Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 6.2. Financial Institutions and Services
Chapter 10. Entities Conducting Trust Business
12/4/2022

Article 1. Trust Powers and Trust Business.

§ 6.2-1000. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Affiliated trust company" means a trust company that is controlled by a trust company holding company.

"Trust business" means the holding out by a person or legal entity to the public at large by advertising, solicitation or other means that the person or legal entity is available to act as a fiduciary in the Commonwealth or is accepting and undertaking to perform the duties of a fiduciary in the regular course of its business. A person does not engage in trust business by:

1. Rendering services as an attorney at law, either individually or through an entity wholly owned by attorneys at law, in the performance of duties as a fiduciary;

2. Rendering services as a certified or registered public accountant in the performance of duties as such;

3. Acting as trustee under a deed of trust made only as security for the payment of money or for the performance of another act;

4. Acting as a trustee in bankruptcy or as a receiver;

5. Holding trusts of real estate for the primary purpose of subdivision, development or sale, or to facilitate any business transaction with respect to such real estate;

6. Engaging in the business of an escrow agent;

7. Holding assets as trustee of a trust created for charitable purposes if:

a. The trustee is an entity exempt from federal income tax under § 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and

b. The trust is (i) exempt from federal income taxes under § 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (ii) a charitable remainder trust described in § 664 of the Internal Revenue Code; (iii) a pooled income fund described in § 642(c) (5) of the Internal Revenue Code; or (iv) a trust the charitable interest in which is either a guaranteed annuity or a fixed percentage distributed yearly of the fair market value of the trust property, described in § 2055(e) (2) (B) or § 2522(c) (2) (B) of the Internal Revenue Code;

8. Receiving rents and proceeds of sale as a licensed real estate broker on behalf of the principal; or

9. Engaging in securities transactions as a broker-dealer or salesman.

"Trust company" means a corporation, including an affiliated trust company, that is authorized to engage in the trust business under Article 2 (§ 6.2-1013 et seq.) of this chapter, the powers of which are expressly restricted to the conduct of trust business.

"Trust company holding company" means a corporation that controls a trust company. A trust company holding company shall not be deemed a financial institution holding company for any purpose under this title unless it controls a financial institution other than an affiliated trust company or another financial institution holding company.

"Trust institution" means any (i) bank authorized to engage in the trust business, (ii) trust company, or (iii) trust subsidiary.

"Trust subsidiary" or "subsidiary trust company" means a corporation organized under Chapter 9 (§ 13.1-601 et seq.) of Title 13.1, or an association organized under the National Banking Act with its main office located in the Commonwealth, that is authorized to transact trust business and business incidental thereto, but not to accept deposits except as incidental to such trust business.

1974, c. 286, § 6.1-32.2; 1991, c. 282; 1993, c. 432, §§ 6.1-32.11, 6.1-32.12; 1994, c. 524; 1995, c. 140; 1997, c. 801; 2001, c. 717; 2004, c. 781; 2010, c. 794; 2022, c. 323.

§ 6.2-1001. Entities authorized to engage in trust business.

A. No entities, except (i) corporations duly chartered and already conducting trust business in the Commonwealth under authority of the laws of the Commonwealth or the United States, (ii) banks hereafter incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth that are authorized to engage in the trust business through a separate trust department pursuant to Article 3 (§ 6.2-819 et seq.) of Chapter 8, (iii) corporations authorized to engage in the trust business in the Commonwealth under the banking laws of the United States, including any national bank or federal savings bank described in clause (ii) of subsection B of § 6.2-1067, (iv) trust companies authorized to establish and operate one or more trust offices or engage in trust business in the Commonwealth under Article 2 (§ 6.2-1013 et seq.), (v) trust subsidiaries authorized to engage in trust business under Article 3 (§ 6.2-1047 et seq.), (vi) multistate trust institutions authorized to engage in trust business under Article 4 (§ 6.2-1065 et seq.), (vii) private trust companies authorized to engage in trust business under Article 5 (§ 6.2-1074 et seq.), or (viii) savings institutions authorized to engage in the trust business pursuant to Article 6 (§ 6.2-1081 et seq.), shall engage in the trust business in the Commonwealth. No foreign corporation, except as permitted in Chapter 7 (§ 6.2-700 et seq.), shall engage in trust business in the Commonwealth.

B. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent:

1. A natural person from qualifying and acting as trustee, personal representative, guardian, conservator, committee, or in any other fiduciary capacity;

2. Any person from (i) lending money on real estate and personal security or collateral, (ii) guaranteeing the payment of bonds, notes, bills and other obligations, or (iii) purchasing or selling stocks and bonds;

3. Any bank or trust company organized under the laws of the Commonwealth from qualifying and acting in another state as trustee, personal representative, guardian of a minor, conservator, or committee or in any other fiduciary capacity, when permitted so to do by the laws of such other state; or

4. An incorporated association that is authorized to sell burial association group life insurance certificates in the Commonwealth, as described in the definition of limited burial insurance authority in § 38.2-1800, the principal purpose of which is to assist its members in (i) financial planning for their funerals and burials and (ii) obtaining insurance for the payment, in whole or in part, for funeral, burial, and related expenses, from serving as trustee of a trust established pursuant to § 54.1-2822.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed:

1. To prevent any bank or trust company organized in the Commonwealth and chartered under the laws of the United States from transacting business in the Commonwealth; or

2. To prevent a real estate broker as defined in § 54.1-2100 from owning or operating a bank provided that the requirements of this chapter are met.

D. Except as permitted by this chapter or by Article 3 (§ 6.2-819 et seq.) of Chapter 8, or by federal law in the case of a national bank or federal savings bank described in clause (ii) of subsection B of § 6.2-1067, no entity shall qualify or act (i) as a personal representative of a deceased person; (ii) as a guardian for an infant or an incapacitated person; (iii) as a committee; (iv) as a conservator for an incapacitated person; (v) as a testamentary trustee, or trustee for any other trust if required by law to account to the commissioner of accounts of a circuit court in the Commonwealth; or (vi) in any other fiduciary capacity required to account to the commissioner of accounts of a circuit court in the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 6-9; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-5; 1974, c. 286, § 6.1-32.5; 1985, c. 544; 1995, c. 301; 1997, c. 801; 1999, c. 835; 2003, cc. 536, 558, 910; 2007, c. 621; 2010, c. 794; 2011, c. 67; 2012, c. 608.

§ 6.2-1002. Powers of trust institutions.

A. All banks that are authorized to do a trust business and all trust companies shall have the following rights, powers, and privileges, and shall be subject to the following regulations and restrictions:

1. To act as agent for any person, corporation, municipality, or state, for the collection or disbursement of interest, or income or principal of securities;

2. To act as the fiscal or transfer agent of any state, municipality, or body politic or corporate, and in such capacity to receive and disburse money; to transfer, register, and countersign certificates of stock, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness;

3. To act as agent of any corporation, foreign or domestic, for any lawful purpose;

4. To act as trustee under any mortgage or bond issued by an individual, municipality, or body politic or corporate, and to accept and execute any other municipal or corporate trust not inconsistent with the laws of the Commonwealth;

5. To act as guardian, receiver, or trustee of the estate of any minor and as depository of any money paid into court, whether for the benefit of any minor or other person;

6. To take, accept, and execute any and all such lawful trusts, duties, and powers in regard to the holding and management and disposition of any estate, real and personal, and the rents and profits thereof, or the sale or lease thereof, as may be granted or confided to it by any circuit court, judge, or clerk, or by any person, corporation, municipality, or other authority, and it shall be accountable to all parties in interest for the faithful discharge of every such trust, duty, or power which it may so accept;

7. To take, accept, and execute any and all such trusts and powers, of whatever nature and description, as may be conferred upon or entrusted or committed to it by any person, including any body politic or corporate or other authority, by grant, assignment, transfer, devise, bequest, or otherwise or as may be entrusted or committed or transferred to it or vested in it by order of any circuit court, judge, or clerk, and to receive and hold any property or estate, real or personal, which may be the subject of any such trust; and

8. To act as:

a. Executor under the last will and testament or administrator of the estate of any deceased person, under appointment of any circuit court, judge, or clerk thereof, having jurisdiction of the estate of such deceased person;

b. Guardian of the person or of the estate of any infant, guardian or conservator of any incapacitated person, habitual drunkard, or person who by reason of advanced age or impaired health or physical disability has become mentally or physically incapable of taking proper care of his person or properly handling and managing his estate, under appointment of any circuit court, judge, or clerk thereof, having jurisdiction of the estate of such person; or

c. Trustee or committee for any convict in the penitentiary, under appointment of any circuit court, judge, or clerk thereof, having jurisdiction of the estate of such person.

B. Nothing in this section shall ever be construed as authorizing the creation of a trust not lawful as between individuals nor to prohibit the deposit of funds by court and fiduciaries in banks of deposit and discount and savings banks.

C. Every trust company doing business in the Commonwealth is authorized temporarily to suspend its usual business during a period of actual or threatened enemy attack, civil insurrection, or riot, affecting the community in which such institution is doing business or other emergency justifying temporary closing, such as fire, flood, or hurricane.

Code 1950, §§ 6-30, 6-94, 6-104; 1966, c. 584, §§ 6.1-12, 6.1-17; 1970, c. 15; 1974, c. 286, § 6.1-32.10; 1984, c. 172; 1993, c. 432; 1997, c. 801; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1003. When security not required; payment of probate taxes and fees.

A. No bank or trust company with a minimum unimpaired capital stock of $50,000 or more shall be required by any officer or court of the Commonwealth to (i) give security upon appointment to or acceptance of any office of trust which it may, by law, be authorized to execute or (ii) give security upon any bond given pursuant to § 19.2-386.6 or similar statute; however, no bank or trust company shall qualify on an estate having a value in excess of its combined unimpaired capital and surplus without giving bond for such excess.

B. When such bank or trust company shall qualify on any office of trust, the clerk in lieu of collecting the fees under Title 17.1 and probate taxes may render a bill or statement to the bank or trust company to be paid within five business days.

Code 1950, § 6-95; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-18; 1988, c. 348; 1993, c. 866; 2010, c. 794; 2012, cc. 283, 756.

§ 6.2-1004. Who may take oath for corporate fiduciary.

In all cases where any trust institution shall be appointed to act as trustee, executor, or administrator of any estate or guardian for any infant, or in any other fiduciary capacity, it shall be lawful for any officer of the trust institution to take and subscribe for the institution any and all oaths required to be taken or subscribed by such executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, or other fiduciary.

Code 1950, § 6-96; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-19; 1974, c. 665; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1005. Deposit or other use of trust funds.

A. Funds received or held in the trust department of a bank or by a trust company awaiting investment or distribution shall not be used by the bank or trust company in the conduct of its business.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, such funds may be deposited by a bank in its commercial or savings department to the credit of its trust department, if the bank first delivers to the trust department, as collateral security therefor, securities of any of the following classes:

1. Bonds, notes, or certificates of indebtedness of the United States;

2. Other readily marketable securities of the classes in which fiduciaries are authorized or permitted to invest trust funds, as set forth in § 64.2-1502; or

3. Other readily marketable bonds, notes, or debentures, commonly known as investment securities, meeting the following requirements:

a. That the issue be of a sufficiently large total to make marketability possible;

b. Such a public distribution of the securities must have been provided for or made in a manner to protect or insure the marketability of the issue; and

c. That the trust agreement under which the security is issued provides for a trustee independent of the obligor, which trustee must be a trust institution.

C. The securities deposited as collateral pursuant to subsection B shall be owned by the bank and shall at all times be at least equal in market value to the amount of trust funds so used in the conduct of the business of the bank less such amount thereof as shall be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation under existing or future federal law.

D. In the event of the failure or liquidation of such bank, the owners of the funds held in trust for investment shall have a lien on the bonds or other securities so set apart in addition to their claim against the estate of the bank.

Code 1950, § 6-99; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-21; 1992, c. 810; 1993, c. 432; 1994, c. 7; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1006. Custody of trust securities to be kept separate; federal securities and obligations.

A. The securities and investments held in each trust shall be kept separate and distinct from the securities owned by the trust institution. The trust institution shall at all times show upon its trust records the interests of each separate fiduciary account and trust in each particular security or investment held by it in a fiduciary capacity. Trust securities and investments shall be placed in the joint custody or control of two or more officers or other employees designated by the board of directors of the trust institution. Such joint custody shall be interpreted to mean that neither of such officers or employees shall have access alone at any time to such securities and investments. All such officers and employees shall be bonded.

B. Securities and obligations of the United States and of agencies of the United States government may be held for the account of the trust institution by a Federal Reserve Bank in a book-entry custody account, without the requirement of the trust institution having physical possession of such securities, provided at all times that the records of the Federal Reserve Bank and the trust institution shall at all times identify separately those securities held for the account of the trust institution and those held by the trust institution in a fiduciary capacity.

Code 1950, § 6-100; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-22; 1968, c. 59; 1974, cc. 75, 665; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1007. Investment of trust funds.

A. Funds received or held by a trust institution awaiting investment or distribution shall be invested or distributed as soon as practicable and shall not be held uninvested by the trust institution any longer than is reasonably necessary.

B. If the instrument creating the trust does not specify the character or class of investments to be made, and does not expressly grant to the trust institution, its officers or directors discretion in the matter of investments, funds held in trust shall be invested in any securities in which corporate or individual fiduciaries may lawfully invest.

