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What is a Corporate Trustee and Why on Earth Do I Need One?

Christine Hause May 22, 2024
Frustrated retirement-aged woman struggling to figure out her estate plans

Contents

If you are like many people, you may have seen or heard the term Corporate Trustee (or Corporate Fiduciary) and immediately assumed, “I don’t have lots of money, so I don’t need that.”If you did, you wouldn’t alone. Even the term, 'corporate trustee' seems a bit intimidating. Let’s dig into what a corporate trustee is and why, even without a huge bank account and a mansion, one may be exactly what you need.

What exactly IS a Corporate Trustee? 

A Corporate Trustee is a professional organization, such as a trust company or Crews Bank & Trust’s Trust and Wealth Management division, which specializes in managing investments, making sure everything is done according to the probate and trust laws, and taking responsibility for other people's finances. They have experts in investing, tax planning, asset protection, and estate planning law who make sure everything is done correctly and safely.

What Can a Corporate Trustee Do for Me?

Imagine you're approaching retirement age and are hoping to manage your savings and investments so you can live comfortably once you stop working. Despite not having a huge estate (which means all the money, stocks, bonds, insurance and property you own), you want to make sure your financial resources are optimized for retirement and future needs.

A corporate trustee would be beneficial, whether you have a large estate or a modest retirement nest egg (over $500,000), for these reasons:

  • Expertise and Professional Guidance
    Managing financial matters can be complex. A corporate trustee has financial experts who can provide guidance on budgeting, saving, and planning for the future. They can offer valuable advice tailored to your unique financial situation.
  • Estate Planning and Protection
    Planning for the future is important regardless of your wealth. A corporate trustee can assist with basic estate planning, ensuring your assets are protected from expensive estate administration, and distributed according to your wishes when the time comes.
  • Avoiding Family Conflicts
    Often, one’s first thought would be to name a close family member as trustee for one’s estate, without really considering if they have the time, desire, and knowledge to do so. Having a local, unbiased third party manage these affairs can prevent potential conflicts among family members, minimize stress, and allow proper grieving to happen.
  • Ensuring Financial Security
    A corporate trustee can assist in setting up basic financial structures, such as revocable trusts or investment accounts, which can benefit you in the long run. They can help you make sound financial decisions that contribute to your financial security and success over time.
  • Professional Oversight
    Having a corporate trustee overseeing your financial affairs adds a layer of professional oversight, ensuring that your financial interests are managed responsibly, prudently, and in accordance with best practices.
  • Peace of Mind
    Lastly, working with a corporate trustee can provide peace of mind. Knowing that your financial matters are in capable hands can alleviate worry and allow you to focus on enjoying your retirement.

Conclusion

In summary, if you have substantial wealth or just a healthy 401K and your home, there are many practical reasons to consider a corporate trustee. Whether it's for financial guidance, basic estate planning, conflict avoidance, or simply peace of mind, a corporate trustee can offer valuable services that benefit individuals at various stages of their financial journey. If you're unsure whether a corporate trustee is right for you, it's worth exploring your options and consulting with a wealth strategist to make informed decisions about your financial future.

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