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Whether you’re establishing a trust for yourself or have been named a trustee, RBC Royal Trust can help protect the interests and requirements of the trust through our experience in all aspects of trust management.

Setting up a trust

A trust makes sure your assets are distributed to your loved ones—or causes you care about—according to your specific wishes in a confidential, tax-effective way.

We can help you set up a trust to:

  • Provide for yourself, your spouse, children or other minor family members
  • Protect the future of family members with a physical or mental disability
  • Donate to a charitable cause
  • Maintain confidentiality when it comes to your financial affairs
  • Achieve certain tax advantages

Our trustee services

RBC Royal Trust professionals have in-depth knowledge of trusts and trust law, with expertise in all aspects of trust administration. You can rely on our ability to administer your trust with integrity and sound judgment.

Our trustee services are ideal for individuals who:

  • Want to establish a trust and prefer that an objective professional handles everything
  • Have already established trusts and require a corporate trustee to take over the administration
  • Have no family or friends who can act as trustee or their named trustee is no longer able to fulfill their role
  • Are struggling with a challenging family situation and feel the process is too complex for family or friends
  • Prefer that a professional handles all the technical aspects and makes decisions jointly with the person chosen as co-trustee

Sole trustee services

We act independently to establish and administer all types of inter vivos and testamentary trusts.

Co-trustee services

We act alongside another individual—you, a family member or a friend—to help establish and administer all types of inter vivos and testamentary trusts.

Successor trustee services

We can take over the administration of an existing trust should your named trustee not be able to fulfill their role.

Additional trustee services we include

Whether we act as sole trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee, we also provide a full range of services to protect and administer your trust. These include:

  • Investment management for assets within a trust
  • Impartial and empathetic approach to decisions affecting beneficiaries
  • Safekeeping of trust assets
  • Continuity of trust management across multiple generations
  • Tax preparation, record-keeping and accounting

How to choose a trustee

When establishing a trust, an important decision is determining who will act as your trustee. This is the individual or trust company that will carry out your wishes and protect your financial legacy.

Your trustee is essential to the preservation of the trust’s assets, so choose someone who:

  • Has expert knowledge of trusts and provincial trust laws
  • Can act reliably to administer and manage the trust on an ongoing basis
  • Has integrity, good judgment and the ability to develop empathetic relationships with beneficiaries
  • Understands the requirements of investing trust assets which can be complex
  • Invests time to be available to beneficiaries whenever needed and for many years to come

Acting as a trustee?

Your role involves several key legal obligations and responsibilities in management and administration. Trustees face several complexities and obligations, including ensuring the trust assets are protected, keeping proper accounts and providing detailed accounting to beneficiaries.

What to consider when you’re named as a trustee:

  • Complex family dynamics – Administering a trust can often create family conflict or renew existing family discord. An unbiased third party can often be an invaluable resource in managing those tensions.
  • Time constraints – Many trustees are unaware of how much time managing a trust requires. People with busy lives and competing time pressures of children, a career, and caring for aging parents may find it challenging to carry out their trustee duties promptly.
  • Lack of expertise – A professional, such as a trust company, can carry out many duties you don’t feel comfortable handling yourself, while you retain your decision-making authority.
  • Living outside the province or country – If you live in a different jurisdiction than the testator/settlor, there may be additional risk due to the legal, logistical and administrative complexities in managing the trust’s obligations from afar.
  • Personal liability – As a trustee, you have legal responsibilities that could subject you to personal liability.

Agent for trustee solution

If you feel you don’t have the time or are unsure how to proceed as a trustee, RBC Royal Trust professionals can help you in the ongoing management of trusts under your administration, while you retain final decision-making authority.

Rely on our attentive, reliable expertise as we support you in all your trustee duties, including:

  • Consolidated custody, trust accounting and record-keeping in capital and revenue format
  • Access to investment management services, if required
  • Facilitation of recurring income payments or payments of capital as required
  • Annual trust review including cash management
  • Preparation of annual T3 tax filing—issuance of T3 slips or payment of taxes payable
  • Distribution of trust to beneficiaries at the triggering event

Contact one of our skilled RBC Royal Trust professionals to find out more about the right services for you.