You’ve come to the conclusion that the creation of a trust is the best way to protect your assets, both while you’re living and after your death. When combined with a variety of other benefits, there’s no question in your mind that this is just what your estate plan needs.
You may be sure that a trust is the right estate planning tool for you and your loved ones, but there’s still a question to answer: Who will you name as your trustee?
This person is staffed with a variety of responsibilities, among them administering your trust upon your death.
There is no right or wrong way to choose a trustee, but there are some questions you can address and observations you can share to ensure that you make a choice you’re happy with:
- Is it best to name your spouse or adult child as your trustee? This is an obvious choice, but keep in mind that these individuals will be going through a difficult time after your passing. They must be able to simultaneously cope with their emotions and the responsibilities associated with administering your estate.
- Will your trustee be able to remove their personal feelings from the situation? This is one of the primary issues with choosing someone extremely close to you, such as an adult child. For example, if they feel slighted by your trust, they may not be able to remove their personal feelings, which puts the entire process in jeopardy.
- Does the person have the time to serve as trustee? This isn’t a task that requires a few minutes here and there. For example, upon your passing, your trustee will spend countless hours ensuring that everything plays out according to your wishes.
The best way to make a final choice, while protecting against a mistake, is to compare several trustees. Take your time when doing so, while answering the questions above and taking any personal observations into consideration.
Once you’re ready to make a final decision, speak with the person to ensure that they’re on the same page as you. Doing so will give you peace of mind, as you now have a trustee who has your best interests in mind.