The Top 3 Most Common Estate Trustees

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,882
    Gary Johnson, President of Plante Moran Trust, discusses the pros and cons of the top 3 most common estate trustees.

    Gary Johnson: Hi! I am Gary Johnson, President Plante Moran Trust Today we are discussing the pros and cons to the three common trustee choices to assist you with making the most important decision of who should be your trustee Often, the lowest cost option is to appoint a family member. Although they may be entitled to compensation from the estate, they frequently waive fees or charge below market. Their primary advantage is their understanding of the family dynamics, so consider this a pro. However, depending upon the complexity of the estate family members may not be willing or may not be able to act as trustee.

    For example, they could be living out of state or physically incapable. In some situations appointing a relative can cause rifts in family relationships Another trustee action is a trusted advisor such as your attorney or account. Perhaps his or her familiarity with your business interest and family situation would make them a good candidate. Some cons to consider when choosing trusted advisor include their age. If your advisor is the same age as you and you pass away later in life, they might be fairly old and perhaps unable to take on the work required by your estate A third option is the professional trustee, their pros being a neutral party and an expert in carrying out the duties and obligations of a trustee. Selecting a professional trustee can avoid problems that often arise in family relationships. After all, this is what they do for a living, so you can be confident in their willingness and ability If you are in the process of selecting a trustee, our best advice is to know your options Carefully think about them in advance, so you dont make a hasty decision. Consider what youll need the trustee to do and if they are up to task and reevaluate your decision periodically to make sure your needs and expectations have not changed.