Asset Planning, Inc Blog

The latest from the team.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Trustee


More and more people are realizing the importance of setting up a trust for their estate. Having a trust in place insures that your wishes for your estate are carried out on your terms if you become unable to care for yourself or pass away. It also prevents your assets from going into probate after your death and saves a huge headache for your heirs. While having a trust in place is very important it is also very important who you name as the trustee.

There are a few different options when selecting a trustee. The most common scenario is that a married couple sets up a living trust where they are both listed as trustees and they list a child or family member to become the successor trustee. In the case that one spouse passes before the other the living spouse will become the sole trustee until they are incapable of caring for themselves or they pass away. At that point the successor trustee in charge of handling the estate duties.

The responsibilities of managing an estate are many and can be daunting to someone who lacks experience in these types of situations. When choosing your trustee you should choose someone who is (a) willing to dedicate the time and energy to run the estate (b) responsible and possesses good judgement and (c) someone who can be objective when following the instructions set up in the trust. It may seem like the natural choice to choose your child or a family member to act in this role but it may not be the best choice depending on the complexity of your estate and their abilities.

In the case where a person is unsure of who to name as a trustee an estate attorney will usually suggest that a bank be set up as the trustee to carry out the responsibilities of the trust. This is called a corporate trustee. This seems like a good idea because a bank has experience with handling trusts and wealth management. But this is not always the best choice either. When the duties of a trustee are needed the bank will take over the trust, move your assets from whatever accounts you have them set up in now to investments of their choosing and will take over the estate. They will follow the instructions in the estate as wished but it may leave your family without the feeling of a personal connection since they may not have worked with that bank before or know the person handling the assets.

Did you know that you have another option that will help ease the burden on your loved ones by running the estate themselves? There is something called an administrative trustee. In a lot of cases we see a child take over the duties of the estate and get overwhelmed with the process. They may be doing it free of charge but in the long run trying to take care of everything on their own ends up costing more financially and emotionally. An administrative trustee is a company that is set up to handle all of the time consuming paperwork and filing responsibilities of the estate. They do not make any decisions as far as wealth management is concerned. That is still the responsibility of the trustee and their financial advisor. Yes, there is a fee to have an administrative trustee but it can outweigh the stress and headaches that come along with trying to do everything yourself.

The best thing to do is have an open discussion with your family, estate attorney and financial advisor. Make your goals and wishes for the estate clear and set up the trustee that you think will be the best fit for your personal situation. By doing this you will have the peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed and that your family will be taken care of in the way that you want.

Continue reading
  818 Hits
818 Hits

Search Blogs Module

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
Independence Day April 18 2017. emergency kits estate investment statements credit monitoring service retirement plans media accounts Medicare question official certification cell phone service provider self-help topics Auto insurance home security 900 number breach people medications Ice Cream Social July 4 life saver blog post Medicare Part B premiums phishing sites home fun facts Asset Planning Erin Nelsen news coverage retirement planning ice cream insurance policies asset Planning Part D premiums . check lists privacy settings FSA Notary Public EEChecklist-Kits.pdf stockpilingchecklist.pdf Retirement Contribution Limits estate planning credit card fraud donation counts non-prescripstion sunglasses CFP ® 2017 Equifax breach home mortgages earthquake app Social Security summer vision screening notary services cell phone provider scams home emergency preparedness kits hurricane Dorian Orange County June 29 app Healthcare Medicare plan wells Fargo team members opt-out operations manager “ skimmer ”. California Lions Friends jury duty TD Ameritrade Affordable Care Act clients show support Medicare Advantage company clone counterfeits October 1 2020. Wells Fargo customers family members checklists National Ice Cream month cell phones Brexit vote information Facebook insurance policy cell phone carriers flash drive pet industry Two-Step Verification interest rates Orange County Superior Court identity thieves https :// IRA accounts Victor Dergunov borrowing money Federal Trade Commission website policy pet ice cream event home emergency kit Medicare Part B car loans credit card company card reader assets toilet paper Open Enrollment Fox News story estate planning direction health care costs Flexible Spending Account 23 andme Joey Gonzales Wells Fargo employees Charles Schwab money illiegal robocallers chip-enabled EMV cards 2017 IRA contributions disaster areas Mobile Banking Security Tips home break-ins Facebook profile trustee ID card bottom line relief efforts birth certificates D premiums trust partner /owner fees Shred paperwork January 10 Puerto Rico 20 year anniversary 2017 TD Ameritrade National LINC Conference tax deadline rescue organizations identity theft gap insurance driver license credit freeze clients April 15 drive /usb phishing scams https ://seekingalpha retirement accounts fun atmosphere pet supplies health care services phone companies Kiplinger Letter 401K Social Security Administration Financial Planning Magazine information Amazon vacation web address Open House portal text messages Roth IRA documents 70 1/2. pets debt holidays approach banking Treasury Department Part B Kraig Mathias privacy notices VOIP landline phones CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam emergency folder paperwork clutter cell phone carriers offer April 11 2018 IRA contributions tax season integral member parking spots credit score spring cleaning 4 pm -8pm credit cards padlock donation items phone DNA test kits spam phone executive order Supplemental Security Income offering insurance email notifications house sitter client portal consumer spending president Trump account numbers retirement IRS deadline FEMA website Legal robocalls cell phone SIM swap scam settlement options emergency kit memorial Day weekend increase contribution limit Medicare prescription eyeglasses