What Is A Trustee?What Is A Trustee?
July 24, 2018 • estate planning
If you’ve recently created a trust, you may have taken on the responsibility to become a trustee or may have appointed one or more to become the trustee or trustees; but exactly what is a trustee? Essentially a trustee can be an adult person, or persons or a trust company, that is appointed by the Grantor, the person who establishes the trust. A trustee must accept that appointment in writing. If the original trustee can no longer serve, a successor trust is often named to step in. there are various reason why a trustee can no longer serve, such as death, incompetence or resignation. If the trustee is other than yourself, you must take great care to pick a trustee who you trust, since they will control the assets of the trust. Sometimes that’s a family member or a trustee company -but both come with challenges. Sometimes it will make sense to pick an individual professional trustee.
Role Of A Trustee
The role of a trustee is basically to act as fiduciary. A fiduciary is one that owes certain trustee duties to the trust and to the beneficiaries to ensure that the terms and direction of the trust are being met. This involves, among other things, investing, managing trust and, distributing trust assets as appropriate to the beneficiaries and keeping records to prepare trust accounting’s.
Naming one or more family members can often seem like a logical choice and may make the most sense. However, particularly in the case of naming children, parents often fail to recognize how disagreements among siblings can lead to expensive court challenges and destroy family harmony. On the other hand, naming a trust company as a trustee can put control of your hard earned wealth in the hands of an institution where decisions are often made by a committee and the best interests of the beneficiaries are not always followed.
As an alternative, name a professional, independent trustee who has the advantage of having a buffer in family squabbles and knowing personally the beneficiaries in order to make caring and appropriate decisions. A person with a keen understanding of trust law, over thirty years experience dealing with Wall Street and investments, and a passion for doing the right thing and solving problems, is often the best bet. With Todd Zuckerbrod that is exactly what you get.
Whether you are the trustee of your own revocable trust, worried about who will handle your affairs if you are no longer able to do so or you want the peace of mind to know that there will be a professional helping your loved ones to cope when you are gone, having a trustee or co-trustee like Todd Zuckerbrod can make all the difference.
For those considering establishing or changing a trust, contact Todd Zuckerbrod and see for yourself in a free consultation what a trusted professional can do for you.