Who Should Be My Trustee?

Who do you trust to manage your assets, to be in the position of a fiduciary/trustee?

The fiduciary is the executor or personal representative of your estate, the trustee of your trusts, or the agent under your powers of attorney, whether they're financial or healthcare oriented, it may be an individual.

It may be a family member. If you choose a family member or friend, he/she should be financially sharp, and good with money. You may want someone who is familiar with basic concepts of investing, and preferably someone who has assets of their own.

Then again, it may not; it may be a friend, a colleague, or a professional who has experience in serving as a trustee, such as a certified public accountant or a lawyer.

It may include consideration of whether you should use a corporate fiduciary, like a bank or trust company that specializes in administering trusts and estates and has the capacity and the people to help you make tough decisions and administer the estate after you're gone. Trust companies bring structure and experience to the trust administration. You will pay for this service, but it will likely be money well spent, as they will make the tough decisions.

It's best to use a trust company when:

1. the beneficiaries do not get along,

2. when there is a problem beneficiary, or

3. when you are dealing with a large amount of money.

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