Appointing a Trustee over your assets while your still living can be a difficult decision to make. Ultimately, the responsibilities of a Trustee are to manage your assets, pay your bills, and essentially is the person to go to in the event that you need access to funds.
Therefore, in making the decision as to whom your Trustee should be you most definitely would want to consider access. It is recommended that your Trustee live within the same State as you, but ultimately ease of access is something to consider also.
If your Trustee lives out of State or even in a different county than what you reside in; you may want to consider the fact that if an emergency situation arose, how willing would your Trustee be to travel to you? Accidents and occasions that we do not plan for often arise and you need to ensure that you have access to finances in the event that these situations arise.
A major factor to consider also is that you do not want to appoint your cousin that has financial problems as your Trustee, or your brother that has a gambling addiction. Even though a Trustee has legal obligations and could face legal ramifications from mismanagement of your funds, you want to make the best educated option for your Trustee.
Someone that is willing to assist you that is trustworthy, reliable, and flexible would be the best options to think about when coming to the final decision as to whom your Trustee should be. This person does not have to have college experience or be a third party that charges a fee to manage your Trust either. You can appoint a lifelong friend, family member, or even consult with an Attorney to be your Trustee.
The only major factor again, is someone that you know you can count on and be flexible with your current needs. As we age, you are able to amend your Trust as long as it is a Revocable one to appoint different Trustee’s for the duration of your lifetime. Ultimately the end goal is to have you feel comfortable with the decision you’ve made in appointing your Trustee.
It is typically recommended that as long as you are able to maintain control over your finances then you should exercise that right personally. Discussing your estate and finances with an estate planning lawyer Arlington, TX relies on that has the best knowledge and expertise within the field would be able to advise you more in depth to possible alternatives in the event of your incapacity. This will allow you the peace of mind knowing that you made the best decision for your assets and investment within your finances.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into appointing a trustee and estate planning.