Choosing a Trustee for Your Estate Plan

Sep 1, 2015

Are you having a hard time deciding on a Trustee for your estate plan? It is not uncommon for decisions like this to be difficult.

Let’s look at the attributes that should be taken into consideration when choosing a Trustee. You may want to factor in age, maturity, responsibility level, physical location, your personal relationship with them, and ability to handle money.

What will your Trustee do?

Your Trustee, once appointed, will have the responsibility of managing and distributing your assets according to your wishes. They will work together with your beneficiaries, advisors, and other fiduciaries.

Due to the fact your Trustee will be working with other parties, it may be prudent to consider any existing feuds that may affect the administration of your estate. However, if you foresee your choice of a Trustee conflicting with another party, you may be able to reduce the discretion granted to your Trustee. By doing this, your estate plan may not be as flexible and your goals may not be met.

What do I mean by discretion?

The Trustee is often granted broad discretion in fulfilling their duties. For example, your Trustee can be given the discretion to make distributions to a beneficiary for their needs of health, maintenance, education, and support.

If a beneficiary does not agree with the Trustee’s discretion, you may be able to reduce the possibility of friction by choosing one sibling to serve as trustee for another adult sibling, or an ex-spouse to serve as trustee for children from that marriage.

Family strife is everywhere!

When you cannot think of an appropriate Trustee due to conflicts, it may be best to name a bank or trust company as your sole Trustee. The bank or trust company would be unbiased and not involved in familial conflicts.

 

Hopefully this article has given you some valuable thoughts and ideas to ponder while choosing your Trustee. If you still have questions about creating an estate plan, the role of a Trustee, or reviewing your current estate plan, call an experienced estate planning attorney at Ambler Keenan Mitchell Johnson at 303-407-1542 or click here to schedule a personal consultation.

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