Who should you choose as your trustee?

Setting up your trust comes with a number of important decisions, and one of the most important may be choosing who will manage the trust according to your instructions.

According to The Florida Bar, you should consider these factors before choosing a trustee.

The responsibilities of a trustee

Your trustee will need to be able to follow instructions, but you cannot anticipate every situation. For example, while you can provide guidance for how the trustee should distribute the trust income to the beneficiaries, you probably will not be able to tell the trustee what investments to make.

The trustee will also need to do the following:

  • Hold trust property
  • Make tax decisions
  • Keep detailed records of transactions
  • Provide account statements and reports to beneficiaries

You can define how broad or limited the trustee’s responsibilities are, and the trustee also has fiduciary standards to follow. With these things in mind, you should narrow your choices to only those who can handle the responsibilities.

The considerations for trustee

You have a wide range of options for your trustee. You can even choose yourself if the trust is a revocable trust, although you would still need to choose someone as a successor trustee to manage things after your death. You may choose a friend or family member, and this person does not have to be a Florida resident. However, your trustee does not have to be an individual. A trustee may be:

  • A corporation
  • A bank
  • A trust company
  • A professional advisor

Or, you may leave instructions for the individual you choose to seek the guidance or assistance of a professional of your choice.

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