here are three key ways working with a corporate trustee can help your clients:
- Eliminate familial tensions and personal conflicts of interest. Though we lean on our friends and families for many things, estates are better left to professionals. Through a corporate trustee, clients can rest assured that personal financial matters will not be affected by competing priorities or worse, have the potential to damage personal relationships.
- Ensure continuity of your estate plan. Your client has hired their own lawyer to manage their estate plan, but that person is nearing retirement. Who will take the reins if they decide to step away from the business? Maintaining a corporate trustee, even if secondary to the lawyer, will provide an added layer of assurance.
- Professional regulation and oversight. Finally, and most importantly, corporate trustees are subject to a fiduciary duty and act independently. All fiduciaries are held to a high standard, but corporate trustees are granted state or national charters authorizing them to provide professional services and are subject to oversight by the authorizing government agency.
Pulling together an estate plan can be complicated and stressful, and the wrong trust appointee can make matters worse. Take special care if, for example, a client is adamant about leveraging a family member for this role.
In taking this opportunity to talk to your clients about the benefits of working with a professional (and neutral) third party, you can help set them up for success down the line. In addition, you have the opportunity to build greater trust in your services and ensure families continue to turn to you and your business generation after generation.
Arden Trust Company does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult a legal or tax professional for advice specific to your circumstances.