7 Best Banks For Trust Accounts in 2024

When it comes to wealth management and estate planning, trusts offer many excellent advantages and can even hold bank accounts.

Because a trust is owned by multiple people and a lot of banks lack the expertise needed to advise clients on trust accounts, it can be difficult to find a trust bank account.

We’ve analyzed and picked the seven best banks for trust accounts based on their ease of opening, fees, and available accounts.

skip down to see the Best Banks for Trust Accounts

What is a Trust Account?

At a basic level, a trust account is a type of relationship in which a trustor (for example, you) gives someone else (the trustee) the right to hold assets for a beneficiary (for example, your kids or grandkids).

Trusts can help to legally shield your assets and ensure they get distributed as you wish. Once you set up a trust, you can open a specialized bank account for it.

  • The trustor is the owner of the assets.
  • The trustee must be an adult of sound mind.
  • The trustee has the authority to make changes (subject to agreement).
  • The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of any beneficiaries.
  • The trustee is ultimately responsible for filing any due tax returns.

7 Best Banks For Trust Accounts

Here are the top banks that allow you to open trust accounts.

1. Ally Ally Bank Logo

  • Accounts: Checking, savings, CDs
  • Fees: $0
  • Online application: Yes

Ally Bank, Member FDIC, is one of the most popular online banks, offering all of its banking services nationwide on an intuitive digital banking platform.

Ally offers high-yield savings accounts, checking accounts, and CD trust accounts. These can be revocable or irrevocable, depending on your needs.

To help save time, Ally provides a checklist of all of the documents the bank requires to open the trust account, including the documents needed if a trustee or beneficiary passes away.

If you already have an account with Ally, you can convert it into a trust account by filling in the Trust Conversion Request form, which you can download as a PDF.

2. Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Logo

  • Accounts: Checking, savings, brokerage accounts
  • Fees: Vary
  • Online application: Varies by account

Wells Fargo is one of the best banks and also one of the largest, with over 4,000 brick-and-mortar locations nationwide.

It offers both Individual Trustee and Corporate Trustee accounts, along with Special Needs Trusts and Legacy Trust accounts. A Wells Fargo representative confirmed to us that you can open a deposit account or brokerage account in the name of a trust at Wells Fargo.

You may be able to open a deposit account online but will likely need to visit a branch. Monthly fees vary by account, and most are waivable. For brokerage accounts, you can speak to one of Wells Fargo’s advisors over the phone to set up your account.

You can choose anything from fee-free self-directed trading on WellsTrade to automated investing with a 0.35% advisory fee to comprehensive investment management, with varying fees.

3. Alliant Credit Union Alliant Credit Union Logo

  • Accounts: Checking, savings, CDs
  • Fees: $0 with paperless statements
  • Online application: Yes

Alliant tops our list of the best credit unions and offers four different trust accounts, including two savings accounts, a checking account, and CDs. Trust accounts have some limitations, including no debit or credit cards, loans or mortgages, or IRAs.

If you’re unsure what documents you’ll need, you can visit Alliant’s website to find the full list.

Alliant’s trust accounts have no maximum balance limits, and dividends are paid monthly to accounts that have at least a $100 average balance.

Trust deposits held at Alliant are covered for up to $250,000 by NCUA insurance, similar to the coverage you’ll find at a bank.

4. Bank of America Bank of America Logo

  • Accounts: Checking, savings, CDs, brokerage accounts
  • Fees: Vary by account type
  • Online application: No

Bank of America offers trust accounts through its private banking firm. The bank can manage personal and charitable trusts, and it offers both revocable and irrevocable trusts with a negotiable minimum deposit amount.

Administration fees for investment accounts can vary according to your account balance and type of trust account but typically fall between 0.45%-1.40%.

A Bank of America representative confirmed that you can open checking, savings, and CD accounts in the name of a trust, but you’re required to visit a branch to do so. The monthly fees for deposit accounts range from $0-$25, depending on the account, and can be waived with qualifying activities.

Bank of America is a solid pick if you’re looking for hands-on customer service. The bank has around 3,900 branches and was one of the highest-rated banks in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.

5. J.P. Morgan JP Morgan Logo

  • Accounts: Brokerage accounts
  • Fees: Vary by account
  • Online application: No

J.P. Morgan Private Bank provides a wealth of trust, estate planning, international wealth advising, and philanthropy and grant management services.

J.P. Morgan has specialized services to help establish and manage U.S. trusts, international trusts, and Delaware trusts. The bank can act as the sole trustee, co-trustee, directed trustee, or trustee agent, depending on your preferences.

J.P. Morgan offers dedicated support over the phone, and you can meet with a professional at one of more than 40 Private Bank locations nationwide.

Trust fees can vary based on the services you select and your account balance. You can contact a J.P. Morgan Private Bank advisor to discuss the specific account requirements and fees before opening a trust account with the bank.

6. Charles Schwab charles schwab Logo

  • Accounts: Brokerage accounts
  • Fees: $0
  • Online application: Varies by account

Charles Schwab is one the most reputable brokerages, earning the number one spot in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Full-Service Investing Satisfaction Study.

One of its most popular offers is the Schwab One brokerage account, which has no maintenance fees or minimums, commission-free trades, tailored advising, and trading education.

It also offers a specialized Schwab One Trust Account. This brokerage account comes with all the features of  Schwab One, also factoring in the considerations of a trust.

You can open the account online if you have a revocable trust and download a form to submit for all other types of trusts. The Schwab website outlines all the documents needed to apply in its Application Checklist, which you can find at the link below.

7. U.S. Bank us bank Logo

  • Accounts: Checking, savings, CDs, brokerage accounts
  • Fees: Vary
  • Online application: No

U.S. Bank has over 2,000 branches in 26 states and offers a robust lineup of account options for trusts. You can open an account for your revocable or irrevocable trust at U.S. Bank and access personalized wealth specialists who can help advise you on your trust.

U.S. Bank offers a wide variety of deposit and investment accounts, letting you open a checking, savings, or CD account in the name of a trust. Most of U.S. Bank’s deposit accounts come with monthly fees, but there are several ways to waive them.

On the investment side of the house, you can open a brokerage account in the name of a trust.  A U.S. Bank representative confirmed that investment fees can vary based on the amount of money being invested.

He explained that you need to visit a branch for an account with $250,000 or more to determine advisory fees and open the account. You can open trust accounts with $25,000-$250,000 over the phone and learn about fees, and open self-directed accounts for a $50 annual fee.

What Types of Trusts Are There?

In total, there are six different types of trusts on the market, and each one serves a different function. Knowing about each type will allow you to set up the right kind of trust to reach your goals.

The descriptions available here can serve as a guideline; however, you should always consult with your lawyer to make sure you abide by all provisions of the jurisdictions where you want to open your trust.

  • Living Trust: This type of trust, also known as “inter-vivos,” holds a trustor’s assets while still alive and helps distribute them when they pass away. A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable.
  • Testamentary Trust: This type of trust, also known as a will trust, benefits a beneficiary once the trustor (the person who opened the trust) passes away. A testamentary trust can only be irrevocable.
  • Revocable Trust: This type of trust can be changed or closed by the trustor during his or her lifetime.
  • Irrevocable Trust: You won’t be able to change this type of trust once it’s opened or once the trustor passes away.
  • Funded Trust: This type of trust has funds deposited into it by the trustor while he or she is still alive.
  • Unfunded Trust: An unfunded trust only has a trust agreement with no funding. These types of trusts can be funded when the trustor passes away.

How to Choose a Trust Account

Before deciding on any particular financial institution for your trust account, make sure you do your homework to see if it’s the right one for you.

  • Balance requirements: Some banks will impose a minimum balance requirement on trust accounts, more so if it’s with the private banking arm.
  • Fees: Check what kind of fees, such as monthly fees and overdraft fees, apply to the account, as these can eat away at your savings.
  • APY (Annual Percentage Yield) Rate: More applicable to savings and CD accounts, higher interest rates will help you make sure more money goes into the account. Several banks offer very competitive rates.
  • Insurance: The FDIC or NCUA insures most accounts up to a certain amount, usually $250,000. Double-check to ensure your funds are NCUA or FDIC-insured.
  • Customer service: Read customer reviews, check third-party ratings from sources like the BBB, and note a bank’s customer service hours, branch accessibility, and online resources to choose an institution that will be there when you need assistance.

How To Open a Trust Account

Here’s an overview of the step-by-step process of opening a trust:

how to open a trust account
How to Open a Trust Account

1. Research Trust Options

Determine the specific type of trust account you need based on your goals, such as a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust.

Familiarize yourself with the role of a trustee and the legal obligations associated with managing a trust.

Then, compare different banks and financial institutions to find one that offers trust services and meets your requirements.

