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How to pick a trustee:
The Trustee Who, What, When and Where 

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Overview
What does a Trustee do?
  • Collect assets, pay debts and taxes, keep a record of all transactions (accounting) and hire advisors (the real estate agent, attorney, accountant, etc.)

  • Resolve conflicts and claims (i.e. gifts of personal items, trust litigation

  • Distribute the assets in the estate per the directions in the trust

  • They get paid about 1.5%

  • The Trustee for a Young Beneficiary / Children's Trustee also manages the assets until the person inheriting is old enough to have control ( the Young Beneficiary/Children's Trustee decides what to spend money on and what not to)

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How to Pick a Trustee
  • A good trustee is usually a close relative or professional fiduciary

  • A good trustee is kind, emotionally intelligent, and detail oriented

  • A US person (live in the US and are citizens or legal residents)

  • Are young and healthy (over 75 is maybe too old)

  • They are willing to do the job and are personally invested in the outcome (friends often quit when there is a family conflict)

  • Name one person with at least one back-up (co-trustees are not ideal)

  • They are usually a beneficiary of the trust

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Two Types of Trustees When You Leave Money to Young Children
  • Your Trustee's job is to collect your money and pay your debts and then get the money out of your trust and into the hands of the people inheriting from you.
     

    • If a young person is inheriting, you pick the age when that person gets control of their inheritance.
       

    • For anyone under that age, your trustee does not give the money to the young person, they create a new trust for that person (we call this a Young Beneficiary's Trust) and the Young Beneficiary's Trustee is then in charge of the money until the young person reaches the age you pick

  • The Young Beneficiary's Trustee/Your Children's Trustee makes the decisions about how inherited money is spent for the young person on an ongoing basis.
     

    • The Young Beneficiary's Trustee/Your Children's Trustee has to provide an annual report of the trust assets and expenses to the Custodial Guardian for your child (if under 18) or to your child (if over 18)

Trustees When You Have Young Children

  • Pick someone who will work well with your the child's custodial guardian (consider family conflicts)

  • The trustee and/or Young Beneficiary's Trustee can also be the custodial guardian

  • A professional fiduciary can be a good back-up or a way to avoid family conflicts

  • Your kids can automatically become your trustee when they are adults

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Professional Fiduciaries
  • Licensed and insured

  • Most people don’t pick now, you have someone pick in the future; that person can maintain hire/fire powers

  • Solid mid-range option: it's not as great as your sibling you love and trust completely, but not as bad as a family member who mismanages money

  • Not sure? Check out our Comparison Chart available online

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