Selecting a Trustee is just as important as every other decision that you make when creating a Trust. If you are creating a Trust for the benefit of one of your family members, it is often a good idea to appoint another family member to be the Trustee. However, you should not do so blindly as there are risks to consider.
A Trustee needs to be financially responsible. Ideally, you would select someone who has shown a history of being responsible, not only with his or her own money, but with other people’s. How someone handles something that belongs to others is often different than how they handle their own property. Some people are more responsible with other people’s assets, and some are less responsible. When selecting a family member to act as a Trustee, make sure that you choose someone who is responsible and who also makes sound investment decisions. Do not appoint a relative whose investment strategies involve going to casinos, for example.
Usually, the best Trustees are not family members. They are professionals. However, professional Trustees cost money and in some cases are too expensive for a particular Trust. In those cases be careful about which family member you appoint.
Duffy Law Office is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.