You wouldn’t randomly pick whoever to be your trustee, would you?
Choosing the wrong trustee may bring you a lot of headaches. They may or may not follow through with your final wishes when you have passed away. Sometimes, they may not be located even when you are no longer around.
Therefore, it is important to understand who your trustee is and the types of trustees available before you choose one.
Types of Trustees
What people don’t know is that there are different types of trustees. There are professional trustees and family trustees.
Professional trustees are usually trustees from a professional trust firm. They are usually well-trained in being a trustee and how to handle a myriad of problems surrounding a trust. There are trust companies, bank trustees, and attorneys.
Professional trustees are good for businesses and companies. However, there are some people who use a professional trustee for their own personal wills too. Professional trustees’ line of work is diversified. It’s not limited to just one area.
Family trustees are where people choose family members (usually) to be their wills’ trustees. Sometimes they may appoint a close family friend or relative to be their trustee. One good thing about getting a close family friend or a family member to be a trustee is that they know and care about the beneficiary personally. If you have a beneficiary who has special needs, then these family members appointed trustees are a good fit for the role.
Sometimes, some people think that appointing a professional trustee may not be sufficiently good enough. They may also have the same thinking towards a family trustee. If that’s the case, they can choose to appoint co-trustees.
Co-trustees are where the person appoints a family trustee and a professional trustee in place. They can get the best of both worlds.
Qualities and Skills a Trustee Should Have
After you know the different kinds of available trustees, do you know what skills and qualities a good trustee should have? Here are some skills and qualities they should have.
They should have the following skills:
- Legal skills
- Accounting skills
- Investing skills
- A solid understanding of the will owners’ intentions. They will also need to know the needs, strengths, and weaknesses of the beneficiaries
- Independence and objectivity when handling the will
Here are some of the best qualities a trustee should have:
- Trustees should make sure that the funds in the trusts are invested properly and wisely. They should have wise regard to the timing and amount of distribution made from the trust.
- Any trustees should make sure that the investment policy will preserve the assets. They should also make sure that the investments made by the beneficiaries are in the best interest of current and future beneficiaries.
- Trustees should ensure that the trust will meet both the terms of the law and of the trusts.
- Trustees should make sure that they maintain good records of the trust. If they see any inappropriate issues, they should report it at once to the interested parties.
- They should also administer and distribute the assets and monies in the most tax-efficient manner possible.
Having said all of that, it is important that the trustee’s role should fit your specific needs. Find one that synergizes well with you and your beneficiaries.