Estate Settlement and Trust Administration
Estate Settlement involves marshalling a person’s assets at the time of death, satisfying any outstanding obligations, and distributing the assets according to the person’s wishes. The process is designed to be concluded within a set time. By contrast, Trust Administration is generally designed to extend for years. A trust can last during a client’s lifetime for the client’s own benefit and care or afterward for family and other loved ones. Or, a trust can last perpetually for a charity.
In either case, clients need a reliable party to manage these important duties. Although an individual family member might adequately serve as executor or trustee, in appropriate cases a corporate fiduciary is a better option.
In addition to managing investments and other assets for estates and trusts, and non-profit organizations, we manage investments for individuals:
• Personal Investment Accounts
• Personal Retirement Accounts. Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) Rollover, SEP IRA, Self-Employed 401(k).
• Investment Agency Accounts for Fiduciaries. If you are serving as an executor or trustee, we can serve as your investment agent. We will manage the assets held in the estate or trust, as well as provide bill-pay and record-keeping services.
Determining who will handle your financial affairs when you are no longer able to do so is an important decision. Today, people use trust services not only to manage the family legacy but also to help handle everyday financial needs.
Summit Trust & Wealth Management provides three different levels of service based on your current and future needs:
• Agent – We can simply provide you investment and administrative services for a trust, a personal account or an Individual Retirement Account.
• Trustee or Co-Trustee – We can act as trustee or work alongside an individual you designate to execute the terms of a trust.
• Successor Trustee – We can serve as trustee should a trustee resign or become unable to make decisions regarding a trust.
- Why Use a Corporate Trustee?
• Expertise. Even financially sophisticated individuals can find the administrative aspect of serving as a fiduciary time-consuming and challenging. Depending on the nature of the will or trust, the fiduciary may be required to perform a number of complex duties
–making investment decisions, managing real estate, evaluating requests for distributions per the terms of the trust agreement, handling significant record-keeping responsibilities, and preparing for tax filings. A corporate fiduciary has a professionally trained and experienced team to manage these responsibilities.
• Impartiality. Money can complicate relationships, and even in the most well-intentioned families, emotions can make it difficult for a relative to remain objective. A corporate fiduciary remains independent, able to carry out the terms of a client’s will or trust impartially.
• Stability. Estates and trusts are intended to provide for the future. But death, illness, or even distance can prevent an individual trustee from serving over time. By contrast, a corporate fiduciary, such as a bank trust department, works as a team, so there is always continuity even if one member retires or dies. The team approach provides depth, ensuring that familiar and knowledgeable people are managing your affairs and that there is no lapse in legal authority to act.
• Oversight. A corporate fiduciary administers estates and trusts under the supervision of bank regulators, as well as pursuant to regular internal and external audits. This important oversight safeguards the integrity of the administration. Although individual trustees are expected to fulfill the same duties, they are not generally subject to regulatory scrutiny or accountable to auditors to the same degree.
Appointing Summit as your executor or trustee means you will be working with a team of skilled professionals who have knowledge and depth in fiduciary management.
- At What Point Could Summit Serve?
We are able to serve at any point that best suits your needs:
• We can serve now as Trustee.
• If you are currently serving as your own trustee, you can appoint us as Successor Trustee, to step in later when you are no longer able or interested in serving.
• If you want us to partner with an individual, you can appoint us and the individual to serve together as Co-Executors or Co-Trustees; the individual will bring the benefit of family history while we will bring the benefit of professional fiduciary expertise.
• Finally, if you are an individual who is serving as an executor or trustee but lack expertise in asset management, we can serve as Agent for the individual fiduciary.
When people think of estate planning, they typically think of having a will. But in today’s society, estate planning involves more than just a will. It involves a framework of important documents, planning and decision making. Although an attorney will need to draft your documents, a meeting with one of our advisors will guide you through the full process and make the time with an attorney more efficient and cost effective. We’ll help you think through important decisions, gather necessary materials, and complete proper account titling and designations, so that you can be assured all of your documents are working together to meet your desired goals.
Financial and Retirement Planning
Financial planning involves assessing one’s currents savings and assets, estimating future financial needs, and making plans to achieve monetary goals through financial security for retirement. We encourage you to take the guesswork out of your planning and meet with us to guide you through the process. We emphasize wise money management practices –intelligent investing, good credit habits, budgeting, strategic use of debt, etc. We’ll help you set in place smart strategies to improve your finances and build your wealth toward retirement.
Summit Community Bank is a Member FDIC. Trust Services may invest in insured deposits or nondeposit investment products. Nondeposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC or any other government agency, are not deposits or other obligation of, or guaranteed by any bank or any affiliate, and are subject to investment risk.