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What to look for in a trustee

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When you set up a trust, you also have to pick someone to administer that trust. This person is known as your trustee, and it’s crucial that you choose the right individual. The trust sets up the regulations and rules that have to be followed, but it is the trustee who ensures that this actually happens.

How do you find the right person? Obviously, you need to look for someone that you can trust personally, but what else should you consider?

Someone who will focus on your beneficiary

First and foremost, you need a trustee who will put your beneficiary’s best interests first. Every decision they make should be about adhering to the trust and trying to assist your chosen beneficiaries moving forward. Try to find someone who cares about your family and accomplishing your goals.

An understanding of complex financial topics

You do not necessarily need to choose the smartest person that you know to be the trustee. But you also don’t want to choose someone who has no grasp of complicated financial topics. The trustee is going to have to work to make distributions and handle financial accounts, and you need to be sure that they are intellectually able to do so.

Someone with similar values

Finally, a trust is often used to decide how beneficiaries can use their money. It could be set up to fund college education, for example. You should choose a trustee who has values that you respect and who will work hard to see that your money is used properly.

After you find the right person to be your trustee, you still need to know about all of the legal steps to take to set the trust up properly, to fund it, and to file it as part of your estate plan.

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