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4 Tips for Choosing the Right Trustee

Posted on in Estate Planning

Fort Lauderdale estate planning lawyersYour trust is only as good as your trustee. A mismanaged trust can lead to great financial loss and a significant reduction in the amount of trust resources available to your beneficiaries. An irresponsible trustee can quickly deplete trust funds, either by making reckless distributions or by making poor investments with the principal. It is important to make the right choice when it comes to appointing a trustee. An ideal trustee has strong financial management skills, but also has a good understanding of your family dynamics and each beneficiary. You will want to choose a trustee who is responsible, willing, and of course, trustworthy. If you are on the fence about naming someone, your estate planning attorney can help you work through your decision. 

Selecting a Trustee You Can Trust

Naming a trustee is perhaps the most important decision you will make regarding your trust. When you are not here anymore, your trustee will be solely responsible for managing the trust. Some tips that may help you choose the right trustee include: 

  • Financial skill - If you will want your trustee to continue investing trust principal in the hopes of growing the trust, then financial management skills is the number one thing you should look for. Someone who has already been successful in making investments may be a good choice. 
  • Knowing beneficiaries - It can help if your trustee is someone who is familiar with each of your beneficiaries. If you are leaving distributions to your trustee’s discretion, this factor is much more important. They need to know things like whether your son is capable of running the business he wants to use trust money to start. 
  • Consider a professional - In some cases, it is better to hire a professional trustee than to rely on a family member or friend. This may be a good idea if the property contained in your trust is substantially valuable. High-asset trust may be better off managed by a professional. However, the downside is that this may be costly and the hired trustee will not know your beneficiaries. 
  • Consider co-trustees - In some cases, two heads are better than one. You have the option of choosing two people to jointly serve as co-trustees. If your cousin knows your beneficiaries very well and can be trusted to be wise in making distributions to them, but your longtime friend is an excellent investor, the two of them together may be the perfect choice. 

You can also consider leaving a mechanism for the beneficiaries or another concerned party to remove and replace the trustee if things are not going well. This safeguard is recommended for most people using a trust, as the future is nothing if not unpredictable. 

Contact a Broward County Trust Lawyer

Law Office of Miller & Miller, P.A. is skilled at designing the perfect trust for each individual client. Our Oakland Park trust attorneys are very thorough and will take every measure to ensure that your trust will be well-managed. Call 954-981-9301 for a free consultation. 



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