Testamentary Trusts

Providing Lifetime Financial Security for Your Family or Other Loved Ones

How can you be certain that the assets you leave to your loved ones will be managed for their benefit—and according to your wishes—after your death? One way is through a testamentary trust, also called a trust under will.

A testamentary trust is an arrangement you create in your will. When you die, the trustee you’ve chosen manages the trust assets for the benefit of your family or other beneficiaries. Under the arrangement, your trustee is directed to distribute trust income and principal at the times and in the manner you have specified in the trust created under your will. Your trustee makes all administrative and asset management decisions, relieving your beneficiaries of this responsibility.

Testamentary trusts are very versatile and can play an important role in almost any estate plan. They can protect the interests of beneficiaries who are minors or simply inexperienced in financial matters, since the burden of decision making falls on your trustee. Knowing that your estate will be distributed exactly the way you have directed in your will can give you peace of mind in the present.

A trust is only as effective as the trustee you select to administer it. A well-qualified trustee has the knowledge and experience necessary to perform all the duties associated with managing and distributing trust assets—duties such as:

  • Safeguarding the trust’s investment assets
  • Maintaining accurate records of all trust transactions
  • Distributing trust income and principal according to the directions in your will
  • Answering any questions your beneficiaries may have concerning the trust
  • Handling day-to-day financial matters for beneficiaries
  • Reporting to the probate court, when necessary
  • Providing detailed statements of account and tax reports to the trust’s beneficiaries
  • Filing the trust’s income-tax returns

You may want to consider naming a professional corporate trustee such as Washington Trust to serve as trustee or co-trustee of your testamentary trust. A professional trustee provides continuity, unbiased judgment, and extensive investment and asset management experience and expertise, while relieving family members or other loved ones of the administrative burdens.

Find out more about testamentary trusts and why Washington Trust has been sought out by individuals and families for trust services since 1902.

Testamentary Trusts Information
Amy Ahrens, JD
Vice President & Senior Trust Officer
  1. 206.515.4781
  2. 601 Union Street Ste 4747
    Seattle, WA 98101

Amy is a Vice President and Senior Trust Officer for Washington Trust Bank's Wealth Management & Advisory Services, working with clients in Western Washington. Her more nearly 20 years of trust and estate administration experience support her responsibilities that include …