925.244.1185
San Ramon, CA

Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tips for Choosing a Trustee

7 Tips for Choosing a Trustee

So, you are setting up a living trust. You know what assets you want to put into the trust and who you want to give them to one day. You have worked out a strategy to reward your beneficiaries for things like getting a college degree. You have mapped out your financial future and provided for your loved ones. But you still need to name the person who will manage your trust and distribute your assets after you die, and possibly handle your financial affairs during your lifetime. 

Drafting wills and trusts are serious endeavors. Selecting the wrong person as trustee could render all your hard work useless and leave your loved ones without the security you intended for them. Here are 7 tips for choosing a trustee.

  1. Select someone who is ethical. You will not be there after your death to oversee the trustee, so your trustee should be someone you can trust to do the right thing when no one is looking. You should not name as trustee someone with any substance abuse or gambling issues, because they might not be able to resist the temptation to embezzle the assets of the trust.
  2. Your trustee should be someone who handles money well. This should go without saying, but surprisingly, people will name someone as trustee because she is the oldest child in the family, or he is the male child, or some other reason having nothing to do with the person’s fitness to do the job. If the person you are considering has a history of imprudent financial decisions or habits, you should keep looking for a more appropriate trustee.
  3. Your beneficiaries will have to deal with this person, so it is best to name someone with whom they will be comfortable. Depending on the type of trust and its terms, your loved ones might have to talk with the trustee about their bills and expenses and other personal financial information. The trustee should make every reasonable effort to minimize the awkwardness and embarrassment of these conversations. You should not subject them to a trustee who has anger issues or personality disorders.
  4. The trustee should be detail-oriented. This is no time for an absent-minded professor-type, regardless of how smart he or she is. You need someone who will not let things slip through the cracks.
  5. The person you choose must have the intellect to perform the tasks required. She will have to do things like invest assets of the trust, file accountings, pay bills, collect estate assets, and perform other money management tasks for the trust and your beneficiaries.
  6. The ability to work well with any professionals needed, such as accountants and lawyers, is crucial. This category is two-fold. Your trustee must be savvy and humble enough to know when to hire professionals to perform some tasks, and have the personality and soft skills to work with those professionals.
  7. Choose at least one successor trustee to the person you name, such as a bank or trust company, especially if you intend that your trust will operate for years. Some trusts can continue for generations.
A California wills and trusts lawyer will help you secure the future for yourself and your loved ones. For personalized advice, talk to the skilled wills and trust attorneys at Horizonlaw today by requesting a consultation.

Archived Posts

2019
2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
2015



© 2019 Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. | Disclaimer
2333 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Ste. 145, San Ramon, CA 94583
| Phone: (925) 244-1185

Elder Law | Estate Planning | About

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative