How is Wilmington Trust different from other trust companies?
Where are you chartered?
As an advisor, can I manage the assets in my client's trust?
Does Wilmington Trust compete with advisors for retail business?
Will Wilmington Trust employees speak personally with my clients?
How do you charge for your services?
How do advisors get compensated for their work on trusts?
Can I transfer an existing trust to Wilmington Trust?
Do I have a choice where my client’s trust assets are held?
Will Wilmington Trust serve as administrator of a trust without being trustee?
What criteria are used to determine the investment policy for the trust?
How much cash should be held in a trust account?
How often are accounts reviewed?
Does Delaware offer potential tax advantages for existing trusts?
Does Wilmington Trust act as trustee for charitable trusts?
Can trust assets be invested directly in foreign securities?


 

How is Wilmington Trust different from other trust companies?

Wilmington Trust provides personal trust services for clients of financial professionals. We are a full-service trust company, providing all of the services available from a typical bank or trust company with one notable exception: Wilmington Trust does not offer investment management services. Our advisor partners manage the investment of trust assets. While as a Fiduciary we do provide investment oversight, we do not provide any investment management services for the trust's assets. This is very different from traditional bank and trust companies that typically require trust assets to be held and managed by the bank or trust companies.

 

Where are you chartered?

Wilmington Trust is incorporated under Delaware law and authorized to engage in trust business under federal law. Delaware is considered one of the most favorable states for both trust companies and those seeking to create trusts. Advisors nationwide work with Wilmington Trust in order to take advantage of Delaware's trust-friendly statutes.

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As an advisor, can I manage the assets in my client’s trust?

Yes. We routinely work with advisors who have discretionary authority over their client’s assets, as well as with advisors who do not have the ability to take discretionary accounts. In both scenarios, the advisor is able to manage the assets in the client’s trust.

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Does Wilmington Trust compete with advisors for retail business?

No. Our business model is unique in that we do not compete with our advisor partners. We provide trust administration services, while the advisor acts as investment manager. We do not accept trust accounts directly from clients.

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Will Wilmington Trust employees speak personally with my clients?

We may, although the extent of our communication with your clients is based on your guidance. In most cases, advisors are comfortable with our trust administrators speaking directly with their clients concerning trust account matters. Certainly, though, when it is necessary to carry out our duties as trustee, we will speak directly with your clients concerning their trust account. We encourage advisors to participate in any such communications with their clients.

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How do you charge for your services?

Our fees are highly competitive and are either based on the value of the trust or are charged as a flat fee, depending on the nature of each trust relationship. We charge additional fees for tax preparation and other items, such as management of business and partnership assets.

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How do advisors get compensated for their work on trusts?

Advisors are compensated through asset management fees or commissions, much the same way advisors are paid for managing non-trust assets.

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Can I transfer an existing trust to Wilmington Trust?

Yes. Wilmington Trust can assist advisors and their clients in weighing the benefits of moving an existing trust, and, where appropriate, in completing the transfer.

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Do I have a choice in where trust assets are held?

Yes. Wilmington Trust can work with almost any custodian. We require electronic connectivity with the custodian, but with data conduits already in place to scores of broker dealers and custodians, it is likely you can use your custodian to hold trust assets. When discussing a new trust with Wilmington Trust, be sure to advise us which custodian your firm uses.

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Will Wilmington Trust serve as administrator of a trust without being trustee?

Yes. We can do this by acting as agent for the trustee. In some trust transfer situations this is the only way we can provide services.

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What criteria are used to determine the investment policy for the trust?

The trust document is the main source of information regarding the appropriate investment mix for the trust. Whether the trust has present and/or future beneficiaries has great bearing on the way the trust must be managed. If the grantor is still living, the grantor's input also is important. Additionally, as trustee, Wilmington Trust will have recommendations, based on our experience as a corporate trustee and our understanding of the trust document. Relevant factors include the trust’s time horizon, liquidity concerns, tax considerations, and legal constraints. The investment policy statement is a collective statement, agreed on by all parties, as to how the investment manager will select investments.

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How much cash should be held in a trust account?

A trust should hold enough cash to meet short-term liquidity needs, such as regular distributions, possible discretionary distributions, and fees and taxes that may be paid during the next four to six months. We maintain a separate cash account for each trust to meet these needs and minimize disruptions to the investment portfolio.

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How often are accounts reviewed?

All accounts are reviewed within 90 days of acceptance and at least annually thereafter. The review is conducted by the administrator assigned to the trust, in conjunction with our portfolio manager and you as the advisor. Information about the beneficiaries’ circumstances is reviewed and updated, and the investment policy is reviewed for compliance and appropriateness.

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Does Delaware offer potential tax advantages for existing trusts?

Yes. Delaware has no state income tax or capital gains tax on accumulated earnings and capital gains on assets held in irrevocable trusts if there are no remainder beneficiaries who are Delaware residents. Delaware also boasts strong asset-protection laws and trust-friendly courts. To learn more about the many benefits of creating a trust in Delaware, click here.

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Does Wilmington Trust act as trustee for charitable trusts?

Wilmington Trust can serve as trustee for virtually any personal trust, including the various kinds of charitable trusts. Our trust professionals have a high degree of administrative expertise in all aspects of charitable trusts and private foundations.

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Can trust assets be invested directly in foreign securities?

No. Due to issues with potential tax consequences and foreign currency exchange rates for clients, Wilmington Trust no longer allows Financial Advisors to buy stocks and bonds denominated in foreign currencies directly for any Wilmington Trust account. However, mutual funds that invest in foreign securities and American Depository Receipts (ADRs) may still continue to be purchased; just not individual foreign securities.

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