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ATLANTA — What started out with strong promise and an idea has slowed down a bit. Trust services continued to eke along for the industry, but there were a few launches this year.

One pending alliance that could move estate planning along was the September merger plan announcement between MEMBERS Trust Co. and Members Trust Company of Colorado. Together, the new trust firm has $322 million in assets. Both firms expect approval to come in 2007. Pending approval, it is estimated that it could take six months to roll the two entities into one. MEMBERS Trust also partnered with EasCorp to create a trust office in the New England region. Under the agreement, EasCorp’s CUSO, 1909 Financial Advisors, LLC, will establish staff and manage a trust agency office to provide services within the region. The arrangement enables credit unions to implement trust services under a cooperative alliance with 1909 and share the start-up costs. The CUSO will use MEMBERS Trust, a subsidiary of CUNA Mutual Group, for back-office services, such as record keeping and reporting, development plans and fiduciary services.

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