Many people who create Trusts do not have a family member or close friend who is an appropriate person to appoint to serve as a Trustee. The person who serves as a Trustee should be financially responsible and someone who will not be tempted to administer the Trust for his or her own benefit instead of the benefit of the Trust beneficiaries. Ideally, the person should also be someone who the beneficiaries respect enough to defer to in decision-making without unnecessary challenges.
Many people do have responsible and respected family members or friends who can act as Trustees, but those who don’t have to look for other options. Some people choose to use professionals. Banks and Trust Companies are available to act as Trustees for a fee. They can both be good options but typically have minimum thresholds in terms of estate sizes. Another option is to hire a professional fiduciary to act as a Trustee. Because of the professional ethics demanded of such fiduciaries, they will act for the benefit of the Trust. Yet another option is to appoint the best family member that you can and hire a professional fiduciary to act as a co-trustee or as an advisor to the family member.
Talk to an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney about who you should appoint to serve as a Trustee for the Trusts that you create and whether you would benefit from a professional as a Trustee. He or she also will have knowledge of various institutions and individuals who offer professional trustee services.
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