Adding Trust To Trustee Support Services

by Don Laubacher

Creating and protecting your legacy for future generations is an enormously powerful motivator in financial and estate planning. Taking care of those we love is one of the most primal drives in the human psyche. Trust plays a pivotal role in finding peace of mind, both that our desires for our family will be carried out according to our wishes, and that our beneficiaries will be able to enjoy our legacy without being unduly burdened. That’s why it’s vital that those engaged to support the administration of that legacy be individuals who understand your family, financial situation, and guiding principles.

Before coming to Sequoia Financial Group in 2014, I spent 14 years as a trust officer at a large regional bank. I observed the struggle many individuals encountered in their search for trustees and successor trustees. Many feared the administrative burden these duties would place on friends and family members, but many were also apprehensive about entrusting these deeply personal duties to a stranger. It’s completely understandable. That’s why Sequoia’s trustee support services were developed to give trust grantors peace of mind and provide all the support, guidance, tools, and technology that will enable a trustee to perform their duties efficiently and effectively.

It’s the best of both worlds, a trustee that is as closely connected to you and your family as you desire, and trustee services designed to help that trustee carry out their duties effectively, efficiently, and with as little difficulty as possible. We are there for you, for your family, and for your trustee. Here are just a few of the ways we can provide support:

Sequoia Trust Reporting System – To minimize the administrative burden required of trustees, which includes significant recordkeeping and adherence to their state’s trust code, Sequoia offers its Trust Reporting System, an integrated trust accounting and trading platform. This service was designed to offer support with the technical aspects of accounting and trading and the requisite recordkeeping.

We offer assistance with Trust Accounting and Tax Compliance including income and principal separation, tax worksheets, and Form 1041 preparation.

Fiduciary Consulting – Sequoia is deeply committed to the fiduciary standard, meaning we are legally responsible for acting in the best interests of our clients. This commitment extends to our relationships with trustees and the grantors and beneficiaries they serve. We offer trust summaries, flowcharts, and fiduciary and administrative guidance as they carry out their duties.

Investment Management & Advice – Your Sequoia Service Team will engage the services of our dedicated Asset Management Team to help you navigate investments as a trustee. We are here to help with investment policy statements, investment management advice, and aggregate portfolio reporting. Our goal is to make acting as a trustee as simple and straightforward as possible.

Operational Execution – Trustees can rest assured that we are here to minimize the pressure of the day-to-day tasks associated with managing a trust. Whether it’s automated trust distributions, transfers, or portfolio trading, we’re experienced in providing support and guidance. We’ll set up systems and processes to alleviate anxiety.

Beneficiary Wealth Planning – At the end of the day, trusts exist to care for, and benefit, their beneficiaries. Trustees generally want to act in the best interests of these beneficiaries, but sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly what that means. The Sequoia Team stands ready to help, not with canned, formulaic advice, but with real help. We will provide a Beneficiary Needs Assessment and use that to create a customized financial plan for the beneficiary. We won’t stop there; we’ll engage with you to deliver financial education that will help propel the trust beneficiary toward the bright future the grantor envisioned.

Trusts don’t have to be a burden for trustees, there is support and assistance available to help them carry out their duties responsibly and in accordance with applicable state trust laws. We are here to support you, bringing trust into the trustee services relationship. At Sequoia Financial Group, our Trustee Support Services are designed with the trust creator in mind. Our goal is to instill confidence that a trustee will receive the expertise and support necessary to successfully perform their required duties in a manner consistent with the spirit of the trust while serving trust stakeholders effectively and efficiently.


The tax and estate planning information offered by the advisor is general in nature. It is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. Tax preparation is done by a 3rd party and not Sequoia Financial Group.