Money Analysed

Navigating Trust Accounts: Understanding Trusts and Choosing the Right Bank

Trust accounts can be a confusing topic, but understanding the basics of what they are and how they work can help you make informed decisions when it comes to managing your finances. In this article, we’ll cover the definition of trust accounts, the parties involved in a trust, and the types of assets commonly held in a trust.

We’ll also take a look at some of the best banks for trust accounts, outlining the features and benefits of each.

Definition of Trust Account

A trust account is a financial account that is held in the name of a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement where a grantor transfers property or assets to a trustee, who manages the assets for the benefit of a beneficiary.

The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiary and to manage the assets in accordance with the terms of the trust.

Parties Involved in a Trust

There are three parties involved in a trust: the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiary. The grantor is the person who establishes the trust and transfers assets into it.

The trustee is the person or entity responsible for managing the assets in the trust on behalf of the beneficiary. The beneficiary is the person or entity who benefits from the assets held in the trust.

Types of Assets in a Trust

There are two main types of assets held in a trust: principal items and illiquid assets. Principal items are assets that are easily converted to cash, such as stocks, bonds, and cash itself.

Illiquid assets are assets that are difficult or impossible to convert to cash quickly, such as real estate or artwork.

Best Banks for Trust Accounts

Ally Bank offers online banking services that are ideal for those who want to manage their trust accounts from the comfort of their own home. They offer certificate of trust accounts as well as revocable and irrevocable trust accounts.

Charles Schwab Trust is a great choice for those who want investment services paired with trust management. They offer services for both revocable and irrevocable trusts, and can act as a corporate trustee if needed.

They do have trust management fees, but these are typically reasonable. Wells Fargo Private Bank has a great reputation for offering trust accounts that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of clients with special circumstances.

They offer special needs trusts and legacy trusts for family members. They also offer premium checking, savings, and CD accounts.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank offers trust services that are ideal for clients with substantial assets and a desire to preserve these assets. They can provide trust situs in Delaware, which is a popular jurisdiction for trusts.

They are also experienced with illiquid asset preservation. U.S. Bank is a great choice for those who want to create domestic asset protection trusts or generation-skipping trusts.

They also offer services for both revocable and irrevocable trusts, and are experienced with trust situs.


In conclusion, understanding trust accounts and the features of various banks that offer them can help you make informed decisions when planning your finances. Whether you’re looking for online banking or specialized services for complex trusts, there’s a bank that can meet your needs.

Trusts are legal arrangements that are established to hold and manage assets for beneficiaries. There are several types of trusts, each with its own unique characteristics and purposes.

In this article expansion, we’ll cover the most prominent types of trusts and the factors that individuals and families should consider when choosing a bank to establish a trust account.

Types of Trusts

1) Revocable Trust – Also known as living trusts, revocable trusts are designed to avoid the probate process upon the grantor’s death. The grantor has the ability to amend or revoke the trust during their lifetime, making it a flexible option for those who want to maintain control of their assets.

However, revocable trusts do not provide asset protection and are subject to estate taxes. 2) Irrevocable Trust – Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed or cancelled once they’re established.

They are often used for estate planning purposes to remove assets from the grantor’s estate and reduce estate taxes. Fixed trusts, which are irrevocable trusts with fixed terms, are often used for charitable giving or to provide for a special needs beneficiary.

3) Charitable Trust – These trusts are established to promote philanthropy and charitable giving. Donors can receive tax benefits for contributions made to a charitable trust, and the trust can provide income for a designated charity or charities.

4) Special Needs Trust – Also known as supplemental needs trusts, these trusts are designed to provide for individuals with disabilities while preserving their eligibility for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. 5) Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) – A GRAT is a trust that pays the grantor an annuity for a fixed term, after which the remaining assets are transferred to the beneficiaries.

These trusts are often used for tax minimization purposes. 6) Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) – A QPRT is a trust that holds real estate and allows the grantor to transfer ownership to a beneficiary while retaining the right to live in or use the property for a specified period.

This can provide tax benefits and a means of transferring ownership of a family home. 7) Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) – A DAPT is a trust that is established for the purpose of protecting assets from creditors while providing privacy and preserving family heirlooms.

8) Generation-Skipping Trust – These trusts are designed to provide for the grantor’s grandchildren while minimizing estate taxes. They allow for the transfer of assets to multiple generations without incurring gift or estate taxes.

Choosing a Bank for Trust Accounts

When choosing a bank for a trust account, there are several factors to consider. These include:

1) Minimum Balance – Many banks have minimum balance requirements that must be met in order to establish and maintain a trust account.

It’s important to find a bank with requirements that align with the asset value of the trust. 2) Insurance – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides insurance for bank accounts up to a certain amount.

It’s important to choose a bank that is FDIC-insured to protect the assets held in the trust. 3) Low Fees – Trustee fees, maintenance fees, and other expenses associated with trust accounts can add up over time.

It’s important to find a bank that offers low fees and/or a corporate trustee that can manage the trust for a reasonable cost. 4) Convenience – The bank’s features and administration are important considerations when choosing a bank for a trust account.

This includes the bank’s location and branch availability, as well as their online banking and mobile app features. In summary, trusts are a flexible and effective means of managing assets for beneficiaries.

Choosing the right type of trust and a bank that offers the necessary features and benefits can help ensure that the trust accomplishes its intended purpose. Trust accounts are a sophisticated means of managing assets and providing for beneficiaries.

From revocable trusts to special needs trusts, charitable trusts, and more, there is a range of options to choose from depending on one’s situation. When considering a bank for a trust account, it’s crucial to assess factors like minimum balance, insurance, fees, and convenience.

Ultimately, trust accounts should be used for the benefit of beneficiaries and as an effective means of managing assets. With these factors in mind, individuals and families can make informed decisions that benefit themselves and their loved ones for generations to come.

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