You’ve done the work. You feel good that your estate plan is in order or that you’ve contacted an attorney to begin the process of getting your estate planning documents in place. You’ve decided you need a Trust, but, who do you name as trustee?
If your trust is revocable (meaning you can modify or revoke it), chances are you are naming yourself as trustee. But what happens when you are no longer able to do the job? When the trust becomes irrevocable or when you create an irrevocable trust, who should be in charge of your assets?
If you’re like our typical clients, you are probably thinking that you should name a family member. After all, you trust some of your family members implicitly. But have you considered the duties your trustee must complete?An appointment as trustee can go on for a while. Does your chosen person have the requisite longevity? Will he or she be around for years to come?
Even more important than the question of longevity is the question of trustworthiness. Can you trust the person you chose? Through your trust and through Ohio law, the trustee is given direction as to how you want your assets handled and to whom you want your assets to go. Can or will the named trustee follow the directions given?
Finally, ask yourself whether the person you chose can handle the job. Does he or she have experience handling financial assets or property? Has this person shown an ability to deal with the different dynamics and personalities in your family? Does he or she want to be trustee?If the answer to any of these questions is no, then does this person have the wherewithal to surround him or herself with the right professionals to guide them? Being Trustee is a job. It should not be taken lightly. There are assets to be managed, debts to be paid, rules to be followed, family dynamics to contend with and tax returns to be filed, just to name a few.
Naming a trustee is no easy task and serious consideration should occur. Every scenario, every case, every client is different. Know what you want your trust documents to accomplish and then choose a trustee you are confident can carry out your wishes.
Concerned you have not named the correct person to be your trustee? Contact your local AlerStallings attorney to arrange a consultation and review of your estate plan. (855) 335-1817.