Why Choose a Non-Family Trustee?

Group talk

When naming the trustees to administer a trust, the first people who come to mind are beloved family members.  Some people stop there and appoint one of those family members, but they really should think twice before doing so.

When creating trusts, most people are aware that they should appoint someone trustworthy to be the trustee. Most people believe that one of their family members is trustworthy enough to tackle the job.

They are most likely correct about that.

However, there are other considerations to take into account when choosing a trustee and there are a few good reasons why you should consider someone who is not a member of your family.

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently listed some of those reasons in an article titled "Why It Is a Good Idea to Choose a Non Family Trustee."

The list includes:

  • Time - Being a trustee can require a big commitment of time that can be burdensome on family members who have families and jobs of their own.
  • Personal Liability - If something goes wrong with a trust, the trustee might be held personally responsible to make up any losses. It is not always a good idea to open up that possibility for a family member.
  • Family Disputes - It is not unusual for the beneficiaries of a trust to come into conflict over trust management with the trustee. It can easily become a family dispute that spills over into other areas of life.

As you can see, there is more to the decision of selecting a trustee than one would think.

Contact an estate planning attorney for some ideas appropriate for your circumstances.

Reference: The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (June 10, 2015) "Why It Is A Good Idea To Choose A Non Family Trustee."

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