C. If the instrument under which a trust institution is serving as fiduciary or cofiduciary does authorize it to retain:

1. Its own stock or securities, it shall be authorized to retain in like manner the stock or securities of a bank holding company of which it is a subsidiary; or

2. The stock or securities of a bank or trust company to the business of which the fiduciary has succeeded, or the stock or securities of a bank or trust company which has become a subsidiary of a bank holding company, such fiduciary shall be authorized in like manner to retain the stock of the successor bank or trust company or bank holding company.

Code 1950, §§ 6-98, 6-101; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-23; 1972, c. 740; 1974, c. 665; 1993, c. 432; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1008. Dealings with self or affiliates.

A. No trust institution shall buy any property for a trust or estate from itself, or a department or branch thereof, or from an affiliate or subsidiary corporation, or from a director, officer, or employee of such trust institution. Any such purchase shall be voidable at the election of any beneficiary or successor trustee, unless (i) approved by an appropriate court, (ii) consented to by all beneficiaries after full and fair disclosure, (iii) authorized by the instrument creating the fiduciary relationship, or (iv) permitted by ruling of the Commissioner.

B. A sale of any trust or fiduciary property by a trust institution to itself, or a department or branch of such trust institution, or to an affiliate or subsidiary corporation, or to a director, officer, or employee of such trust institution, except as (i) approved by an appropriate court, (ii) consented to by all beneficiaries after full and fair disclosure, (iii) authorized by the instrument creating the fiduciary relationship, or (iv) permitted by ruling of the Commissioner, shall be a breach of trust and voidable at the election of any beneficiary or successor trustee.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, a trust institution, as fiduciary of one estate or trust, may buy or sell from or to itself, as fiduciary of another estate or trust, assets which at the time of sale are permissible fiduciary investments under Part A (§ 64.2-1200 et seq.) of Subtitle IV of Title 64.2, if the transaction is fair to both estates or trusts and is not prohibited by the terms of any instrument under which the fiduciary is acting.

Code 1950, § 6-102; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-24; 1974, c. 665; 1991, c. 252; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1009. Common trust and collective investment funds.

A. As used in this section:

"Common trust fund" means a common trust fund described under § 584 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, as well as any other type of collective investment fund that is exempt from federal income taxation under any other provision of the Internal Revenue Code or regulations issued pursuant thereto.

"Maintaining bank" means a trust institution that establishes and maintains a common trust fund for the collective investment of qualified employee benefit trusts or funds held in a fiduciary capacity by it, including agency accounts under which the institution exercises investment discretion and assumes fiduciary responsibilities.

"Participating bank" means a trust institution duly authorized to act as a fiduciary, wherever located, that is owned, controlled by, or affiliated with (i) a maintaining bank or (ii) a bank holding company that also owns, controls, or is affiliated with a maintaining bank.

B. Any trust institution may establish and maintain one or more common trust funds for the collective investment of qualified employee benefit trusts or funds held in a fiduciary capacity by it, including agency accounts under which the institution exercises investment discretion and assumes fiduciary responsibilities.

C. The maintaining bank may include, for the purposes of collective investment in a common trust fund or funds established and maintained by it, funds held in a fiduciary capacity by any participating bank.

D. A maintaining bank may invest the funds held by it in any fiduciary capacity in one or more common trust funds, provided (i) such investment is not prohibited by the instrument, judgment, decree, or order creating such fiduciary relationship or amendment thereof; (ii) in the case of co-fiduciaries the written consent of the co-fiduciary is obtained by the maintaining bank; and (iii) the maintaining bank has no interest in the assets of the common trust fund other than as a fiduciary.

E. Unless ordered by an appropriate court, the maintaining bank operating a common trust fund shall not be required to render a court accounting with regard to such fund; but, by application to an appropriate court, it may secure approval of such an accounting on such conditions as the court may establish. This section shall not affect the duties of the trustees of the participating trusts under the common trust fund to render accounts of their several trusts.

F. All common trust funds shall be operated in conformity with the regulations issued from time to time by the Commission, which regulations shall conform substantially to the regulations of the Comptroller of the Currency governing the operations of common trust funds.

1983, c. 454, §§ 6.1-30.1, 6.1-30.2, 6.1-30.3; 1984, c. 299; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1010. Holding stock or other securities as fiduciary.

