Who Should I Select as Trustee of My Trust?

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You can select an individual as a Trustee, such as a close friend or family member; or a professional Trustee can be selected, such as a financial institution or a bank. A good Trustee should be someone who is honest and trustworthy, because they will have a lot of power under your trust document. The person you choose to act as a Trustee should also be financially responsible, because they will be handling the investments for the benefit of your beneficiaries. The Trustee should be someone who can get along and have a good relationship with the beneficiaries of your trust. They should also possess good record-keeping abilities.

Is the Successor Trustee Important?

Yes. It is wise to name not only your immediate successor, but subsequent successor trustees as well. An individual trustee may refuse to accept the position, or may resign from the position due to any number of reasons. The trustee may become disabled or die. Most clients tend to want other family members or close friends to act as successor trustees. But since all individuals eventually pass away, it is good practice to name a bank trust department or other corporate trustee as the final successor trustee on the list. Some clients with very high net worth, or very complex assets, may name an institutional trustee from the very beginning—either as a co-trustee with a trusted family member, or serving as the sole trustee.