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Choosing a Trustee

thinking about estate planningHow do I choose a trustee?

I never used to question clients who appointed a child or a friend or a relative as their personal representative or trustee. Through the years, I have discovered the following:

  • Many of the people appointed have never served in this capacity.
  • They are busy with their own lives.
  • They are unable to take off work to devote the time necessary to efficiently settle the estate
  • They live far away
  • They have no experience in selling certain kinds of assets (jewelry, antiques, real estate)
  • They have poor record keeping skills or poor money skills
  • They do not have a proper understanding of the laws and rules governing the position
  • They can become targets for others who can take advantage of their inexperience
  • They become a target for possible disapproval within the family
  • They lack the experience in IRS and state tax forms
  • They have no experience in preparing an estate accounting which must be furnished to a beneficiary if he/she requests it.
  • A family member who acts as a trustee is often put into a position where their actions create disagreements and hard feelings which can escalate into a legal action and then nobody wind and the costs can be prohibitive. Many of the people appointed have never served in this capacity.
  • Family disagreements can escalate into legal actions, and then nobody wins and unnecessary costs are incurred.
Contact Us to Learn More

What’s the solution?  Use a Professional.

  • I have settled a number of estates and trusts.
  • I am a licensed attorney and a licensed, bonded fiduciary.
  • I am responsible for the safekeeping, management and distribution of a substantial amount of assets.
  • Some are in the process of being distributed, or will be distributed to charities over time.