Choosing a Trustee. A trustee is responsible for managing an individual’s financial affairs upon his or her incapacity or death. Many people choose family members or relatives to administer their trust assets upon the occurrence of these events. They do so because they assume it will be less expensive than choosing a professional trustee. However, rarely does a family member have the expertise to correctly manage and dutifully administer a trust. The trustee must have investment and financial skills and be able to devote a fair amount of time monitoring the trust investments. They also must make appropriate distributions to the trust beneficiaries as well as prepare annual accountings and tax returns for the trust. The ideal trustee should have the legal skills necessary to administer the trust, the investment expertise to manage the trust assets, and the ability to respond impartially and compassionately to the needs of the beneficiaries. Given these criteria, it is understandable why some people creating trusts choose professional trustees and have the trust pay the required professional fees. They consider it well worth the price to protect their interests and the future financial well-being of their trust beneficiaries.
Paul J. Dunn, Attorney at Law
Arizona Estate & Trust Law, Plc
379 Summit Pointe Drive
Prescott, AZ 86303