As an alternative to choosing a relative, surviving spouse, or grown child to serve as the executor of your Pennsylvania estate or successor trustee of the assets in a trust, some individuals opt to nominate a bank or trust company for the task.

Trust Law: An Overview of Institutional Fiduciaries

Depending on the condition of your estate, naming a bank or trust company as the executor and successor trustee of your assets could be beneficial but it’s not always in your best interest.

The advantages of appointing a bank or trust company – also known as an institutional fiduciary – as your successor trustee or estate executor could extend far beyond relieving you of the duty of choosing from among siblings or relatives, a Pennsylvania trust attorney explains.

An institutional fiduciary provides the assurance of expertise and professionalism. The risk of honest mismanagement significantly decreases when banks or trust companies are appointed to act as estate or trust representatives. Most have a number of staff members with several years of probate and administration probate, which means you’ll receive reliable estate management and investment services for your assets.

On the other hand, banks and trust companies are for-profit businesses and are best equipped to handle estates that contain at least a certain amount of liquid assets. Without the assurance that they will be paid for their service as an executor or successor trustee, a bank may be unable or unwilling to discharge the requisite duties.

You may be better suited to finding an alternative solution if your estate includes:

  • a second residence;
  • personal effects of value; or
  • businesses.
Before You Choose, Consult an Estate and Trust Attorney Speak with a Pennsylvania trust attorney about the advantages and disadvantages of each of your options before you sign anything with a bank or trust company.

Call our offices to schedule a consultation with a trust law attorney – 1-610-933-8069.
David M. Frees, III
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Attorney, Speaker and Author