Guidelines for Choosing an Executor or Trustee

10:47 pm Estate Planning

choice e1336511185349 Guidelines for Choosing an Executor or TrusteeWhen creating their estate plans, many parents ask if they should by default name the eldest child as an executor or trustee.  While we certainly understand the thinking behind that choice, what should be guiding your choice is who will do the best job.

Here are some guidelines on choosing the best executor or trustee:

Estate size.  The larger the estate, the bigger the job to manage it.  If you need someone with expertise to manage assets for beneficiaries, you should choose someone with financial prowess or with the management skills to engage expert help.  The person you choose also needs to be well organized and disciplined, with the ability to do what is best for all beneficiaries.

Family dynamics.  If you have more than one child and plan to choose one over the others, this could create conflict.  First, be sure the child you are choosing really wants the job.  If this is confirmed as your best choice, sit down with your other children and explain your thinking and why the child you have chosen has the skills for the job.

Outside counsel.  You do have the option to choose a corporate trustee to manage a trust, which means you would have someone with the legal and financial expertise to manage the trust assets and the impartiality to fairly assess requests and distribute assets.  You will need to weigh the benefits versus the fees the trust will have to pay if you choose this option.

A qualified estate planning attorney can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing an executor or a trustee.  Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

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