How to Choose the Right Trustee for Your Estate

Who is the right person to watch out for your interests after you’re gone?

A family member, a member of your financial team, a bank, a professional trustee? To find the right answer, ask yourself the right questions:

Should my trustee be my spouse or child? It is imperative that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen trustee and that your chosen trustee appreciate his or her responsibilities and personal liability to the trust beneficiaries — which may include the trustee.

Should my trustee be my attorney, accountant or other trusted adviser? Even if an attorney, accountant or other adviser understands the nature of your business or your financial goals, he or she may not fully appreciate the scope of the fiduciary duty or the inherent risks and responsibilities of being a trustee.

Should my trustee be a bank or trust company? Choosing a corporate fiduciary may reduce conflicts among family members while providing experienced and professional investment and administrative management.

Would having more than one trustee be my next best option instead? You may find it best to answer some of these questions by choosing more than one person to serve as co-trustees, or to serve with a corporate trustee.

 

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