2. Gather Required Documentation

The paperwork requirements for opening a trust can vary by state. Here are some of the documents you’ll likely need:

  • Trust name: You’ll need to provide the name for your trust account, for example, ‘Smith Family Trust.’ Going for a shorter title is generally better.
  • Trust agreement: Banks will require specific information from the Trust document, including the trust name, notarized signature pages, and provisions.
  • Amendments: If you’ve changed anything specific in the trust, you should always include it.
  • Beneficiaries: You also need to provide a list of beneficiaries who will get the trust funds if the Grantor
  • Death certificate: This documentation is only applicable if the trustee has passed away.
  • Last will or testament: The last will or testament is only applicable for testamentary trusts.

3. Schedule an Appointment

Reach out to the bank or financial institution you’ve chosen to schedule an appointment with a trust officer or specialist.

Go ahead and inquire about any additional documentation needed to open the trust account. Take all the required documents to the appointment, including your ID, trust agreement, and asset documentation.

Consult with the trust officer to discuss your specific needs, ask any questions, and complete the necessary paperwork.

Make sure you understand the terms and fees associated with the trust account and clarify any concerns before finalizing the process.

4. Fund the Trust Account

Follow the instructions provided by the financial institution to transfer assets into your new trust account.

Keep track of confirmations for each asset transfer and make sure they’re reflected in your trust account.

5. Review and Maintain Your Account

Review your account periodically to ensure it aligns with your goals and objectives.

You should also make an effort to maintain proper records, including trust account statements, transaction receipts, and any correspondence related to the trust.

Inform the trustee and beneficiaries about any significant changes to the trust account or its terms.

Before opening a trust account, you might want to seek legal advice to help with the process. There’s no legal obligation, but you’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’re setting everything up correctly.

Your financial advisor may also be able to provide you with help and guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you open a trust bank account?

A trust bank account is a great way to ensure the trustees manage money according to your wishes.

While traditionally trusts are associated with the rich, even middle-class people find them useful for setting up wills and taking care of a family member who is not independent.

It’s equally important to remember that trusts are legal entities and can help you protect money from creditors, probate courts, and estate taxes.

What types of accounts can be opened for a trust?

In most cases, you can choose between savings accounts, checking accounts, and CD accounts for trusts.

Some banks might also let you open money market accounts under a trust. Private banks and brokerage firms may also provide other types of trust accounts, such as mutual funds trusts.

Are there disadvantages to opening a trust?

A trust is a convenient way to avoid probate, minimize tax loss, and set guidelines for your assets.

That being said, trusts can be difficult to execute properly and require careful planning, record-keeping, and maintenance. There may also be administrative fees. As such, it’s crucial to work with professionals with a proven track record managing trusts.

Why have banks stopped doing trust accounts?

A lot of banks have discontinued their trust services because of the expertise and time required to offer trusts. Not all banks are equipped to advise clients on the complexities of opening and providing ongoing management for a trust.

Are Trust Accounts Worth It?

While trust accounts can get complicated, they’re a useful personal finance tool that can help you accomplish things that otherwise would be very difficult.

From taking care of a loved one who might not have the means to do so, to making sure your wishes are upheld after you die, trust accounts can be as versatile as they can be strategic.

Because trusts can be tricky, seeking legal advice from an estate attorney can help you make sure you set up the account successfully.

Getting professional advice will be especially helpful if you’re setting up an account to protect your money.

While trust accounts can get complicated, they’re a useful personal finance tool that can help you accomplish things that otherwise would be very difficult.

From taking care of a loved one who might not have the means to do so, to making sure your wishes are upheld after you die, trust accounts can be as versatile as they can be strategic.

Because trusts can be tricky, seeking legal advice from an estate attorney can help you make sure you set up the account successfully.

Getting professional advice will be especially helpful if you’re setting up an account to protect your money.

Our Methodology

To choose the best banks that offer trust accounts, we analyzed dozens of banks, read the fine print, dug into third-party reviews, and reached out to bank representatives to confirm account details.

Our assessment zeroed in on the metrics below:

  • Fees: First, we looked into each account’s fees. For deposit accounts, we honed in on monthly fees and prioritized banks that either have no monthly fees or make them easy to waive. For brokerage accounts, we favored affordable investment services with reasonable advisory fees and commission-free trades.
  • Account types: We also focused on the types of trust accounts available at each bank, and their features, prioritizing banks with multiple types of trust accounts.
  • Application: We also explored the ease of application, considering whether or not you can apply for an account online or if you’re required to contact the bank over the phone or visit a branch to apply.

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