Deb Thomas, Tim Starsia and Wendy Watson Stone – VNB Trust and Estate Services

VNB Trust and Estate Services

A partnership with you and your professional advisors.

103 Third Street, SE
Charlottesville, VA  22902
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Benefits of creating a trust

A trust is a highly effective way to ensure that your assets are managed according to your wishes and that they pass to your beneficiaries intact.  A trust can also: 

  • Maintain privacy while avoiding court guardianship and probate procedures
  • Provide long-term income to family members without the liability of managing assets
  • Help ensure wise spending decisions to protect against unintended depletion of assets
  • Potentially protect assets from future creditors
  • Maintain assets for multiple generations
  • Help you to utilize appropriate tax strategies
  • Facilitate charitable giving

At VNB, we understand and appreciate that the relationship between an attorney and a client is the foundation on which a good wealth and estate plan is built.  Our goal is to support and enhance that relationship over time.  Our team has the legal, financial, compliance and administrative background necessary to ensure that the planning intentions and goals of you and your legal professional are met over time.  We can be an integral part of your team to assist you with:

  • Revocable or Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts and Lead Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts or Unitrusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Investment Management

VNB Trust and Estate Services

One of the most important aspects of creating a trust is naming someone to act as trustee.  A trustee is held to a fiduciary standard of care, which means the trustee owes a duty of loyalty and prudence to beneficiaries, and is required to act in good faith and in the beneficiaries’ best interest in administering the trust. 

Many times when you elect to create a trust as part of your wealth and/or estate planning, it can be quite challenging to choose who will serve as trustee. A corporate fiduciary can provide long-term continuity of management.   With the increasing sophistication of assets to be managed and complexity of the relationships involved, a fiduciary with experience and expertise is more important than ever. As a corporate trustee, VNB Trust and Estate Services offers distinct advantages and flexibility.  VNB Trust and Estate Services can serve as trustee, co-trustee, or successor trustee in many situations where an individual trustee might not provide a similar level of service. 

The benefits of a corporate trustee include: 

  • Unbiased loyalty and independence to carry out your wishes
  • Knowledgeable management, protection and defense of trust assets
  • Experienced oversight of the investment management function
  • Timely and accurate statements of the account to keep you and all current beneficiaries informed
  • Consistent and reliable account reviews
  • Accountable collection and prudent distribution of income and assets
  • Tax reporting, filing and comprehensive regulatory compliance

The trustee's role is to administer and distribute the assets in the trust according to your wishes as expressed in the trust document. There are three primary elements to the trustee's role:

Custody:  The trustee holds title to trust assets, and in turn must keep accurate records, report to the beneficiaries, execute and settle all transactions, protect and insure the property and defend the trust against claimants. The trustee oversees trust accounting in compliance with state and federal law and the preparation of required tax returns.

Investment Management:  The trustee is ultimately responsible for the investment and management of trust assets given the trust's terms and objectives. The trustee must review the investment of trust assets, the trust terms and objectives, and the current market conditions at least annually to be sure that the trust investments match the trust objectives. The day-to-day investment management may be handled by the VNB Trust and Estate Services team, or delegated to your trusted financial advisor.

Trust Administration:  The trustee is responsible for the legal interpretation of trust terms and objectives in handling the specific circumstances of each request for funds from trust beneficiaries. Experienced and equitable trust administration is essential to fulfilling your trust plan.

Investment Management

At VNB Trust and Estate Services, we offer competitive investment management services, however, we also understand that you may have a strong, long-term relationship with your current investment advisors, and that you may wish to maintain continuity in the investment management responsibility as assets are passed on through operation of a trust.  Our team is able to work closely and effectively to provide corporate trustee services, while leaving the investment management responsibility in the hands of your current financial advisors if that is your preference.  You can continue to benefit from the judgment of your trusted financial advisor, while your family's wealth is protected by a knowledgeable trustee. 

Estate Services

Your estate plan should give you the necessary peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out and that family members are cared for. Your estate plan, however, is only as effective as the estate administration team handling it when the time comes.  The VNB Trusts and Estates Services team will work closely with your legal and tax professionals to make a seamless transition of your wealth.  Our goal is to help ensure that your estate plan is executed according to your wishes, and to provide the necessary support and assistance to your estate beneficiaries.

The VNB Trust and Estate Services team can serve as executor, co-executor, or as an agent for an executor.


Investment Accounts at VNB Trust and Estate Services: 

  • Are NOT insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are NOT deposits of, or guaranteed by, a Bank or any Bank affiliate
  • May Lose Value