Setting up a trust or acting as a trustee?
Our trust solutions make it easier.
Setting up a trust can play an important role in estate planning. It allows you to transfer assets to an individual or charitable organization and maintain control over how the assets are used, whether it’s during your lifetime (inter vivos trust) or through your Will (testamentary trust). The assets are held by a third party, the trustee.
If you’re considering setting up a trust, it can also be an effective way to provide income for yourself and future generations, while reducing taxes, costs and delays when it comes to distributing the assets to your beneficiaries.
Whether you’re establishing a trust for yourself or have been named a trustee, we can help protect the interests and requirements of the trust—through our experience and expertise in all aspects of trust management.
The benefits of setting up a trust
There are many benefits to setting up a trust, as it ensures your assets are distributed to your loved ones—or causes you care about—according to your specific wishes, in a confidential, tax-effective way. We can help you set up a trust to:
• Provide for yourself, your spouse, children or other minor family members
• Protect the future of family members with a physical or mental disability
• Donate to a charitable cause
• Maintain confidentiality when it comes to your financial affairs
• Achieve certain tax advantages
Our trustee services include
• Establishing and administering inter vivos trusts and testamentary trusts
• Acting as either a sole trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee in the administration of the trust
• A full range of support as Agent for Trustee for individuals who have been named a trustee
• Investment management for assets within a trust
• Impartial and empathetic approach to decisions affecting beneficiaries
• Safekeeping of trust assets
• Continuity of trust management across multiple generations
• Tax preparation, record-keeping and accounting
Choosing a trustee
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when setting up a trust is determining who will act as your trustee—the individual or trust company who will carry out your wishes and protect your financial legacy.
Who makes a good trustee?
Choosing the right trustee is essential to your peace of mind and to the preservation of the trust’s assets. Your trustee should be someone who:
• Has expert knowledge of trusts and provincial trust laws
• Can act reliably to administer and manage the trust on an ongoing basis
• Has integrity, good judgment, and the ability to develop empathetic relationships with beneficiaries
• Understands the requirements of investing trust assets which can be complex
• Invests time to be available to beneficiaries whenever needed and for many years to come
How we can help
RBC Royal Trust professionals have extensive knowledge and understanding of trusts and trust law, with expertise in all aspects of trust administration. We have a reputation for developing enduring and empathetic relationships with beneficiaries and will administer your trust with integrity and sound judgment. You can choose to name RBC Royal Trust as sole trustee, co-trustee (along with yourself, a family member or friend) or successor trustee should a family or friend be unable to fulfill their role. Choose from these types of traditional trustee services:
Sole trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee services
•As a sole trustee, we act independently to establish and administer all types of inter vivos and testamentary trusts
•As a co-trustee, we act alongside another individual to help establish and administer all types of inter vivos and testamentary trusts
•As successor trustee, we can take over the administration of an existing trust should your named trustee not be able to fulfill their role
Our sole trustee, co-trustee, and successor trustee services are ideal for individuals who:
• Have trusts established for children or other minor family members, a spouse, a family member with a physical or mental disability, or a charitable purpose
• Wish to create a living trust for the purpose of maintaining confidentiality in their financial affairs or to achieve certain tax efficiencies
• Require a corporate trustee to take over administration of an existing trust
• Are considering who to appoint as the trustee
• Prefer that an objective professional handles everything
• Feel the process is too complex for family or friends
• Have no family or friends to act as trustee
• Have a named trustee who is not able to fulfill their role
• Want a close friend or family member involved, but don’t want to burden them with administrative tasks
• Prefer that a professional handles all the technical aspects and makes decisions jointly with the person chosen as co-trustee
• Are struggling with a challenging family situation
Acting as a trustee
The role of a trustee involves several key legal obligations as well as significant management and administrative responsibilities. Trustees are faced with a number of complexities and obligations, including ensuring the trust assets are protected, keeping proper accounts and providing detailed accounting to beneficiaries.
Things to consider if you are a trustee:
• Complex family dynamics – Administering a trust can often create family conflict or renew existing family discord. An unbiased third party can often be an invaluable resource in managing those tensions.
• Time constraints — Many trustees are unaware of how much time managing a trust requires. People with busy lives and competing time pressures of children, a career and caring for aging parents are often challenged to carry out their trustee duties in a timely manner.
• Lack of expertise — A professional, such as a trust company, can carry out many of the duties you don’t feel comfortable handling yourself or simply lack the technical knowledge, while you retain your decision-making authority.
• Living outside the province or country — It is challenging to act as a trustee from a distance. If you live in a different jurisdiction than the testator/settlor, there may be additional risk due to the legal, logistical and administrative complexities in managing the trust’s obligations from afar.
• Personal liability — As Trustee, you have legal responsibilities that could subject you to personal liability.
How we can help
With our agent for trustee solution, you will receive attentive, reliable expertise to help you in the ongoing management of trusts under your administration, while you retain final decision-making authority.
Agent for trustee solution
We support you in all your trustee duties. Below is a list of tasks and services that we can provide assistance with:
• Consolidated custody, trust accounting and record keeping in capital and revenue format
• Access to investment management services, if required
• Facilitation of recurring income payments or payments of capital as required
• Annual trust review including cash management
• Preparation of annual T3 tax filing – issuance of T3 slips or payment of taxes payable
• Distribution of trust to beneficiaries at the triggering event