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How to choose the right trustee for your trust

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Estate Planning

Choosing a suitable trustee for your trust is a pivotal decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Your trustee will play a significant role in managing your wealth and helping ensure that your wishes are carried out per the terms of the trust.

Whether you’re setting up a trust for estate planning purposes or to manage assets in order to qualify for Medicaid, selecting the right trustee can be essential for the success and integrity of the trust.

What are the responsibilities of a trustee?

Trustees have a duty to manage the assets held within the trust prudently. This includes:

  • Making investment decisions
  • Overseeing the day-to-day management of assets
  • Ensuring that the trust’s resources are preserved and grown over time

As a fiduciary, the trustee is also legally obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and the trust. This duty requires the trustee to make decisions impartially, avoid conflicts of interest and always act in good faith.

Evaluate potential trustees carefully

Choose a trustee who is honest, reliable and has a reputation for integrity. Since the trustee will have access to sensitive financial information and discretionary authority over trust assets, selecting someone you can trust implicitly is crucial.

Ideally, the trustee should also understand financial matters, including:

  • Investment management
  • Tax planning
  • Estate administration

Consider selecting someone with experience in finance, accounting or law to help ensure competent oversight of the trust’s assets.

Effective communication is essential for a successful trustee-beneficiary relationship. Therefore, you can benefit from choosing someone who can communicate clearly and diplomatically with all parties involved, including beneficiaries, co-trustees and professional advisors.

By understanding the responsibilities of a trustee, evaluating potential candidates thoughtfully and seeking legal guidance, you can help to ensure that your trust is managed effectively and in accordance with your wishes.