Yes, you can name a bank (or trust company) as Trustee of your Trust. This is common for large estates and for those who do not feel comfortable appointing family or friends as Trustee. There are manyof banks that have trust departments and can serve as the Executor of an estate and Trustee of a Trust. If you need assistance finding a bank that fits your needs, contact your estate planning attorney for a referral.
Fees for Trust services typically range from .75% to 1.5%. The fee is negatively correlated to the size of the estate. In other words, the bigger the estate, the smaller the fee percentage charged. The smaller the estate, the larger the fee percentage charged. If the Trust department is also managing the assets, there is an additional charge for asset management. Usually, but not always, asset management is a requirement of serving as Trustee. Fee charts are available online or in hardcopy from the bank of your choice. Unfortunately for most smaller estates it is just no economically feasible to name a bank as trustee.
When you choose a bank as Trustee, be sure to have your estate planning attorney incorporate any language the bank requires. Some banks have special language requirements and some do not. You will also want to discuss including Trust provisions in case the bank of your choice is sold and taken over by a different bank. Is it okay for the megabank to serve as Trustee or would you prefer to name another bank as successor Trustee? You also have the option of naming a specific banker to serve as Trustee no matter in which bank he/she works. Your estate planning attorney can incorporate such guidance in your Trust.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns about naming a bank or trust company as Trustee in your estate plan. 858-792-5988.