Northwest Bank Provides Tips for Trusts in Conjunction with National Financial Capability Month

April 21, 2023

Columbus, Ohio - In honor of National Financial Capability Month (previously known as National Financial Literacy Month), Northwest Bank provides customers with information about different types of trusts. National Financial Capability Month was designated as a call to action for Americans to not only learn and commit to various savings options, but to also learn more about the different resources available to make informed and effective decisions.

For people looking to protect their assets while ensuring beneficiaries can easily access various accounts, setting up a trust may be the most effective option. As a legal contract that ensures that assets are managed according to one’s wishes, trusts can provide potential tax benefits and the ability to set parameters for how and when assets will be used and distributed – during and after the person’s lifetime.

According to Michele Cavalier, senior vice president and senior trust executive at Northwest Bank, there are two general types of charitable trusts. The first is a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT), which allows the trust grantor, or person who created the trust, to make charitable donations during their lifetime, while the remainder of the funds in the trust pass to named beneficiaries upon the trust grantor’s passing.

“With CLTs, you can see the impact of your donations firsthand, while also ensuring your loved ones are provided for,” said Cavalier. “The grantor of the CLT can take an immediate charitable income tax deduction for present and future scheduled payments. This may be a wise option for an individual who needs to offset a high income one year.”

The second type, a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT), allows the trust grantor to receive income from the investment during their lifetime. Funds are distributed to designated charities following the grantor’s passing. A CRT qualifies for current charitable income tax deductions and reduces the amount of an estate to avoid estate taxes in most cases.

Beyond charitable trusts, there are also real estate trusts.

Kristen Testa, vice president and trust officer at Northwest Bank adds, “A real estate trust is a great estate planning tool. Putting a house in trust, as opposed to owning it outright, allows it to pass to a beneficiary outside of the probate process, which is often a long and costly matter for the grantor’s loved ones. The grantor doesn’t lose control of their home when placing it into a real estate trust and naming themselves the trustee. Real estate trusts also take into consideration potential disability or mental incapacity as one ages. If necessary, a co-trustee or successor trustee would maintain and manage the property to ensure it retains its value.”

Real estate trusts are also used for those who own properties in multiple states. It is often difficult to juggle the various utilities, taxes and other costs of real estate when numerous properties are owned. A co-trustee can ease the recordkeeping burden.

Estate planning is often a difficult conversation to have with loved ones. However, these discussions are needed to express a person’s wishes and help ease the burden on others. Drafting a Will is one way to do that. Often a trust serves as a better option to express one’s wishes because trusts provide for unique family circumstances, such as addressing privacy concerns, avoiding potential disagreements between family members, protecting a beneficiary who is financially unwise, or providing for a disabled loved one.

For more information on Northwest Bank’s trust offerings, please visit:


About Northwest Bank

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Northwest Bancshares, Inc. is the bank holding company of Northwest Bank. Founded in 1896 and headquartered in Warren, Pennsylvania, Northwest Bank is a full-service financial institution offering a complete line of business and personal banking products, as well as treasury management solutions and wealth management services. As of December 31, 2022, Northwest operated 142 full-service community banking offices and eight free standing drive-through facilities in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Indiana. The common stock of Northwest Bancshares, Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market ("NWBI"). Additional information regarding Northwest Bancshares, Inc. and Northwest Bank can be accessed on-line at