When you create a trust you’ll need to select a trustee to manage trust property and distribute it to beneficiaries. Many people who create a trust use a family member trustee. While this may seem an ideal solution, there are some questions you’ll need to ask yourself if you are thinking about choosing a family member to serve in this vital role.
Expertise and Experience
A family member must manage the trust to the same standards that the law requires for all trustees. This requires the family member to serve competently and to manage the trust property professionally. If that family member does not have experience making financial decisions, keeping track of property, or doing all the other tasks required of trustee, that family member is probably not a good choice to serve as trustee.
Family trustees may also not be a good idea if the beneficiaries of the trust are other family members. The beneficiaries must be able to trust the trustee to make the right decisions. If the trustee is at odds with some or all of the beneficiaries, that relationship may lead to significant conflicts.
Family members are often a good choice as trustee when the trust only lasts for a limited amount of time. If you create a trust that will likely last longer than a few decades, a professional trust management organization is likely a better choice.
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