Deciding to use a trust as part of your estate plan is a wise choice. This planning tool can allow you to have control over the distribution of your assets even after your passing and can better protect assets from creditors and other claimants that a beneficiary could face. Of course, you will need someone to manage the trust to ensure the fulfillment of your wishes.
Choosing a trustee may seem like an easy task, but even if you already have someone in mind, you may want to remember that this person will have a great deal of responsibility. As a result, choosing someone with the right skills and knowledge for the role and who is willing to act in this capacity is vital. Plus, you may want to take into account the various issues that could arise with a trustee.
Selecting a person you trust may seem like a no-brainer in terms of appointing a trustee. However, even if you trust a person, it may not necessarily mean that he or she could avoid the following trust administration problems:
- Having biases: Ideally, your trustee would act as objectively as possible. However, some trustees may have certain biases against beneficiaries, such as those due to sibling rivalry or grudges, that could create problems.
- Disagreeing with a co-trustee: In some cases, people choose to appoint co-trustees to keep each other in check. The problem with this arrangement is that co-trustees may not agree on important decisions, which could delay administration and complicate trust management.
- Lack of knowledge: Some appointed trustees may simply not understand their duties. Your trustee may believe that he or she needs to act in your best interests even after your passing when, really, the trustee should act with the beneficiaries’ interests in mind.
These examples are not every issue that could arise with a trustee. If you worry that a friend or family member may not be the right choice, you could choose to work with professional trustees. In the end, the choice is yours. If you would like to gain information on how to choose a trustee that best suits your needs, you may want to discuss the matter with a Louisiana estate planning attorney. This legal professional could give valuable insight into creating a trust and naming the right trustee.