A trustee is the person who manages the assets in a trust. Depending on the terms of the trust, the trustee may also have discretion over when distributions are made to beneficiaries. One duty of a trustee may be to invest assets to increase the value of a trust. The trustee may be considered legally and financially responsible for the trust, so it is important to choose someone who has the right expertise. A Brea attorney may be able to help choose the right trustee.
The administrative duties of a trustee can be time-consuming, and family or friends may lack the knowledge and background to manage the trust. Therefore, a professional trustee might be the right choice. Choosing a professional trustee also takes care of other potential issues such as what happens if a trustee dies. With a professional trustee, there will be a mechanism in place that allows someone else to manage the trust if needed.
Another consideration is what responsibility the trustee will have to the family. A friend or family member could be in a difficult position if one of the trustee’s jobs is to choose when beneficiaries receive distributions. If a loved one is chosen instead of a professional, it needs to be someone who is good with conflict resolution and who will be able to make decisions about issues involving family members without being overly influenced by emotional appeals from those family members.
A person who is creating a trusts might also want to talk to a Brea estate planning attorney about the possibility of having a professional and a family member as co-trustees. This can be a good compromise for someone who has a complex trust that should be managed by a professional but who wants the family involved as well.
A trustee is in a position of great responsibility, and the person who serves in this role needs to have financial expertise as well as being trustworthy, organized and communicative. Brea trust litigation attorneys may be able to further advise about the specific qualities needed for certain types of trusts.