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Which of your children should be trustees?

Choosing a trustee is an important decision for anyone’s estate. You have to comb through all your options and consider the right person to represent your interests. And most parents want to choose their children to represent their interests.

However, it’s more complicated when there are multiple children involved. Parents may struggle with what is fair versus what is equal when it comes to selecting the right representative.

Four options for selecting a trustee among your kids

Luckily, parents have options to determine the right trustee for their estate:

  1. Assigning multiple co-trustees – You can assign multiple trustees to a single estate, but it is a risky option for some families. It requires strong communication and minimal fighting between the trustees.  It may be disastrous if your children tend to fight or disagree on major decisions.
  2. Choose a different relative or friend – If you don’t want to choose among your children, select a person outside of your kids. It could be a family friend or another relative. It’s a particularly excellent selection if you know someone who is an attorney or works with a financial institution.
  3. Hire a professional trustee – Another option is to hire someone to act as a trustee. It could be a person or an entity like a bank or a law firm. It works well with large and highly complicated estates that require additional expertise. However, it’s usually expensive, so do not choose this option lightly.
  4. Choose one child as a trustee – Finally, you can be courageous and choose one of your children to act as the trustee. It’s a bold move, but there is a way to make it work without family tension. You have family discussion deciding who is going to be a trustee and why that is the right decision. It’s better to tell them before than blindside them afterward.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the right decision for your family. But do not let your children dictate how your estate should be because no one else should tell you how your estate plan should run.

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