Trust & Wealth Transfer Planning

Leaving a legacy is about passing on important values, helping heirs become effective stewards of wealth and implementing your vision for the future.

Whether you are looking to minimize estate taxes, establish vehicles to address your philanthropic goals or use insurance to provide liquidity to offset estate taxes, your private wealth advisor will work with you and your team of legal and tax advisors to incorporate your wealth transfer goals into your estate plan.

Leverage revocable and irrevocable trusts that can help you protect and preserve your assets, minimize federal or estate taxes, and address complex family dynamics while also incorporating a thoughtful gifting strategy that allows you to see the impact firsthand and helps assure your assets are transferred and used as you intend.

Trusts Services

With the experience and resources to administer complex personal and charitable trusts, we can serve as: Trustee or executor, providing a full-range of fiduciary asset management and administrative services; Co-trustee or co-executor, with an individual of your choosing; Agent, allowing you, or the person appointed, to control investment decisions and discretionary distributions, while receiving support from Bank of America.

Learn more about the role a trust can play in your wealth transfer plan.

Wealth strategies to meet your complex needs

When you want to share the benefits of your wealth with the people you care about, we will work with you to identify the right trust strategy to meet your needs and supports your family and future generations in a tax-efficient manner.

  • Generation-skipping trusts that can help you build and protect your legacy for future generations while minimizing the transfer tax consequences. Assets in the trust are subject to federal estate and gift taxes (though no tax may be due if you have a sufficient amount of exemption remaining) only once — when they are transferred to the trust. The trust can also be exempt from the generation-skipping transfer tax if the donor's GST exemption is properly allocated.
  • Grantor-retained annuity trusts that can help you give to those you care about during your lifetime while minimizing federal gift taxes. The goal is for the value of the assets transferred to the trust to be as low as possible, but likely to appreciate over a short period of time.
  • Intentionally defective grantor trusts that allow you to transfer the appreciation of assets to your beneficiaries, free of gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes, provided your GST exemption is allocated properly.
  • Access to Delaware trust services, such as dynasty trusts, that are established under Delaware state law, and can help minimize taxes, preserve financial confidentiality, as well as, transfer ownership in a private business while you maintain day-to-day management control.
  • Charitable trusts, such as charitable lead trusts (CLT) or charitable remainder trusts (CRT), that allow you to support the philanthropic causes you care about, while also offering you a range of additional benefits, such as providing you or your heirs with an income stream, minimizing gift taxes and deferring capital gains taxes.
  • Trusteed IRAs that combine the tax benefits of a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA with greater control over how your assets are distributed.

Preparing for your wealth transfer

We understand the complexities that wealth brings, as well as the complications that can arise once the founding generation is no longer able to take an active role in providing direction and preserving a common family vision. We’ll work with you to identify and address the communication, planning and family governance issues that can help keep future generations unified around the goals that are important to you.

Your private wealth advisor, together with a private wealth strategist, works with your team of legal and tax advisors to identify an overall wealth transfer plan and the individual elements that may be needed to address your specific goals to help you create the legacy you envision.

Connect with a Merrill Private Wealth Advisor.

Frequently asked questions

Trust, fiduciary and investment management services, including assets managed by the Specialty Asset Management team, are provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”), and its agents.

Related insights

  • You’re becoming a grandparent: What now?

  • The one secret to creating a smarter wealth transfer plan

  • Estate planning for the whole family