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Selecting a bank or other corporate trustee
Old 02-04-2018, 07:25 PM   #1
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Selecting a bank or other corporate trustee

I am in the unfortunate position where I may not have an individual trustee to administrate my estate in the event of my death or disability. I have seen it written several times that there are corporate trustees who can fill this role and an online search shows that many banks, Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard have Trust departments. Has anyone had experience with these institutions in this regard? I'd be especially interested in anyone who has experience with them executing the role of successor trustee due to incapacity of the grantor.

I am also interested in whether they can fill the role of medical power of attorney, or other companies that can. If it is relevant, I am in California.

Thanks in advance for any information provided.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #2
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I am also in that position. I live in Canada. I have worked with the trust division of TD Canada Trust to set up all the relevant documents, which of course are governed by different legislation. There are nuances between provinces, making it imperative to update one’s will, POA and letter of representation if one moves. I have included a trusted coexecutor but the trust company will do the work if she is unable to execute it.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
I am in the unfortunate position where I may not have an individual trustee to administrate my estate in the event of my death or disability. I have seen it written several times that there are corporate trustees who can fill this role and an online search shows that many banks, Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard have Trust departments. Has anyone had experience with these institutions in this regard? I'd be especially interested in anyone who has experience with them executing the role of successor trustee due to incapacity of the grantor.

I am also interested in whether they can fill the role of medical power of attorney, or other companies that can. If it is relevant, I am in California.

Thanks in advance for any information provided.
My suggestion would be to look at locally headquartered banks not the nationwide folks as that way there will be local folks to talk to, instead of dealing with an office half way across the country. They might merge in the future, so you might monitor this.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:01 PM   #4
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There are many people/businesses the can take over your trust/investments. They can pay your bills, invest, fill out your taxes assuming your documents are in order and provide for those services.
How you get someone to take a medical power of attorney is more difficult. You would be effectively looking for a patient advocate that will work to your script. Usually they try to look out somewhat for your interest, but not making life and death decisions. They are making sure insurance is filed ... It is a stretch to put that on someone you don't know that has no remuneration.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:12 PM   #5
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I had never heard of a financial institution holding a health proxy/ medical power of attorney, although they can certainly pay the bills for medical care.

Don't you have someone who actually cares about you to be your medical power of attorney?

(Also, it doesn't pass the stink test/ conflict of interest. An entity, that couldn't care less about your, and that could gain financially by either prolonging your life or hastening your demise having your medical power of attorney?) And yes, I do know that happens with relatives, but in theory relatives have an emotional bond.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:32 PM   #6
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There are many people/businesses the can take over your trust/investments. They can pay your bills, invest, fill out your taxes assuming your documents are in order and provide for those services.
How you get someone to take a medical power of attorney is more difficult. You would be effectively looking for a patient advocate that will work to your script. Usually they try to look out somewhat for your interest, but not making life and death decisions. They are making sure insurance is filed ... It is a stretch to put that on someone you don't know that has no remuneration.
In addition in the case of my grandparents the bank handled the house sale, hiring a real estate firm etc. All my parents had to do was to take what they wanted out of the house first.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bingybear View Post
There are many people/businesses the can take over your trust/investments. They can pay your bills, invest, fill out your taxes assuming your documents are in order and provide for those services.
How you get someone to take a medical power of attorney is more difficult. You would be effectively looking for a patient advocate that will work to your script. Usually they try to look out somewhat for your interest, but not making life and death decisions. They are making sure insurance is filed ... It is a stretch to put that on someone you don't know that has no remuneration.
I fully expect that any entity or person who acts as medical power of attorney would be paid.

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Originally Posted by MarieIG View Post
I had never heard of a financial institution holding a health proxy/ medical power of attorney, although they can certainly pay the bills for medical care.

Don't you have someone who actually cares about you to be your medical power of attorney?

(Also, it doesn't pass the stink test/ conflict of interest. An entity, that couldn't care less about your, and that could gain financially by either prolonging your life or hastening your demise having your medical power of attorney?) And yes, I do know that happens with relatives, but in theory relatives have an emotional bond.
DH and I have no children or close relatives in the area. It is quite likely that at some point one or even both of us will be incapacitated with no one close to fill the role of medical power of attorney. Perhaps we will have friends at that time whom we could ask this of but it is a lot to ask and no guarantee they will accept or be up to the task. It's grim to think about but realistically something I have to worry about.

Regarding the "stink" test, I understand what you are saying about conflict of interest but potential conflicts of interests exist in many industries, and it is nevertheless a business role that exists and, in California, is regulated under "professional fiduciary" code. For brief overview, see this link to the California Department of Consumer Affairs:

Do You need a Professional Fiduciary? - California Department of Consumer Affairs

However, I would much rather choose a larger national corporation, which presumably will have a more robust compliance department, than one of the many small companies that pop up when I do a search. I would trust such a large national or international entity to act responsibly, though to some extent it will always be a crapshoot. I am interested here whether anyone has insight into what would be a good corporation to look into, based on personal experience.

Many thanks to all for the replies so far.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:42 PM   #8
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My suggestion would be to look at locally headquartered banks not the nationwide folks as that way there will be local folks to talk to, instead of dealing with an office half way across the country. They might merge in the future, so you might monitor this.
+1

Be sure to include in your documents a dissolution provision that compels the estate executor / trustee to distribute your estate, assuming that is what you wish, within a certain time period. Many documents omit that, and corporate trustees have been known to let such estates linger unclosed for many years, a period during which they can continue to collect estate administration fees.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:27 AM   #9
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In addition in the case of my grandparents the bank handled the house sale, hiring a real estate firm etc. All my parents had to do was to take what they wanted out of the house first.
This was the way my parents had it set up too. It sure made it easy for my brother and I. I live several thousand miles away from my nephew and niece so I eventually would like to set a trust up this way as well.
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