Assigning someone you trust to serve as your trustee is a difficult task, and one that you may easily underestimate. Before simply naming a friend or associate as your trustee, be sure that you understand which qualities a good trustee must possess, in order to keep your affairs in order and make sure that you do not invite necessary risk into your estate plan.
Serving as trustee can present a number of significant challenges and responsibilities. A high-quality trustee not only understands the tax and estate issues at hand to an acceptable degree of accuracy, he or she should have a working knowledge of how to handle these issues effectively and efficiently. In other words, this is not a position you should fill using “popularity contest” rules, but one that requires a detailed understanding of a number of complex issues.
Beyond a candidate’s understanding of the issues involved in the trust, he or she must be someone you can trust to act in your best interests, or in the best interests of your beneficiaries. It is important to note that a strong trustee must have no conflicts of interest while serving. This may mean that the trustee does not benefit from the will, but may also include other publications that the trustee has that may create tensions or disputes between the trustee and some other interested party.
Your estate plan is an important part of your legacy, but without a capable person to administer your wishes, you may face great difficulty passing on your estate to those you love or protecting your assets in life. Be sure to carefully consider all your legal options as you create a plan that represents your needs and priorities, while also protecting your interests and rights.
Source: FindLaw, “Choosing the “Best” Trustee,” accessed April 06, 2018