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Transferring a Trust: What You Need to Know

Drew Barnes, CFP®
December 19, 2019

Are you the beneficiary of a trust that was established by a loved one at a different institution? Have you been less than pleased with how the trust is invested and/or the service you’ve been receiving? The good news is there are likely other options available to you, and M.J. Smith & Associates can help determine the best ones for you.

Most trust documents allow the beneficiary, or someone else, to change trustees and transfer trusts. Even if the trust documents don’t specifically allow for a change or transfer, you can generally enlist the help of an attorney to move the trust.

Reasons to consider transferring a trust:

  • If you find that you are receiving service that is not up to the standards provided by the M.J. Smith & Associates team
  • If you are not pleased with the manner in which the trust assets are being invested, including performance
  • If you are unhappy with the level of fees being charged for asset management

The benefits of transferring a trust:

  • Convenience of having all your assets “under one roof”
  • Consolidated statements from one firm (Raymond James)
  • You’ll get to work with your M.J. Smith & Associates financial consultant and a Raymond James trustee. Your financial consultant will be able to invest the trust assets and be your day-to-day liaison between you and your Raymond James trustee
  • You can take comfort that your trust will be invested in line with your existing documented investment policy (IPS), if the trust document allows for it.  Otherwise, we will assist in developing an appropriate IPS for the trust.
  • The increased assets you have with M.J. Smith & Associates may allow you to benefit from lower management fees by accessing breakpoints in our fee schedule
  • Depending on which institution currently holds the trust, you may be able to lower your trustee fees

Things to consider when transferring trust:

  • You will need to determine if you, as the beneficiary, have the power to transfer and change trustees
  • Trusts with all marketable securities are the easiest to transfer
  • Trusts with real estate, closely held stock or partnerships, and mineral/oil/gas interests typically require some additional information and/or work

Get to know Raymond James Trust, N.A.:

Raymond James Trust, N.A. can serve in a number of roles, including that of trustee, co-trustee, custodian, personal representative, or agent to a trustee on several types of personal trusts. As trustee, Raymond James Trust offers careful management from skilled professionals, impartiality in making investment decisions and dealing with beneficiaries, and state-of-the-art technology that serves clients better and faster.


Founded in 1992, Raymond James Trust, N.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Financial Inc (NYSE-RJF). Because the Trust is not a bank, it does not push clients toward proprietary products and has an open investment platform. The Trust currently has over $6 billion in total assets under administration among all 50 states. The professional staff is comprised of attorneys and trust experts with extensive experience in administering a wide variety of trusts.

We’re here to help

You and your beneficiaries can count on Raymond James Trust to be present every step of the way as arrangements are made and carried out during what can be a complicated, stressful, and difficult time. From providing accurate explanations of all estate and court proceedings to preparing final tax returns, we’re here to guide you. Schedule to meet with one of our team members today.

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The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented in this post, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax matters. You should discuss tax matters with the appropriate professional. Raymond James Trust does not offer legal or tax advice. You should discuss any legal or tax matters with the appropriate professional. Raymond James Trust, N.A., is a subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, Inc.

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