The most carefully crafted wealth management plan can be seriously undermined by naming the wrong fiduciaries to carry it out. People can usually find family members, friends, or business associates willing to be named Personal Representative and trustee when there is no work to be done currently. Many clients realize, however, that the skill, experience, reliability and independence of an institutional fiduciary will be crucial when the time comes to tum their estate plans into reality, operating for the long-term benefit of their families.
Because fiduciary functions are complex, varied and last for long periods of time, it is unlikely that an individual, or even a succession of individuals, will consistently possess all these critical qualities.
In those cases where a client believes that a family member or other trusted individuals should remain involved with a trust to assure sensitivity to the client’s objectives and the family’s needs, the Peak Trust Company is perfectly willing to serve as Co-Trustee or Administrative Trustee.
Trust Company vs. Individuals
In choosing between an institutional fiduciary, such as the Peak Trust Company, and one or more individuals, clients should remember some fundamental differences:
- Individuals are not cheaper. An individual personal representative or trustee will have to locate and pay other firms and professionals to do the many things that the Peak Trust Company will handle, including investment-management fees and commissions, custody services, tax planning and tax returns.
- A family member, friend or business associate will always have many other duties and concerns to attend to. The trust company concentrates its full attention on fiduciary services.
- An individual may become disabled, and will ultimately die. The trust company does not depend on anyone’s health or longevity.
- The Peak Trust Company’s estate and trust accounts and overall business condition are periodically reviewed by independent auditors and state banking examiners. Any trust or estate account’s financial assets are protected by a $5 million fidelity bond.
- The new “prudent-investor rule” is rapidly becoming the standard to which all fiduciaries will be held. Without professional investment expertise, a family member, friend, or associate could be exposed to serious liability.
- Peak Trust Company staff are often in a better position to handle difficult beneficiaries and adhere to a client’s intentions than a family member or friend.