6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing a Trustee

  • Estate Planning
6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a trustee | estate and probate legal group

A living trust allows you to transfer assets to a trust, giving you control over them during your lifetime and distributing them to your beneficiaries after your death. Establishing your trust can be time-consuming, but it’s incredibly important. As you can imagine, naming a trustee is one of your top decisions. To help you with this process, we have compiled a checklist of 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a trustee.

What Is A Trustee?

A trustee is responsible for managing the assets held by the trust. Then, after your death, they administer the assets as per your wishes. Since all of your assets will now be managed by the trustee, you must take your time and choose the right person.

Some responsibilities of a trustee are:

  • Abide by the terms of the trust
  • keep detailed records – while you are alive and after your death
  • distribute funds to the beneficiaries
  • resolve any conflicts between beneficiaries
  • pay all expenses incurred with the trust, including legal costs, taxes and more

The trustee must be someone you believe will care for yourself, and your assets after you pass away.

Choosing A Trustee

Being a trustee is a hugely important job, and not everyone can do it. Many people underestimate the time and knowledge needed to be a trustee. Often, people choose a family member or close friend as their trustee. As much as you love your sister, she may not be the best person to handle and distribute your finances.

To help you get started, we have compiled 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a trustee:

  1. Does this person have the education or experience to be a trustee?
  2. Is this person free of conflicts between your assets and being a trustee?
  3. Do you believe this person will honor the terms of the trust?
  4. Does this person live close enough to handle your assets and work with local attorneys, accountants and other professionals?
  5. Is the person willing to seek help when necessary?
  6. Are you sure this person is willing to be a trustee?

If you believe your friends and family members may be easily caught up in the drama, then perhaps you can take the advice in this Forbes article and hire a professional trustee or a company with expertise in trust administration.

But these 6 questions are just the beginning. You may want to work with your trust attorney when choosing a trustee.

DuPage County Trusts Attorney

Do you have questions about establishing a trust in Illinois? Our experienced trust attorneys can advise you on the best options to protect your assets and loved ones. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties