Wealth Market Reports

Choosing a Trustee

Only a small percentage of investors currently use an institution as a trustee of their trusts.  In fact, Spectrem research indicates only 14 percent of households with $5 million to $25 million in net worth use a corporate trustee, despite the fact that 49 percent currently hold assets in a trust.  Why are these investors not using a corporate trustee?  What would make them change their mind?  As for those investors using a corporate trustee, what factors influenced them to choose a particular organization. 

Choosing a Trustee is a qualitative study with 49 investors who currently have a trust.  Half of the investors surveyed have a corporate trustee while the remaining investors are not using a corporate trustee.  This report explores the following issues:

  • What was the process for putting assets into trust?  Who advised them to set up the trust?
  • What is the structure of the estate plan?
  • Who is the trustee of their trust(s)?  How did they make this decision?  What factors were important to them?  Ease?  Fees?  Ensuring that their family is cared for?
  • For those who do not have a corporate trustee, what made them decide not to use a corporate trustee?  What events might make them change their mind?
  • For those who do have a corporate trustee, why did they choose a specific organization?  What might make them change their mind?  How is their relationship with their current trustee?  Does it meet their expectations?  Why or why not?

Senior Spectrem researchers conducted the interviews both face-to-face and via telephone.  Respondents represented various geographical regions.  Additionally, key quantitative information from Spectrem's ongoing research regarding trust assets and holdings is included in the report. 

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