5 tips for selecting a successor trustee

Do you know someone you'd trust to take care of your estate following your death? Once you set up a trust as a means of transferring your wealth to your heirs, this question becomes an important part of your wealth management strategy.

Similar to selecting an executor for your will, you'll have to find a successor trustee who will keep your best interest in mind, especially if the trust is to be managed for your children until they are old enough to take on the responsibility themselves. One part of the choice is trust, as the trustee will be acting on your behalf without court supervision. Expertise is another consideration.

With these details in mind, here are five tips to help you choose the best successor trustee:

  1. Choose someone who is committed. Like executors, trustees have many responsibilities, but the difference is that managing a trust can be an endeavor that lasts for years. Your successor trustee must be willing to pay bills on the trust, distribute assets to beneficiaries and complete other duties until the terms of the trust release him or her.
  2. Consider the experience of your choices. Although your attorney and accounting professional can be available to advise your trustee on managing your estate, you may want your appointee to have some experience working with the types of assets in the trust. Real estate holdings, for example, may be better served by someone with knowledge of these assets.
  3. Family members and friends can present issues. Many people turn to relatives or friends to manage their trusts, but problems can result from a trustee's death or interpersonal conflicts. If, for instance, your trustee maintains his or her position but eventually dies, who will take the responsibility? 
  4. Corporate trustees have unbiased experience. If family issues give you reservations about appointing a relative, consider our trust services. We'll collaborate with your attorney and other advisors to ensure your wealth management plans are tailored to your desires and adhered to following your death.
  5. Co-trustees provide experience and familiarity. To get the experience of trust experts and the intimate knowledge of a family member, consider appointing co-trustees: one corporate and one family member. You can have a comprehensive management strategy, and the corporate trustee can take over in the event of your relative's death.

For more information on effective wealth management strategies, contact Landmark Bank.

Investment products and services are not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, not a deposit or bank obligation, not financial institution guaranteed, subject to investment risk, including potential principal loss.

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