Choosing the right trustee for your estate is not a decision to take lightly. In fact, it is one of the most important steps you must take while setting up your trust. Your trustee will be in charge of overseeing your assets, distributing your assets to your beneficiaries, and may be required to seek tax, investment, accounting, and legal expertise.
To guide you in your decision process, here are three questions to ask before appointing your trustee.
Do you trust your trustee?
If they are a close friend or relative, take into consideration their ability to manage their personal finances. If you would not consider giving them a small loan, then you should not consider them as your trustee. You may also want to consider the potential for family conflict should you appoint one of your children over the others.
Are they qualified for taking on the legal liability of overseeing the assets placed in your trust?
Consider someone who has a firm grasp on investment basics or has prior experience managing the type of assets placed in your trust. For example, if the majority of your trust consists of property investments, you may want to appoint someone who has experience investing in real estate.
What are the pros and cons of choosing an institutional trustee?
An institutional trustee, such as a bank, credit union, or accountant, will outlive the trust and come with the expertise of administering trusts. One option as a trustor is to name an institutional trustee as your successor trustee in the event your primary trustee passes away before the trust is closed. Institutional trustees can also act as a co-trustee to a close friend or relative. That way, your personal interests will be represented in conjunction with professional oversight and protection.
There are a few downsides of institutional trustees, however. They can be impersonal with the potential of working with different people over time. Additionally, corporate trustees tend to be costly as well as inflexible due to increased liability.
Kendal Law Group will provide our knowledge to help you weigh your options and choose the best trustee for your estate. Contact