How Do I Choose a Trustee?

This is a complicated question - to say the least! A trustee is just that - a person who you trust to administer your estate as written. A trustee has a tremendous amount of responsibility and should be chosen carefully.

Some of the duties of a trustee are to make trust property productive; keep trust property separate from his or her own property; and, deal impartially with the beneficiaries.

The person best equipped to take on this responsibility depends and varies with each client. For some, a family member is an appropriate choice and for others they may feel more comfortable with a professional fiduciary or a bank trust department.

When considering your choice of trustee, I advise that you consider whether the potential trustee exercises a high degree of personal responsibility in his or her financial life, and would feel comfortable in this role. The role of a trustee requires a lot of time and work.

With careful thought and deliberation, you should choose an individual that you are most comfortable with. Please check with your potential trustee and ensure that he or she agrees to serve in this role. Also, be sure to let the trustee know where your estate planning documents are located and ensure that he or she has access.