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How can I choose the best trustee?

Trusts are an essential estate planning tool. One important element of a trust is selecting the trustee, who is the person responsible for managing your affairs after you’re gone. As a result, it’s crucial that you select a person who can capably fulfill this role. AARP explains what to look for when seeking a trustee in Illinois.

Consider a Corporate Trustee

Instead of naming a person like a friend or relative, some people choose a bank or financial service to oversee their estate. Doing so will alleviate fears that your trustee will be unavailable when the time comes, whether due to death, illness, or mental incapacity. However, the fees associated with a corporate trust are usually much higher. Additionally, banks will be beholden to shareholders, which means they’ll have less flexibility in its decisions.

Select a Person in Good Health

If you do choose a person, consider his or her health and wellness. Even the best trustee will be of no use to you if they die before you, which is why many estate planning professionals suggest picking a person younger than yourself. You can also pick a second trustee in the event the first is unavailable.

Review Your Choice

Major life events can impact a person’s ability to manage a trust. For instance, a new marriage or divorce can drastically change a person’s family situation and affect your estate as a result. That’s why you should go back and review your choice every few years to make sure your selection is still suited to your needs.