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  • Andrea Garcia

How Realtors and Corporate Trustees Work Together

People often associate "corporate trustee" with big businesses and institutions. However, did you know that Realtors often work closely with corporate trustees? Together with your Realtor, corporate trustees can be a great resource to help you sell your current home and find your dream home, whether you are looking to find your dream home, downsize or right-size.

What A Corporate Trustee Does

The role of a corporate trustee – the beneficiary of the trust – is to act as a partner with their client, as well as identify and purchase a home, according to Bridget O'Brien Swartz, Vice President & Fiduciary Counsel of Mission Management & Trust Co., based in Tucson.

Corporate trustees will discuss with their beneficiary what a reasonable budget for the home purchase should be given the size of the trust estate, its liquidity, and other income or resources. The trustee will help to establish a budget, not only for the purchase but also for maintaining the home. In addition, the trustee will determine if the purchase should be financed or not.

The trustee will then relay the budget and financing plans of the purchase to your Realtor who can begin finding your perfect new home.

How it Works

If the home has been deemed to be an asset of the trust, the corporate trustee will act as the purchaser in its capacity as custodian of the client's trust.

As such, the corporate trustee will be responsible for reviewing paperwork related to the purchase, participating in the inspection process, and closing escrow. The latter would also include remitting funds from the trust to complete the purchase.

The corporate trustee will then work with the new homeowner to help maintain the home.

Choosing the Right Corporate Trustee

When selecting a corporate trustee, you will want to work with someone who will be the best fit for your needs and circumstances.

Here is a list of questions to ask a potential corporate trustee:

  • How much experience does the corporate trustee have?

  • What is the value of the assets it has under management?

  • How are the administration tasks processed (ie. bill pay, as discussed here, the purchase of a home)?

  • How are the investments handled?

  • What fees are charged?

  • Who is on the team, and with whom will the beneficiary be interacting with?

  • How does the corporate trustee decide whether to make a distribution from the trust?

  • Who does the corporate trustee collaborate with to ensure a beneficiary's needs are met?

It's important to ask questions to ensure you make a choice that's right for you or your loved ones, since this will be a long-term commitment for everyone involved.

Plan for Success

When you're ready to list your home, it's important to work with a realtor who understands the process of working with corporate trustees, with experience appearing before a committee to approve a home sale or purchase, as well as appearing before the court to testify when an asset/home is restricted.

With all that is often required, it's important to partner with a Realtor who has the knowledge and experience to take on the heavy lifting. Our mission is to provide a concierge approach for our clients, ensuring you enjoy as smooth an experience selling your home as possible.

If you have more questions about corporate trustees or you're ready to list your home or purchase a new one, please connect with me today!


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