One of the questions frequently asked is why a bank should serve as trustee or executor rather than a family member or trusted friend. Usually this question is asked out of concern over the cost of administration since a bank will charge a fee for its services and the family member or friend may serve for "free." However, "free" services almost always come at a cost, either through opportunities lost or through inefficient handling of the assets. An innocent error by a well-meaning but inexperienced relative or friend could cost your beneficiaries thousands of dollars. Use of a bank trustee or executor provides several benefits that a family member or friend may not be able to provide.
Because we manage trusts and estates on a daily basis, we are familiar with the legal responsibilities of an executor or trustee and can perform those duties in a timely and efficient manner. We have experience with tax and estate planning strategies, as well as management of a wide variety of assets. Moreover, with constantly changing tax laws, we constantly educate our staff on the very latest in estate and trust laws and administration strategies. Very few "free" administrators can match our wealth of experience and knowledge.
Our one and only job is to manage assets for the benefit of others. Therefore, because we give our full attention to your assets, we usually achieve better results. We will discuss with you your financial goals and risk tolerances, and then recommend the best investment strategy to meet those goals. We provide ongoing advice and track your investments to make sure they are performing as planned. And, because we do this professionally, we have access to many investments of which ordinary persons are not aware. This comprehensive approach puts your money to work in a manner that produces greater returns for you.
Bank trust departments are regulated by federal and state agencies. As a result, our practices and procedures are regularly reviewed by those agencies to ensure that we are truly acting in your best interests. By law, trust assets must be kept separate from all other assets, and cannot be loaned out, mixed with the bank's own assets, or used for any purpose other than for the benefit of your beneficiaries. You are also protected against fraud, theft or error not only by insurance policies, but also by the bank's own capital, unlike a family member or friend.
As a bank, we will be here regardless of what else goes on in your world. We won't become ill or die, move away, or be distracted or motivated by personal desires. Our sole focus is to provide the utmost benefits to you, our customer. When tough decisions must be made, you can rest assured that we will make those decisions objectively, without the interpersonal pressures of family or friend relationships to sway those decisions.
By using a bank as a trustee or executor, you can rest assured that your financial matters are being handled by professional, knowledgeable, and experienced staff. You simply can't put a price tag on your peace of mind.