Trusts and the Perception of Accessibility

Michelle Greive – 04/07/2022

A common misconception is that trust accounts are only for the wealthy. However, I believe everyone needs at least one trust in place because of its value related to current cash flow and future estate control within a financial plan.

The main reason an investment management professional may steer clear of trusts is because of the overhead and operations involved in managing them, including:

  • Estate attorney fees;
  • Tasks associated with retitling all accounts;
  • Clients updating trusts as life changes occur; and
  • Management of the account’s activities and accounting

There are benefits to trusts that outweigh the obstacles. For example, a great benefit of trusts is that advisors can help their clients by setting them up to address impactful life circumstances. A most common example is a trust addressing a person’s legacy within estate planning. Indeed, custodial accounts, insurance policies, and bank accounts have designated beneficiaries, but what about the investor’s legacy? Questions an advisor can help an investor think through when legacy planning is:

  • Do they want their earnings to go towards their children’s and grandchildren’s education?
  • Do they want to donate their assets toward a charity that serves the causes they support?
  • Do the investors want to fund an educational charity? If so, at once, or do they want to have a continual, sometimes generational impact?

With a trust, these conversations can lead to meaningful action since it can be structured to support a charity with a single donation or generationally empower the client’s progeny using the power of compounded interest, a trustee, and the power of the trust.

As the industry focuses more on the comprehensive wealth picture, investors want to focus on specific objectives to achieve particular outcomes. In these scenarios, a trust may be an extremely beneficial vehicle narrowly tailored to the investor’s needs. In addition, it gives the trustee a rulebook to use when it comes to the management of the funds. Therefore, it is no surprise that advisors are starting to seek expertise in the trust space, given the cash flow and estate control success trusts can provide clients.

Using Technology to Solve Complexities of Management and Paperwork

SS&C’s Trust Suite merges the power of industry-leading trusty offerings from the Black Diamond Wealth Platform, SS&C Innovest, SS&C Salentica, and more. These solutions work together to reduce some of the overhead associated with managing the trust conversations with grantors, trustees, beneficiaries, and the like. In addition, SS&C’s Trust Suite is working to modernize the trust solution by offering a best-in-class accounting, fee calculation, billing, and direct cash management option. Critical to the management and operations, the Trust Suite also supplies technology that is imperative for complying with reporting and compliance requirements. The essential trust details like principal and income holdings, statements, and sharing rebalancing details empower trust companies to facilitate meaningful conversations between the investment advisors, trustees, and beneficiaries.

The Trust Suite provides opportunities to complement an advisor’s dialogue, just as Black Diamond also uses Timeline, Vault, and innovative reporting features. Additionally, this partnership demonstrates a comprehensive view of a firm’s financial well-being by unlocking features such as Data Mining, Business Intelligence, APIs, queries, and more.

Finally, augmenting trust documents with the Black Diamond Client Experience can be a game-changer. By adding portfolio performance, tax documents, and custodial statements all in one place, clients have a true home to manage their financial life.

To learn more about SS&C’s Trust Suite, and how you can help your clients meet their life financial goals by building their legacy in real-time. Contact us at (800) 727-0605 or