The first step in setting up a QDOT, as with any estate planning, would be to seek out an experienced attorney to draft the trust. When the QDOT comes into play, typically you would need to appoint a corporate trustee or co-trustee. This could be one of the many trust companies that exist–such as the ING Trust Company or Capital Trust Company of Delaware–or any independent trust company that caters to independent advisors (see the Investment Advisor annual directory of independent trust companies available at www.investmentadvisor.com; this comprehensive list will be updated in the July 2005 issue of the magazine).
The fee schedule for the trust company can vary depending on the type of investment platform or model used. For instance, ING Trust’s fee for these services ranges from 0.50 basis points to 1.25%; in my experience, ING Trust falls into the middle to low end for fees.
To learn more about estate planning strategies, speak with a qualified attorney or planner who specializes in estate planning, or visit the following Web sites for background information:
American Association of Retired Persons
Ask for the AARP publication called Product Report: Wills & Living Trusts
The American Bar Association Service Center
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
The National Consumer Law Center, Inc.