Revocable trusts exist to secure personal assets against taxes and avoid the drawn-out process of probate. They are long-term financial tools that require knowledgeable management consistent with the beneficiaries' best interest. Individuals may choose a corporate trustee because of the wide variety of financial management services available from the corporate infrastructure. Corporate institutions acting as trustee are also backed by significant assets that provide security in the unlikely event of financial mismanagement or fraud.
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Compile asset and financial information about the trust. This need not be a comprehensive professional audit, but enough information to help you determine which banks, credit unions or trust companies are best suited to manage a revocable trust of its size and value.
Make a list of banks, credit unions and trust companies that provide trustee services for revocable trusts. Contact the trust department of each institution on your list and identify whether they offer services for trusts of your size and value. Many of the larger banks and trust companies have a threshold trust value that your trust must meet before they are willing to provide trustee services.
Decide how much you are willing to pay for trustee services. Discuss fees with the institutions your are considering; fees charged for trustee services will likely vary between each. Eliminate any institution whose charges are too high.
Ask for references from the corporate trustees you are considering. Contact the references provided. Ask how long the institution has served as trustee. Find out if the same individual from the institution has served as trustee for the duration of the relationship or if there has been a lot of turnover. Ask how accessible the individual assigned as trustee has been to the trust beneficiaries and how quickly business is conducted. Detailed financial information my be held confidential, but the references should be willing to reveal whether trust assets have generally appreciated in value under the corporate trustee's management. Finally, ask how satisfied the reference contact is with the trustee services provided.
Decide which corporation to have act as your revocable trust trustee. Execute a contract for trust services with the institution. Specify in the contract the circumstances under which you may terminate trust services without penalty, such as significant decline in trust asset value.