Estate Planning Lawyer
Trusts can be extremely effective estate planning tools for many reasons. However, in order to be successful, the trust must be properly created and then properly administered by the trustee. A trustee will have many responsibilities after your death, including managing the property held in the trust and distributing that property in accordance with your instructions.
Administering a trust can be a complex and time-consuming job and you want to make sure anyone you choose as a trustee has the time and ability to do so. A trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust. This means that all of the trustee’s actions must be in the best interests of the beneficiaries, must be impartial, and must not be self-serving. You want to always choose someone who you believe has the ability to follow the trust instructions objectively and impartially, especially if your trust is set up to care for young children or family members with special needs.
Some qualities to look for in a trustee can include:
- Knowledge of finance, investing, and business
- Pays attention to detail
- Reliable and dedicated
- Familiar with your property and beneficiaries
When choosing a trustee, many people look to a close family member such as a sibling or an adult child. However, family members may be too involved to remain impartial, especially if they are also a beneficiary of the trust. Family members may also be swayed by other beneficiaries to make decisions regarding property management that may not be the best for the trust or the remaining beneficiaries. For all of these reasons and more, it might be a good idea to look beyond close family members when selecting a dependable trustee.
Consider Selecting an Attorney for Trust Administration
California law allows for you to select a company – such as a law firm – as a trustee instead of an individual. The following are some of the benefits of having an experienced estate planning attorney serve as your trustee:
- The attorney will thoroughly understand all relevant trust laws in State
- If an attorney helped you create your trust and draft your trust documents, they will understand your intentions for the administration of your trust
- An attorney is required to abide by all legal and fiduciary duties under the state’s rules of professional conduct
Consult with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
Too many people fail to appreciate the importance of choosing a trustee and simply choose a close family member who may end up being biased or may not adequately fulfill their duties. While making the decision regarding a trustee may be difficult, an experienced estate planning attorney, like estate planning lawyer in Fairfield County, CT, can help you through the process.
Contact Sweeney Legal to learn more about estate planning.