Lots of people have trust issues.
In our practice, the one we see most often is: who should you choose as your trustee?
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets (money or property) on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries (the person or persons for whose benefit the trust is made).
The trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets (the money or property) on behalf of the beneficiaries. It is an important job.
As the maker of the trust, you choose who you want to be the trustee (or successor trustee). The trustee can be a person you know (family member or friend) or the trustee can be a professional trustee (often an attorney or corporate trustee).
Each state has its own laws governing the types of trusts permitted, how they are created and the laws that govern them. That is why it is important that you consult with knowledgeable counsel about how to draft your trust and what you should consider when choosing a trustee.
Should You Use a Corporate Trustee?
Because you are choosing a fiduciary—a person in whom you place the utmost trust and confidence—the decision ultimately lies with you and you alone.
However, here are a few things to think about if you want to consider appointing a professional or corporate trustee for your trust.
A corporate trustee is generally a bank trust department or trust company. When you put your money or assets into a trust, the bank or trust company can help you invest and manage your wealth.
If you appoint a corporate or professional trustee as the trustee for your trust, that person would have complete responsibility for managing your trust assets in accordance with your wishes and instructions (as expressed in the trust documents).
Choosing a professional or corporate trustee can be the right choice for persons who don’t have a lot of family, are single or widowed, don’t have children, or simply do not have anyone that they can trust with their money.
In other instances, an impartial professional can be the right choice for trusts that have been set up to deal with family members who have spending or addiction problems, because it keeps you (or some other friend or family member) from getting embroiled in drama and difficult decisions.
You might also consider appointing a professional or corporate trustee as a successor trustee—someone to step in and run your living trust if you become incapacitated.
There are as many reasons for choosing a professional trustee as there are reasons for setting up a trust. At Esser, Bradley and Khalsa, our premier estate planning attorneys work with the individual needs and circumstances of each client to tailor a Legacy Estate Plan that fits their goals.
Let Us Help You With Your Arizona Trusts.
Choosing a trustee is a very difficult and important decision. Let us help you sort through it. We are Estate Planning attorneys with offices in Sedona, Arizona. We serve Verde Valley and all of Arizona. We offer free consultations and we can help you with your estate planning needs. Contact us to set up your free appointment.