Why You Might Choose a Trustee Who’s Not a Family Member
When it comes time for you to choose who will be in charge of maintaining your trust, you’re likely to consider one of your close family members to be your trustee. However, although this might seem like a logical decision, it might not always be the best choice for your trust.
The following are a few reasons why you might instead opt for a trustee who is not a member of your family:
- Commitment. Being a trustee essentially means serving as an administrator. Trustees must maintain thorough records of the trust, track deadlines, keep up with accounting reports and stay on top of changes in estate planning and trust laws. Additionally, the trustee must remain in communication with beneficiaries on the status of the trust. This can make trusteeship a heavy burden for a family member.
- Liability. The trustee is legally liable for making sure the trust’s assets are properly managed. He or she could potentially be sued if people believe trust assets have been mismanaged. If you believe your trust will be complicated and that there is even the slightest potential for these challenges to occur, you might not want a family member to have to deal with them.
- Conflict. Simply put, being in charge of assets and money can be an awkward position for anyone, especially a family member. If there is any existing tension among members of your family, it could be exacerbated when it comes time for the trust assets to be distributed. Although a non-family trustee will still have to deal with some of these issues, that person will be somewhat removed from the emotional aspect of it.
Whether it’s an attorney, a close friend or a business partner, you might consider choosing a trustee who is not a family member. For further information and guidance, meet with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney at the Charles Law Offices.