Look for These 5 Qualities in Any Potential Trustees

The future of your estate is not something to be considered lightly. No matter the level of your wealth, your successors will appreciate a well thought out estate plan that avoids conflict and meets the needs of everyone involved. In order to make this happen, you must appoint a trustee to manage your financial affairs. The trustee will be responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out as planned. What makes a good trustee? Let’s look at some important qualities to consider:

Someone impartial

It sounds like a natural choice to select a family member or close friend to be the one to administer your affairs, yet this might create a situation of conflict. If you have specific wishes for your finances and it could result in some people feeling left out, the last thing you want to do is have someone in the family be the bearer of bad news. Choosing an impartial trustee will help when it comes time to make unbiased decisions.

A business-minded person

While not a requirement, it’s smart to choose a trustee who has a background in business affairs. Taking the time to jump through all of the legal hoops to administer your estate can be daunting for someone who is not familiar with those types of responsibilities, so someone who has executive experience might be better able to navigate such waters.

Proactive and organized

The more assets your trust entails, the more action will be required by your trustee. As with many other legal matters, the amount of paperwork and communication required can be immense, so choosing an individual who can see what needs to be done and run with it will serve everyone well.

Someone trustworthy

This quality is particularly important for those who have a lot of wealth to manage. It is far too easy for someone to be able to steal money or inappropriately direct assets to others in a way that was against your wishes. Choosing someone you can trust typically leads people toward selecting a friend or family member as their trustee, but that’s not always necessary as long as you have a good relationship with the person you end up choosing.

Availability and proximity

Acting as a trustee can be a big job, and in some cases might take years to complete. Make sure you select someone who can commit to taking the necessary time to executing the tasks needed. Some people find it helpful to choose a trustee who lives close to them, so that the duties can be fulfilled more effectively.

Choosing an appropriate trustee is essential to the success of your estate. If you need guidance in any part of your estate planning, contact Hulbert & Associates today.

Written by Lori Hulbert

Together the attorneys of the firm have nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships and conservatorships and civil litigation.