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How do I select a trustee for my trust?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Estate Planning, Trusts |

If you are creating a trust in Florida, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is who will serve as your trustee. A trustee is the person or entity that manages the assets of the trust and distributes them to the beneficiaries according to your instructions. Here are some tips on how to select a trustee for your trust.

Type and purpose of your trust

First, you should consider the type and purpose of your trust. Different trusts have different requirements and goals, and you should choose a trustee that can fulfill them.

For example, if you have a revocable living trust, you may want to name yourself as the initial trustee and appoint a successor trustee to take over when you become incapacitated or pass away. If you have an irrevocable trust, you may want to name a third-party trustee who can act independently and impartially. If you have a special needs trust, you may want to name a trustee who has experience and knowledge in dealing with government benefits and disability issues.

Qualifications and characteristics

Second, you should consider the qualifications and characteristics of your potential trustee. A trustee should be trustworthy, reliable, honest, competent and diligent. A trustee should also have good communication and organizational skills, as well as financial and legal expertise. You should avoid naming a trustee who has a conflict of interest with your beneficiaries or who may be influenced by personal or emotional factors. You should also avoid naming a trustee who is too busy, too old or too far away to handle the trust affairs.

Costs and benefits

Third, you should consider the costs and benefits of your potential trustee. A trustee may charge a fee for their services. You should compare the fees of different trustees and weigh them against the value they provide. You should also consider the tax implications of your choice of trustee, as some trustees may be subject to income tax or estate tax on the trust income or assets.

Preferences and needs

Finally, you should consider the preferences and needs of your beneficiaries. A trustee should act in the best interests of your beneficiaries and respect your wishes. A trustee should also communicate with your beneficiaries regularly and keep them informed of the trust activities and performance. You should choose a trustee who can get along with your beneficiaries and who can handle any disputes or issues that may arise among them.