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Trust, Estate and Wealth Transfer Services

Informing your decisions today to help make your future dreams a reality

Whether your goal is to leave a legacy for the people and causes you care about, carry out the responsibilities you have assumed as a trustee or executor, or ease the burden on others in the event of incapacity, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust are here to help in many ways.


Creating an estate plan around your values and aspirations can bring tremendous personal fulfillment, and, with a proper strategy, can help you maximize tax efficiencies and preserve assets for your heirs. If you haven’t found time to create an estate plan or haven’t revisited the one you created a few years ago, schedule a meeting with your Merrill Lynch advisor today to learn about the resources available through U.S. Trust to help you feel confident that you are providing a strong and vital legacy for the people you love.

Do you need an estate plan? | Is it time to update your estate plan?
Trust and Fiduciary Services from an Industry Leader


Trusts are a very flexible planning tool that can be structured to address a wide range of goals. For example, you can use a trust to control your assets now, but provide for professional management if you become incapacitated. That same trust can be structured to provide for your spouse, children, grandchildren or future generations after you are gone. A trust can also distribute assets to charities or causes that you select, now or in the future. And, certain types of trusts may also help you reduce federal or state estate taxes or transfer assets at a reduced value for gift or estate tax purposes, preserving more for the people and causes that are important to you.

Your Merrill Lynch advisor would welcome the opportunity to discuss your goals for your wealth, whether a trust might be useful and the ways in which U.S. Trust may be able to help. Watch Four Reasons to Use a Trust to see how a trust might help you.

Additional Resources on Specific Types of Trusts

Revocable Living Trust | Trusteed IRA | Delaware Trust | Charitable Remainder Trust | Charitable Lead Trust


Whether you are serving as trustee of your own trust or one created by someone else, your Merrill Lynch advisor can provide you with access to a range of services from U.S. Trust to help you—now, or in the future should your needs change.

Trust administration and fiduciary investment management.

Managing trust assets and complying with specific trust document provisions and state laws can be challenging if you have a busy travel schedule, find it difficult to carve out time to devote to the trust or if you feel pressured to meet the expectations of the trust’s beneficiaries. Your Merrill Lynch advisor can explain the ways U.S. Trust can help simplify your role as trustee.

The Role and Responsibilities of a Trustee | Services for Trustees

Managing a trust with nonfinancial assets?

Many clients are relieved to know that the Specialty Asset Management group within U.S. Trust manages nonfinancial assets such as investment real estate, private business interests, oil and gas interests, timberland or farm and ranch land and can provide strategic advice as well as day-to-day management services.

Specialty Asset Management

A range of service to meet your specific needs.

Depending on your needs, U.S. Trust can assume sole responsibility for managing and administering your trust as trustee, serve alongside one or more individuals you select as co-trustees or take on selected fiduciary responsibilities by serving as agent for the trustee you select. U.S. Trust can also serve as successor trustee, assuming fiduciary responsibilities when the trustee you have selected no longer wishes to serve or is unable to do so. Your Merrill Lynch advisor can work with you and your particular circumstances to determine how U.S. Trust may be able to help support you in your role as trustee.



A substantial portfolio of tax-advantaged retirement assets can do more than help fund your retirement — unused retirement assets can help provide for the people and causes you care about. If you have accumulated significant assets in an IRA, 401(k) or other qualified plan, a Trusteed IRA can help you preserve the potential tax advantages of these unique assets for as long as possible while providing maximum control over how the assets are distributed. U.S. Trust is one of a limited number of providers who offer Trusteed IRAs — your Merrill Lynch advisor can explain this powerful option to see if it can help you address your goals.

Using IRA assets to address your wealth transfer goals
Using a Trusteed IRA to Protect, Preserve and Control Your IRA Assets


If your goals for your wealth include supporting institutions or causes that are special to you, we can help you give in a way that works for you now, and in the future. For example, charitable trusts enable you to address charitable as well as personal goals with a single trust, while donor-advised funds and private foundations can be important charitable alternatives if you want to leave a legacy or use philanthropic activities to engage and/or educate family members. Your Merrill Lynch advisor and U.S. Trust can help you evaluate your charitable giving alternatives, select appropriate assets and integrate your charitable giving strategy into your overall wealth management and transfer plans.

Charitable Remainder Trust | Charitable Lead Trust


If you own significant nonfinancial assets, such as a private business, real estate interests, oil and gas, timberland or ranch and farm land, they are likely an important component of your wealth. Your Merrill Lynch advisor can share with you how U.S. Trust’s Specialty Asset Management team helps clients like you address the complexities of owning nonfinancial assets and integrate them into their overall wealth transfer plans. Their knowledge of their industries allows them to be creative in assessing opportunities and challenges, and proactive in suggesting solutions and strategies. And their ability to provide day-to-day management capabilities can help you and your family avoid the sale of an asset that may have special significance simply because family members no longer have the desire or ability to take an active management or oversight role.

Specialty Asset Management



Settling an estate is complex and often requires technical knowledge and a substantial commitment of time that few individuals have. If you have been named executor of an estate or are considering the choice of executor for your estate plan, it is important to understand the process and responsibilities. Your Merrill Lynch advisor can explain the range of services U.S. Trust provides to simplify the estate settlement process.

Duties of an Executor: A step-by-step guide to the estate planning process | Estate Administration Services



As part of Bank of America Corporation, Merrill Lynch and U.S. trust work together to bring you the capabilities of a premier global investment firm and one of the nation's leading trust organizations. Your Merrill Lynch advisor can work with you on an approach designed to provide the specific services you need in the way that works for you. The result is a relationship supported by the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the deep fiduciary experience of U.S. Trust — a relationship dedicated to helping you address your unique goals and priorities.

Trust Fiduciary Services from an Industry Leader

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor

  1. With the new higher gift and estate tax exemption amounts, do I really need a trust or wealth transfer plan?
  2. What do my spouse or one of my children need to know if serving as the executor of my estate or successor trustee of my trust?
  3. Is it better to leave IRA and 401(k) assets to my spouse and children or assets in my investment account?

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