Why You Might Consider a Professional Trustee

Why You Might Consider a Professional Trustee

One of the most vital decisions to ensure preserved legacy and proper estate execution is electing the right professional or family trustee for investing and properly distributing your estate. Being well-organized, well-rounded, and functionally capable of administrating your trust as per the document, and having a clear history of integrity concerning investment and legal issues are desirable characteristics of a trustee. Whether or not the family member named as the trustee is willing and capable of undertaking the long-term responsibility necessary to manage your trust assets is a big consideration. The family member can always hire a tax professional, lawyer, estate professional, or financial planner to assist them. However, you should still be confident that the selected trustee has sufficient financial skills and temperament to make quality decisions that will best benefit the well-being of your family. Most estate experts favor designating trusteeship to an adult child or spouse, just so long as there’s a cordial family dynamic and the relative shows financial competency.

Aside from financial know-how, common reservations frequently involve the health of potential trustees and rivalries or conflicts among primary family members. These reservations may spur concern beyond whether the potential trustee has the knowledge of applicable financial matters, and create questions of whether potential trustees have the emotional stability and diplomacy skills to serve as sole trustee of your estate. In the event that you have even the slightest reservation about fully trusting a family member to solely execute your estate, you might consider obtaining the services from a professional trustee; a trust company for example.

The following elements and information might be helpful for those considering pursuing a professional trustee, such a corporate fiduciary or a bank:


Select A Professional Trustee For Complex and Larger Estates

Most people are usually more likely to name a family member as a trustee in cases where their estate is small and financially simple. On the other hand, people with a large or financially complicated estate that’s difficult or overwhelming to administer are more apt to benefit from utilizing a professional trustee with the necessary skill, knowledge, and time needed to properly manage the complex interpersonal, tax, and investment issues of the trust.


Consider A Professional Trustee When Family Members Lack Good Dynamics And Financial Skills

After evaluating the dynamics of your family and the financial skills of potential trustees in relation to tax management and securities, you might find that potential familial trustees lack the ability to carry out the provisions and terms of the trust in a manner that would best suit the needs of the beneficiary, such as in minimizing estate and income taxes and investing funds for a maximum return. If you lack confidence that your family can get along or oversee the trust in a manner that best benefits your named beneficiaries, you might consider naming a family member as a co-trustee to a professional trustee -or- naming a professional trustee as sole trustee.


Choose A Trustee Based Off The Intent And Purpose Of Your Trust

Evaluate the intent and purpose of your trust, assess professional fees, and choose a professional trustee accordingly. For example, a trust with an objective to oversee asset distribution to minor and young children, might be best accomplished under a professional trustee that is keen and flexible to the evolving needs of the trust. Another consideration might be having a professional co-trustee to serve as a check and balance system for decision making in larger estates and trusts that involve a blended family dynamic.

In closing, keep in mind that a professional trustees will most often be accompanied by an annual fee, most often based on the specific responsibility of the trustee and a percentage of the trusts’ value. That said, choosing the most appropriate professional trustee can give you the peace of mind that your estate or trust will be handled with care and knowledge.

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