Q. What is a trust?
A trust is a legal entity in which an individual (the trust’s “grantor”) transfers the legal title of an asset to the trust for the purpose of benefiting its beneficiary. Trusts are managed by one or more trustees named by the trust’s grantor. Trustees handle investments and manage assets. Trusts may be revocable or irrevocable, and are sometimes included as part of a will. The grantor can work with the trustee or the trustee can be assigned full authority to act on the grantor’s behalf. (Trustees have a responsibility, known as “fiduciary responsibility,” to act in the grantor’s and beneficiaries’ best interest.) Trusts are most commonly used to control assets and provide financial security for both the grantor and the beneficiaries, provide for beneficiaries who are minors or require expert assistance managing money, minimize estate or income taxes, avoid probate expenses, maintain privacy, and protect real estate holdings or businesses.
Q. What is a living trust?
The living trust allows the grantor to remain both the trustee and the beneficiary of the trust while alive. The grantor maintains control of the assets and receives all income and benefits. Upon the grantor’s death, a designated successor trustee manages and/or distributes the remaining assets according to the terms set in the trust, avoiding the probate process.
Q. What happens when the grantor is no longer with us?
When the grantor of a revocable trust passes away, the trust automatically becomes irrevocable. The successor trustee steps in to settle the trust and handle the assets titled in the trust, or those which come into the trust from the estate through a pour-over will. The successor trustee makes sure that all valid creditors of the grantor are paid, that last tax returns are filed and that all assets have been collected. The trustee will make any specified distributions and terminate the trust. The grantor can also instruct the trustee to maintain the assets further to provide time-specific distributions. This is beneficial in providing creditor protection for beneficiaries because the assets cannot be reached by the beneficiary’s creditors, divorcing spouse, or themselves. The assets can last for that beneficiary’s lifetime, and if anything remains, can be passed on to the next generation.
Q. What services does our trust department provide?
Our trust department provides clients with comprehensive estate protection solutions as well as assistance with the transfer of wealth to heirs or beneficiaries. We can serve as current trustee, successor trustee, or co-trustee. We can serve as Personal Representative of a client’s estate or as Guardian of the Property in a guardianship proceeding. We are also able to serve if there is not a trust agreement. As Agent for an individual, we can help manage investments, pay client bills, and assist with monitoring and oversight of their financial information.
Q. How does our trust department differ from the rest?
Our trust services offer clients accessible, personalized solutions. Our decisions are made locally, and our people are based locally, offering our clients to meet face-to-face as often as needed. Because we’re part of The Bank of Tampa, our clients have the ability to work hand-in-hand with our bankers and have personalized banking relationship at the same institution their trust assets are managed. This improves communication and transfer times while allowing for a more meaningful relationship to be established.
We do not practice law, draft legal documents or provide legal advice. Acting as an unbiased third party, we will interpret legal documents and apply relevant Trust law to follow your intent and properly and efficiently execute your trust and estate plan.
|Not FDIC Insured||Not Bank Guaranteed||May Lose Value|
|Not a Bank Deposit||Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency|