What is a trust?

A trust is an agreement where one party (the trustee) holds legal title to property and manages it for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiaries).

A trust can be created during your lifetime and is called a living trust, or is part of a will which is then called a testamentary trust. A living trust can be used instead of a will or in combination with a will, depending on how your property is titled. You can do the same thing with a living trust that you can do with a will.

The trustee of a trust can be an individual or an organization such as a bank’s trust department. There are many advantages to using our Trust Department. If you name a family member as a trustee, you may create a taxable situation you had not anticipated if there are no limitations on their trust powers. As a professional trustee, we are bonded and experienced in the complexities of trust management. We can offer greater financial security, objectivity and continuity of management of your property.

What is probate?

If you die without a will, the State of Kansas creates a will for you. One-half of your property goes to your surviving spouse and one-half to your children. The court appoints someone to be an administrator, he or she collects all assets, pays all debts, and distributes the balance to your heirs. If you die with a will, the will must be admitted to probate by the court before it can pass property. The executor then collects all assets, pays all bills and distributes the property to those individuals named in the will. If you do not want the state to determine how to pass your property to your heirs, there are several different instruments you can use in planning your estate.

Let Us Help

Our Trust Department, when serving as a personal representative of an estate, a trustee of a trust, or as a conservator is called a fiduciary. A fiduciary is responsible for the collection and administration of assets in the estate or trust. Our Trust Department as a fiduciary will value, invest and administer the estate or trust or will in accordance with the governing instrument and state and federal law. This includes the investing of cash and the management of all real and personal property. As an agricultural bank, we are engaged in the management of farms and ranches and the marketing of farm commodities.

We have trust professionals who will help you with the management of your estate and if necessary counsel with you, as well as prepare a federal estate tax return using the best available methods to reduce the taxes paid.

For more information, contact us at 1-512-434-0210 or contact us via email at custserv@firstfincorporation.com.