Features & Services Section

Introduction to Administrative Trustee Services

Introduction to Administrative Trustee Services

Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware (CSTCD) offers Administrative Trustee Services for your clients who require a corporate trustee. You manage investment of the trust's assets, while CSTCD handles the non-investment management fiduciary administration according to your clients' trust documents.

To transfer an existing trust to CSTCD, see Transferring existing trusts to Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware as trustee.

CSTCD's Administrative Trustee Services does not include:

  • Drafting wills or trust documents
  • Providing tax planning advice
  • Acting as a personal representative or appointment as the executor or administrator of an estate 
  • Providing legal advice

Ideal Clients

  • Seeking a corporate trustee to perform administrative, fiduciary tasks on their trust account
  • Creating trusts to provide for family now or in the future
  • Beneficiaries of existing irrevocable trusts
Collective thinkingThe ability to consult with trust administration professionals enhances the level of experienced service to your clients.
Professional knowledgeAn administrative trustee has the expertise to manage the complexities of a trust.
Administrative objectivityA corporate professional fiduciary serving as trustee can avoid potential conflicts and compromises to objective trust administration.
Administrative integrityAn administrative trustee is subject to government regulation and independent audits.
  • Revocable living trust (often does not require a corporate trustee)
  • Irrevocable trust
  • Testamentary trust
  • Marital trust
  • Bypass trust
  • Qualified terminable interest property
  • Irrevocable life insurance trust
  • Grantor retained annuity trust
  • Charitable lead/remainder unitrust

CSTCD

  • Reviews trust documents for suitability
  • Coordinates the appointment of CSTCD and advisor in trust instrument
  • Performs account opening on broker-dealer system
  • Makes discretionary payments of principal and distribution of income to beneficiaries
  • Pays trust expenses
  • Provides monthly statements
  • Prepares and files fiduciary income tax, state returns, and K-1s to beneficiaries, and pays tax obligation

 Advisor

  • Maintains client relationship
  • Manages investments
  • Reports on performance

 Schwab Advisor Services

  • Custodies assets
  • Provides monthly brokerage statements to advisor and CSTCD
  • Supports Schwab Advisor Center trading platform
Marketable securities
  • First $3 million
  • Next $7 million
  • Thereafter
  • Minimum annual fee per account
  • 40 basis points
  • 20 basis points
  • 15 basis points
  • $2,500
Additional Asset FeesAnnual Rate
Closely held entities and Real Estate**Each entity$4,000
Life Insurance Policies and AnnuitiesEach policy$2,500
Promissory NotesEach note$1,000

*Rates effective 10/1/2023.

Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware (CSTCD) charges the above fee(s) for its services as administrative trustee, which includes trust administration, standard domestic tax return preparation and filing, and other ordinary services.

Additional Information

Additional fees and reimbursement expenses. Fees or expenses for special or non-standard services provided by CSTCD will be charged upon delivery of such services and are in addition to ordinary fees for services. Examples of special services may include, but are not limited to, dispute resolution, litigation expenses, loan/note liability management, real property management, trust settlement, or non-standard tax filings (e.g., asset-related reporting, foreign tax filings, foreign and domestic tax reporting and compliance filings). Any fees paid to an Investment Advisor, real estate holdings advisor, special holdings advisor, distribution advisor, trust protector, or other co-trustee required by the trust are separate from and in addition to CSTCD's fees. All additional fees for special services will be charged as an expense of the trust if permitted by the governing document or applicable law.

Early termination. In the case of termination, in whole or in part, within one year of CSTCD's acceptance as trustee, for reasons other than implementing the distributable event terms contained in the trust agreement, CSTCD retains the right to charge the remaining pro rata amount of one year's annual fee.

Fees are calculated and charged quarterly. CSTCD fees are subject to change upon notice. CSTCD may, at its sole and exclusive discretion, decline at any time to serve as trustee. All trust documents and assets must be reviewed by CSTCD prior to acceptance of an appointment as trustee.

* Additional asset fees are in addition to the greater of the marketable securities fee or minimum annual fee.

** Closely Held Entities may include interests in non-publicly traded companies. Closely Held Entities that primarily hold marketable securities are not subject to the Closely Held Entity fee, but such Closely Held Entities are subject to the greater of the marketable securities fee or minimum annual fee.

Administrative Trustee Services are provided by Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware (CSTCD). CSTCD and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are separate but affiliated companies and wholly owned subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Schwab Advisor Services™ is a business segment of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. serving independent investment advisors. CSTCD serves as the administrative trustee of trusts whose investments are managed by independent investment advisory firms that do business with Schwab Advisor Services and are selected solely by the trust's grantor or beneficiaries to provide investment advisory services for the trust. These advisory firms are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by The Charles Schwab Corporation, CSTCD, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. provides custody, securities brokerage, and related back-office services to the trusts for which CSTCD serves as administrative trustee. 

How long does it take to transfer an existing trust to CSTCD? 
The entire process can range from one to three months or longer, depending on multiple factors, including the required number of beneficiary signatures, the location of the beneficiaries, the possibility of local court involvement, and the willingness of current trustee(s) to release the trust assets.

What services does CSTCD perform as administrative trustee? 
CSTCD performs administrative fiduciary tasks in accordance with the governing document, including:

  • Income and principal distributions—Makes certain that distributions are made in accordance with the trust document.
  • Accounting and recordkeeping—Maintains all trust records and oversees all trust activity.
  • Preparation and filing of federal and state taxes—Prepares and files tax returns, pays taxes from the trust, and provides Schedule K-1 forms to beneficiaries who receive any distributions made from the trust.
  • Quarterly reporting—Provides you and your trust clients with a quarterly statement detailing all trust assets and activity.

If CSTCD cannot serve as trustee on my client's trust, are there any independent trust companies that Schwab suggests? 
Contact your service team to learn about other trust companies that can serve as administrative trustee.

Will CSTCD Administrative Trustee Services accept trusts governed by state law other than Delaware? 
CSTCD may accept a trust governed by any state law. However, Delaware law must govern the administration of the trust during the time that CSTCD is acting as trustee. Delaware's favorable trust law permits the separation of trust duties between the investment advisor and the administrative trustee. In addition, Delaware law offers investment flexibility, potential state income tax advantages, and confidentiality and security to grantors and beneficiaries. The trust's administrative situs must be Delaware; however, contact CSTCD at 800-745-7721 for more details, as other states may be named to govern the trust's validity and construction.

Will Administrative Trustee Services administer charitable trusts? 
Yes. CSTCD can serve as trustee for charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and charitable foundation trusts.

What is the difference between Administrative Trustee Services and Personal Trust Reporting Services (PTRS)? 
Administrative Trustee Services from CSTCD offers you an administrative or corporate trustee to administer the trust, leaving you to manage the investments of the trust assets. PTRS provides trust accounting and back-office support, including principal and income trust reporting and recordkeeping for clients who are individual trustees. The trustee of these accounts may be a friend or family member of the grantor, or in some cases, an advisor, CPA, or attorney may act as trustee.

How to enroll in and make adjustments to Personal Trust Reporting Services
How to open a trust account
Introduction to Personal Trust Reporting Services

Step-by-step guide for your clientsTransferring existing trusts to Charles Schwab Trust Company of Delaware as trustee
For your trust clientsAdministrative Trustee Services Client Guide
Advisor resources
Additional resources

For more information, contact the CSTCD at 800-745-7721.

See the Trust glossary for definitions of the trust terms used in this article.