Trusts are nothing without the right trustee

Many Palm Beach residents go beyond a last will and testament when it comes to providing for their families after death. They also use trusts to pass on assets to loved ones in a more controlled, private and protected manner. Regardless of how carefully such documents are drafted, executed and funded, without the right trustee they may not be worth the paper upon which they are written.

This makes choosing a trustee one of the most important tasks for the trust creator, also known as the grantor. The first decision is whether to choose an individual or a company to serve in this capacity. More than likely, many Palm Beach residents will choose an individual. That person could be a spouse, child or friend. The main criteria are that the grantor has faith that the person chosen will abide by the terms of the trust, which are his or her wishes.

The individual chosen should also understand the terms of the trust and the rules by which he or she must abide in carrying out the duties as trustee. It also helps for that person to be impartial and willing to seek out advice when needed in order to best serve the beneficiaries. Some would also recommend that the trustee be younger than the grantor in an attempt to ensure that he or she is available when the times comes.

It may seem like an easy process to determine who would best serve as trustee for a particular person, but that does not mean that a grantor should fail to make sure. It would also be a good idea to discuss the appointment with the chosen individual first in case he or she does not want or is unable to serve in this capacity. As would be the case with any matters surrounding trusts, an attorney may provide invaluable counsel regarding this crucial choice.

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