Who Can be the Trustee in Your Living Trust?

If you choose to use a living trust as a part of your estate plan for the future, then you will be required to appoint a trustee. The trustee that you appoint will be required to manage your financial affairs on your behalf when you designate that the individual has the power to do so. The trustee will be required to collect income, pay taxes on your behalf, collect and pay bills for you, save money for you and invest for the future of the finances. As well, the trustee will have the right to buy and sell assets using the money and then use the money in the trust to provide for you and your loved ones. In addition to these duties, trustees must maintain accurate records and will be required to keep financial matters in good order.

With all of this responsibility, it is essential that you choose the right person to be your trustee. Do not choose a relative or friend who is disorganized or irresponsible. Also, avoid anyone that would have a poor history with financial affairs. If you choose to do so, you have the right to be the trustee of your own living trust for the duration of your life. Also, if you are married, you can make your spouse a trustee with your. Most married couples who own assets together act as co-trustees on a will. This way, if one arty becomes incapacitated or passes away, the other party can pick up full responsibility of the trust and these will be no interference from the courts.

Some adults who create a living trust would prefer not to be their own trustee. If it is your desire, you can pass off the responsibility to manage the trust to a friend or family member. You can also choose a professional or corporate trustee, such as a trust company or a bank trust department, to manage the account for you. In some cases, using a professional to manage your trust can be of great benefit, especially if you plan to invest a significant portion of the finances. It is best to hire a professional if you do not have the time to manage things on your own and cannot think of any relatives or friends that you would want to be handling your financial affairs.

If you still want to have some handle on the finances, but also want a professional to be involved, you can list the professional as a co-trustee along with you. This makes it so that you do not relinquish total hold of the account but can still have someone reliable running the finances for you. This eliminates the time that a successor trustee needs to become knowledgeable about your trusts because the co-trustee can learn this by working with you.

Whoever operates as trustee on your behalf is required to follow all instructions that are listed in your trust and is require to report to you. You can even replace your trustee if you change your mind later on. When creating your living trust, it is very important to have a reliable estate planning attorney there to help you. If you try to create this official estate planning document on your own, you may make mistakes that render the entire trust void. At this point, if you pass away with a void trust, then your entire estate may need to be processed through probate and may end up being divided in a way you wouldn't have preferred. If you are looking for an estate planning lawyer who can help you with your case, don't hesitate to use probate.com to locate a lawyer near you!