Community Bank, N.A., (CBNA) is a full-service financial institution and national banking subsidiary of Community Bank System, Inc. With locations across Upstate New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania, CBNA offers personal loans, mortgages, checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, commercial loans, cash management and more. In addition to a full range of retail and business banking services, the company offers comprehensive financial planning, insurance and wealth-management services.
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Have questions about planning for your future? Well, we've got answers. Take a look through our frequently asked questions to learn more.

Trust Services FAQs

Must I have a trust to use your investment services?
Many of our clients choose trust arrangements because of the unique advantages they offer. But no, you're not required to create a trust. If you prefer, you can put us to work on a less formal basis. All it takes is a simple letter of instructions, designating us to act as your investment agent.
What are the advantages of a trust?

With a trust you can not only draw on our broad investment capabilities but also arrange to have us perform any number of special services, now or in the future. These personalized services could range from making payments of estimated taxes while you're traveling abroad to providing full personal financial management in the event you suffer an incapacitating illness.

Also, you can name one or more beneficiaries to receive the assets of your trust at your death. These distributions avoid probate. Or, you can have your trust continue beyond your lifetime, serving as a source of continuing income and support for your spouse, a child or others whom you designate.

Is it difficult to set up a trust?

No. To put us to work as your trustee, you take two steps. You deliver the money and/or securities that you wish to place in trust. And you give us your written instructions in the form of a trust agreement. The agreement, drawn up by your attorney, is signed by you (as creator of the trust) and by us (as trustee). That's all there is to it.

Trusts of this type are often called living trusts to distinguish them from testamentary trusts (those established under the terms of a will). Living trusts created for the purpose of personal asset management are also known as revocable trusts. That's because the person who creates the trust reserves the right to cancel or revoke it.

If I create a trust, can I keep control?

Certainly. Usually our trust clients keep control in three ways:

First, the trust agreement specifies that they can make withdrawals (or additions) at any time.
Second, as just mentioned, they reserve the right to cancel the trust.
Third, they reserve the right to give us new or different instructions by amending the trust agreement.

Can I make the investment decisions?
If you wish. Most of our clients look to us for objective, unbiased portfolio supervision because they lack the time or specialized knowledge to do all the necessary investment homework themselves. But you can delegate as much or as little investment responsibility as you want. After all, it's your trust.
Is trust service expensive?
No. Our fees are competitive with those charged by investment advisory firms (for services that may not include custodianship of securities, record keeping and other conveniences or by mutual funds).
How big must a trust fund be?
If you think of millions of dollars when you hear the word “trust,” you're the victim of a widespread misconception. Today's trust institutions have developed ways to handle even relatively small trusts efficiently. In any case, we don't think in terms of fixed minimums. Instead we ask ourselves, “Is a trust the way to meet this person's financial management needs?”
How much of a return will I get on my money?

That depends on your goals — current income, long-term growth to offset inflation, or some balance of the two — and on ever-changing investment conditions.

Over roughly the past 85 years, diversified portfolios of good quality stocks have produced a total annual return (dividends plus growth in principal value) averaging around 10%. Bonds have produced somewhat lower returns overall, but they offer a higher level of current income than stocks.*

As trustee our goal is to provide reasonably consistent returns over the years. We emphasize careful asset allocation, the selection of quality investments and constant vigilance.

Who should be the trustee of my trust?

Look for experience first — someone or a financial organization, such as Community Bank, N.A., who has handled every type of market for diverse sorts of families. You'll want such experience brought to bear in providing financial security for you and your family.

Your trustee should have financial strength as well as professional investment capabilities. The trustee should participate in financial markets every day, and trusteeship must be treated as a full-time job. That describes us perfectly.

How can I find out more about trusts?
That's easy. Our trust and investment pros will be glad to assemble further information for you, analyze your investment requirements and answer questions not covered here. Please call on us.

Investment Services FAQs

How much do I need to open an investment account?

The minimum amount you need to open an investment account varies according to the type of investment option that's right for you. An Investment account can be started for as little as $25 monthly in a Periodic Investment Plan.

What is the difference between saving money and investing it?

Saving money involves putting money in an interest-bearing account such as a savings account, checking account or certificate of deposit administered by a bank and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) up to a certain maximum amount allowed by law.

Investing unlike saving, involves some risk, and does not have the FDIC insurance coverage. With investing there is the potential for loss of some or all of your money. Investors seek to generate higher returns on invested dollars than on savings account deposits by taking a greater risk with their investment money. Higher-risk investments offer greater potential to pay higher returns, but they also increase the possibility of losses.

What are the benefits and risks? How I should plan my investments?

Investing is about taking calculated risks in return for potential financial gain such as a secure retirement sending children to college, or just early financial independence.

Investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds have typically (past performance is no guarantee of future results) delivered higher returns over time than interest paid on traditional savings accounts. But the risks of investing compared to a savings account are greater: There is no guarantee of higher returns, and there’s the possibility of losing the principal.

Investment professionals generally suggest diversifying your investments to match your financial goals and needs. Key elements of most investment plans include:

  • Determine short and long-term life goals to get a better handle on how much money you will need to meet your financial objectives.
  • Designing a diversified investment strategy that can help your plan succeed by keeping up with the changes in your life.
  • Determining your personal tolerance for assuming risk and establishing the time frame within which you expect to meet your financial goals.
What does diversification mean?

Diversification is a portfolio strategy designed to reduce exposure to risk by combining a variety of investments such as stock, bonds and mutual funds. A well-balanced portfolio helps give investors some protection against various market peaks and valleys.

How do taxes affect my rate of return?

While it might seem logical that an investment that yields a higher rate is better, this is not always the case. Your tax bracket can affect your rate of return.

Community Bank Wealth Management and Community Investment Services, Inc. are not tax advisors. Consult your tax advisor before making any tax-related investment decisions.

What are the benefits of working with a Financial Advisor from Community Investment Services, Inc.?

When you work with a Financial Advisor from Community Investment Services, you have access to a wealth of financial resources. Our Financial Advisors work closely with you to identify your investment needs and goals, then tailor a plan to fit your unique profile. Our advisors are based in Community Bank, N.A branches across upstate New York and northeast Pennsylvania, making us readily accessible our clients.

How do I go about opening an investment account?

To open an investment account, please contact your local bank branch and ask to set an appointment with a Financial Consultant.

Who should I contact if I need more information on my account or the products/services you offer?

For more information on your account, products or services, please contact either our Financial Consultant located in your local Community Bank, N.A. branch or call the investments Service Center at 800-234-5228

Can I link my online bank account(s) and investment accounts?

Yes. You can link your bank and investment accounts, and easily transfer money from the bank account into the investment account as needed.

Once I open an investment account, am I able to access it online?

Brokerage accounts as well as Direct held accounts offer online access.

With these types of accounts, you can view your investment accounts, check your securities positions and review transactions for your investments accounts. You can also access account statements and order status, get updated market quotes, news and data and research company profiles.

Can I update my account information online?

To update account information, you would need to contact your Financial Consultant or the Service Center at 800-234-5228.

Can I perform transactions on my account online?

No, transactions cannot be performed online.


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