I'm Going to Let You In on a Little Secret...

by Rich Firebaugh, South Side Bank

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m going to tell you about a service area of a bank that you may have never heard of or inquired about—bank trust departments!

The trust department may be one of the least-known service areas of any bank. Not all banks have trust departments or offer trust services, but those that do offer an array of beneficial and essential services. Hopefully, when you finish reading this article, you may just want to contact a bank trust department to learn more about the services they offer.

Those services include serving as executor under the terms of your will, or as trustee of a trust you create during your lifetime or that springs into existence after your death to provide for a surviving spouse or children. You can name a family member or friend to serve as executor or trustee, but he/she may not be the person best-suited to carry out the multitude of duties and responsibilities. You and your family may be better off having a trust department handle this. It’s what they do for a living, and they have the requisite experience, training and skill.

Trust departments can also help you with your investments and most any other aspect of your financial life. If you’re too busy or not comfortable in selecting or managing your investments, you can hire a trust department to do it for you. If you are comfortable selecting investments but have difficulty keeping them organized, you can hire a trust department to make the purchases and sales you direct. They can also keep track of all your positions and collect the periodic interest and dividend payments. If you’re looking for an alternative to brokers and financial advisors to assist you with your investments, look at what a trust department has to offer.

If there are important bills and expenses you want to make sure you don’t forget to pay while you’re away from home for an extended trip or while wintering elsewhere, you may be able to hire a trust department to do this for you.

If it’s no longer as easy for you or a family member to look after investments, do the banking, or pay bills as it was done in the past, a trust department can do this as well. If you’re concerned about who could do this for you when you’re older, visit with a trust department about putting a plan in place that will allow them to do these things when you need it done in the future. Trust departments have many customers who rely completely on them to take care of all aspects of their investment and financial needs.

In addition to administering estates and trusts, trust departments are valuable sources of information on estate planning and the benefits of taking the time to properly plan using a will, living will and durable powers of attorney and trusts. A trust officer can assist you in getting prepared to visit with your attorney about drafting these documents or reviewing or making modifications to estate-planning documents that you may currently have in place.

The investment and asset management services a trust department offers are highly regulated and supervised, both internally and externally. There are any number of rules and laws that govern how trust departments can manage your money or handle your financial affairs. Like others in the financial services industry, they are held to the highest legal and ethical standards of conduct.

I invite you to take the time to visit with a representative of a trust department. Let them tell you about all the services they can provide, and I’m confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you hear. You might not need their services now, but they may be invaluable and essential to you and your family in the future. iBi


Source URL: https://www.peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2008/dec/im-going-let-you-in-a-little-secret