A. A trust institution holding stock or other securities as fiduciary may hold it in the name of a nominee without mention of the trust in the stock certificate or stock registry book or other book in which such securities are registered. A fiduciary registering stock or other securities in the name of a nominee as herein permitted, shall (i) clearly show upon its trust records the ownership of the stock or other securities by the fiduciary and the facts regarding its holding and (ii) provide that the nominee shall not have possession of the stock certificate or other securities nor access thereto except under the immediate supervision of the fiduciary. The fiduciary shall be personally liable for any loss to the trust resulting from any act of such nominee in connection with stock or other securities so held. Any individual serving as cofiduciary with a trust institution may consent to the trust institution holding such stock or other securities in the name of a nominee as herein provided; however, in such case the trust institution shall forthwith upon demand of the individual cofiduciary cause the stock or other securities to be transferred into the name of the fiduciaries in their fiduciary capacity.

B. Notwithstanding the provision relating to possession of the nominee, the trust institution may permit such certificates or other securities to remain in the possession of the nominee or a clearing corporation as defined in § 8.8A-102, within or without the Commonwealth, if the trust institution obtains adequate protection, through insurance or otherwise, against loss of such certificates or securities due to lack of possession by the fiduciary or possession thereof by the nominee or a clearing corporation.

C. The Commissioner or other appropriate regulatory official may review in advance and approve the protection through insurance or otherwise against loss due to lack of possession of these certificates or securities by the fiduciary.

Code 1950, § 6-103.1; 1958, c. 283; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-31; 1972, c. 739; 1974, c. 665; 1978, c. 14; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1011. Voting of bank shares held by trust institution as fiduciary; when disqualified.

A. As used in this section, "banking corporation" includes a bank or a corporation or company that is a bank holding company under 12 U.S.C. § 1841, as amended from time to time.

B. When shares of a national banking association or of a banking corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or another state are held by a trust institution that is serving as a personal representative of a decedent, trustee, guardian of any infant, agent or in any other fiduciary capacity, the trust institution may not (i) vote or participate in the voting of any voting securities of such bank if the securities held in such fiduciary capacity, together with all the other voting securities of such bank held in a fiduciary capacity, exceed 25 percent of the outstanding voting securities of such bank or (ii) vote such voting securities, if the voting securities of such bank held as a personal representative of the decedent, together with all other voting securities of such bank held in a fiduciary capacity, exceed five percent, unless there has been a determination by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System that the right to vote five percent or more of the voting securities but less than 25 percent thereof does not constitute control of that bank.

C. If there is any personal representative, trustee, guardian of any infant, or other fiduciary in addition to the trust institution in such fiduciary capacity, the other fiduciary, if not a director, officer, or employee of the trust institution, may vote such shares. If the trust institution is the sole fiduciary, or if the trust institution is serving along with a director, officer, or employee of the trust institution, it may petition the court, as provided in subsection D, for the appointment of a cofiduciary for the sole purpose of voting such bank shares.

D. When a trust institution has qualified or is serving under the laws of the Commonwealth as personal representative of a decedent, trustee, guardian of any infant, or in any other fiduciary capacity, and in such estate or trust, there are shares of stock of a national banking association or a banking corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or another state, and the trust institution is disqualified under subsection B from voting such shares, the trust institution or any interested party may petition the court in which the institution qualified or is capable to qualify to appoint a cofiduciary for the sole purpose of voting the shares of the banking association or banking corporation held by the estate or trust, which the trust institution is disqualified from voting. The appointment and qualification may be ex parte, and no prior notice to the beneficiary shall be required. The court at the time of such qualification may relieve the cofiduciary of any obligation for the giving of surety on his bond, and if the appointment of the cofiduciary is limited to voting of the bank stock, such order may provide that the cofiduciary shall not be liable or accountable as a fiduciary in the administration of such estate or trust except for the breach of any fiduciary duty in voting or failing to vote such bank stock. No director, officer, or employee of a trust institution shall be eligible to be named cofiduciary under the provisions of this subsection.

1972, c. 203, §§ 6.1-31.1, 6.1-31.2; 1974, c. 665; 2010, c. 794.

§ 6.2-1012. Suspension or prohibition of trust institutions.

The Commission may prohibit or suspend from engaging in trust business any (i) trust company that fails to comply with any of the provisions of § 6.2-1005, 6.2-1006, or 6.2-1008; (ii) bank doing a trust business that fails to comply with any of the provisions of § 6.2-821, 6.2-1005, 6.2-1006, or 6.2-1008; or (iii) trust subsidiary that fails to comply with the provisions of § 6.2-1006 or 6.2-1008.

Code 1950, § 6-103; 1966, c. 584, § 6.1-32; 1974, c. 665; 2010, c. 794.