A trust can be an excellent addition to just about any estate plan. A trust can help reduce your tax burden, avoid probate and allow you to control how your assets are used even after you are no longer here. Although there are a multitude of different types of trusts that you can choose from, they all require you to appoint a trustee to oversee the trust assets and ensure that the beneficiaries benefit from the trust as intended. Who you appoint as trustee is a very important decision and one not to be made lightly. To help you make that decision, consider some of the following questions:
- How much experience does the person have as a trustee?
- Does your potential trustee have a background in finance or law?
- Have you talked to your appointee about whether or not he/she is willing to serve in the position?
- Can your trustee be fair and impartial?
- How close to the majority of the trust property does your appointee live?
- Does your appointee have sufficient time to administer the trust?
- Could your appointee have a personal stake in the outcome of any trust business?
- Are the resources available for your appointee to act as trustee?
The answers to these questions can go a long way in helping you decide whether a potential trustee has what it takes to be your trustee. If, after asking yourself all of these questions, you decide that you do not know anyone who is qualified, talk to your estate planning attorney about appointing a professional trustee.