Trust one of the oldest departments in Alabama
- Estate Administration
- Personal Trusts
- Corporate Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
The first step is to contact us to set up an appointment with one of our advisors. We look forward to helping you chart your path.
- Children Can’t or Won’t Serve as Trustee
For some estate plans, family members, such as adult children, are appropriate choices to serve as successor trustees; however, life events happen and individuals may get sick, busy, move, or lose interest. If your trust “runs out” of trustees, the family will have to go to court to have another trustee appointed. As a backup, it is always a good idea to name a corporate successor trustee, after your children.
- No Family Members
As life expectancies continue to rise, it is not uncommon for a parent to outlive their children or other family members. When this happens, other family members may not be close or responsible with handling finances. A corporate trustee will be able to help in case of incapacity or to settle the estate.
- Blended Families/Later in Life Marriages
Blended families and later in life marriages can present a challenge for estate planning. Naming a corporate successor trustee is one way to maintain family harmony and ensure impartiality.
- Beneficiary’s Inheritance Is Held in Trust
Estate plans frequently provide for a beneficiary’s share to remain in trust for the beneficiary’s lifetime. Often, it seems inappropriate to burden a family member with the responsibility, stress, and potential liability of managing the trust. Naming a corporate trustee will ensure the trust is successfully administered.
- Special Needs Children
Many families have “special needs” children that receive Social Security Income and/or Medicaid benefits. If the trust conforms to state and federal law, it can provide funds for the beneficiary without disqualifying the beneficiary from receiving governmental benefits. Sometimes the rules are not very clear regarding what the trust can and cannot pay for on behalf of the beneficiary. A corporate trustee is educated and well versed on the requirements involving special needs trusts.
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
Charitable remainder trusts can offer several tax benefits in addition to fulfilling philanthropic goals; however, they are bound by federal tax law and must be administered appropriately or will risk losing the desired benefits. An individual trustee who is not educated on federal tax laws can inadvertently cause the trust to be in violation. Such violations can result in costly estate or income tax consequences and could also result in a lawsuit by the charitable beneficiary. By naming a corporate trustee, one can rest assure that their philanthropic aspirations will be met and administered appropriately.
- Life Insurance Trusts
Irrevocable life insurance trusts must be created and administered according to specific rules and regulations set forth by numerous court cases and IRS rulings. An individual trustee who is not educated on such laws, can cause the trust to be in violation resulting in the loss of significant tax benefits. A corporate trustee will make sure the trust is in compliance and will also be responsible for carefully monitoring the insurance policies in the trust to make sure they are performing as expected.