Determining the Right Trustee for Your Trust

Brian Fricke, CFP®Estate Planning, Retirement Planning

Determining the Right Trustee for Your Trust

Designating trustees depends on how the assets of your estate will be distributed. The trustee’s job is simply to determine and inventory all the assets and distribute them according to the terms of your trust and/or will. The trustee could delegate this responsibility, which I highly recommend, to your attorney, financial advisor and perhaps accountant. Their involvement would then be primarily signing off on necessary paperwork.

If you’re comfortable with your children and other heirs receiving their inheritance in a lump sum, free of any restrictions, knowing they’ll exhibit a certain level of common sense and good judgment, then the best trustee would be a friend or family member.

If, on the other hand, you find it necessary to leave money in a trust where it would then be distributed over a period of years or perhaps the lifetime of a potential beneficiary (a minor child, someone with special needs, or drug/alcohol issues), you don’t want a friend or relative as the trustee, as the family relationship is likely to become strained. In these cases, we recommend you find an independent corporate trustee, not someone from a bank trust department or brokerage firm owned trust company. You and your family deserve an independent corporate trustee whose primary role is to provide the legal, accounting and administrative functions of a trustee.

Determining the right trustee can help your family members avoid unnecessary conflict later on. Knowing your options will help you prepare for what’s best.

Need assistance with your trustee designation? Contact us today and we’ll point you in the right direction!