Millionaires are three-and-one-half times more likely to hold assets in the legal structure than are investors with less than $1 million, a 2012 Spectrem's Millionaire Corner study found.
Total personal bank trust assets rebounded modestly last year, according to a new Personal Trust Update report released this week by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. At year-end 2012, total bank personal trusts increased $28 billion to an estimated $883 billion. The number of total personal trust accounts within U.S. banking institutions continued their downward trend and settled at 628,000.
Consolidation of trust charters continued with 1,353 institutions reporting personal trust assets at the end of last year.
The number of Managed Personal Trust Accounts has dropped to an unprecedented low since tracking began in 1996, while the number of Non-Managed Personal Trust accounts increased slightly, but have essentially been stagnant over the past five years, the report found.
There are currently 1,322 banking organizations, down from more than 1,400 last year, that report having assets held in trust, but for the most part, the largest concentration of trust assets continues to be with the largest trust organizations, The largest personal trust providers include: The Northern Trust; Bank of America; JPMorgan Chase; Wells Fargo; Citibank; BMO Harris; PNC; BNY Mellon; US Bank; and State Street.
The top 10 holding companies or banks hold at least $26 billion, or more than 60 percent of all personal trust assets. Nearly 80 percent (or $698 billion) are held by the top 25 institutions.
Wealthy investors are more likely to have an estate planning tool such as a trust, according to ongoing research by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Millionaires are three-and-one-half times more likely to hold assets in the legal structure than are investors with less than $1 million, a 2012 Spectrem study found.
A trust, along with a will, is a key element of an estate plan. A trust allows an individual to transfer title of property to a trustee, who is then required to follow that investor’s written instructions in distributing the property after their death.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.