Choosing The Right Estate Trustee Is Imperative, Agrees Fairfax Estate Planning Attorney
Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 12, 2012 – According to "A Matter Of Trust," a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, naming a trustee is one of the toughest and most important key estate decisions a person can make.
If a trust has already been prepared, says author Jeanine Skowronski, it is advisable to review the documents to make certain the trustee chosen years, or even decades earlier, is the same person to oversee estate issues in the future. It may be that changes should be made. Many people decide on a trustee when they have young children; the people chosen to administer estate issues or make other financial or heath care decisions may be supplanted by the estate owners own children, now grown. Or, the primary administrator was an in-law or close family member or friend, and that relationship has changed.
In general, the things to consider when deciding on a trustee include the person’s proximity, responsibility, and organizational skills. A trustee should, if possible, be located close enough to be able to care for the issues of the estate efficiently, with minimal disruption. It is also beneficial if they are able to manage their own financial affairs, and will be able to respond to issues in a timely fashion.
"Choosing a trustee solely due to familial ties or a friendship can backfire," agrees Fairfax estate planning attorney Lisa McDevitt. "The trustee you want overseeing your estate is someone with a solid business sense, and probably not someone who will bring their own wishes and plans to the table."
The job of administrator can take a large amount of time, cautions Skowronski, as there are some trusts designed to last for several generations. Also, it is advisable that the administrator knows at least a little about money management and estate-tax law. Most importantly, the administrator must be able to stay objective when carrying out the goals of the estate. It is also possible to name more than one person to fulfill the duties of overseeing a trust. While some people designate a close friend of family member, others hire a trust company to step in or other financial professional.
When considering the role of trustee to oversee estate planning, it is advisable to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181
Toll Free: 866-602-7850
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