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The advantages of a corporate trustee

People in Georgia might want to use a trust in an estate plan for a number of reasons. A trust can be used to minimize taxes on assets. With a trust, a grantor can also place conditions on how assets will be distributed. This may include specifying whether distributions will take place over time or tying them to specific conditions such as milestones in the beneficiary's life. The grantor may also use the trust to state what its purpose is.

However, there is one common error people make with trusts, and that is in appointing the right trustee. While choosing a friend or family member may seem like a good idea since that person would be familiar with a grantor's wishes and the family situation, a complex trust may simply be too much for this person to handle. Trustees have a fiduciary duty to invest and manage the assets responsibly, but this could require a level of financial and legal knowledge the person lacks.

One alternative is to name a bank or a trust company as the trustee. This may have other advantages. For example, corporate trustees may have a framework for creating a succession plan if necessary. Another option is for the grantor's regular financial adviser to work with the corporate trustee and handle the trust investments.

There are a number of other reasons a person might want to create a trust. Trusts keep an estate plan private since they do not go through probate, which is a public process. Trusts can also be designed to allow assets to pass more quickly to beneficiaries. However, people should keep in mind that beneficiary designations override instructions in a trust or a will should be kept consistent with the rest of the estate plan, which should be reviewed every few years so that it remains current.

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