The trust document itself may provide some guidance with regard to how the trust assets should be invested. Most trust agreements do not leave detailed instructions for the Trustee, instead preferring to appoint a trusted and qualified person as Trustee who can make prudent investment decisions; however, the agreement will at least tell the Trustee what the goal of the trust is. For instance, the trust goal might be to provide for college tuition for the beneficiaries or to provide income to a spouse during his/her retirement years. The stated goal of the trust can tell the Trustee things such as when the trust income will be needed and approximately how much the trust will need to make to achieve the trust objectives.
Beyond the trust goals, a Trustee may be left to make decisions without additional guidance. When that is the case, the “Prudent Investor Rule” must always be kept in mind. That Prudent Investor Rule says that a Trustee should:
- At a bare minimum keep up with inflation
- Always keep the best interests of the beneficiaries in mind.
- Never put all the trust eggs in one basic – diversify the investments
- Invest cautiously and look at the big picture
- Keep the trust expenses to a minimum
If you have additional questions or concerns relating to trust investments, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.