Why You Might Consider Naming a Professional Trustee
If your estate plan incorporates one or more trusts, you are most likely serving as the current trustee, with your spouse or partner listed as a co-trustee who would then be able to manage the trust if you become unable to do so due to death or incapacitation. But what happens if your spouse becomes unavailable, as well?
You do have the option to name alternate trustees. This could be a friend or relative, or you could choose a professional organization or corporation to serve in this role.
Below are just a few reasons why you may consider this option:
- Experience: Your close friends and family likely will not have the same level of experience as a firm that acts as a professional trustee. Professionals know which steps need to be taken to administer a trust, safeguard its assets, keep excellent records and manage all distributions and accounting.
- Peace of mind: When you choose an individual person to serve as a trustee, there’s always a chance that individual may be somehow unavailable if and when the time comes to step into the role. With a professional trustee, you do not need to worry about it becoming sick or passing away it exists in perpetuity as a corporate entity. This helps you safeguard your trust for the long term.
- Your best interests: Professional trustees, much like financial planners and other certified financial experts, have what’s known as a “fiduciary responsibility” to their clients. They must, under federal law, operate in your best interests rather than their own. This is the strongest duty that exists in the financial sector, and your trustee is subject to significant consequences if it is found to not have acted in your best interests and in accordance with your wishes.
- Objectivity: You do not have to worry about any conflicts of interest when going with an independent organization to serve as your trustee. The organization’s actions will not be swayed by previous personal relationships or arguments with your family members or friends, and can thus act more objectively.
For further guidance on selecting the right trustee for your needs and situation, contact a skilled Tampa estate planning lawyer with BaumannKangas Estate Law.