Choosing A Trustee For Your Revocable Trust
There is a reason why revocable trusts are such a popular option, no matter your tax bracket. The assets in a revocable trust are safe from creditors and Medicaid asset recovery. They are also able to bypass probate, which means that the beneficiaries do not need to wait for your estate to settle before they can inherit. They can get their inheritance as soon as you die, or even while you are still alive. Setting up a revocable trust is simple; you only have to submit the appropriate paperwork and transfer possession of assets to the trust. One of the decisions you need to make when setting up a trust is designating a trustee, which is the person or entity with the legal authority to make financial transactions on behalf of the trust, including disbursing funds to the beneficiaries. A Tampa estate planning attorney can help you set up a revocable trust and can even act as a trust.
Family Members and Friends as Trustees
Designating a family member or close friend as a trustee might seem like the obvious choice, but just because someone is trustworthy on a personal level does not mean that they are well suited to the role of trustee. The family member you choose as trustee might be honored that you chose them, but remember that acting as a trustee is work, and your family member might find the job stressful. The chosen trustee might dread having to constantly be the bearer of bad news to your son for whom living beyond his means is a way of life and your other son who is resentful that you subsidize his brother’s irresponsible financial habits.
Professional Trustees and Corporate Fiduciaries
No one ever refused to hire an accountant on the grounds that filing taxes for a family member should be a labor of love. By the same logic, you can hire a professional trustee. This way, you can be sure that the trustee has some emotional distance from your money and is bound by the standards of professional ethics to manage it responsibly.
Starting With the Trustee in the Mirror
It is possible to be the trustee of your own revocable trust. Some people choose this option because it makes them feel like they are still in control of the assets that they no longer legally own, since they transferred ownership of the assets to the revocable trust. (Technically, you can be the grantor, trustee, and beneficiary of the same trust.) If you appoint yourself as trustee, you will need to appoint a successor trustee, who will assume the role of trustee after you pass away.
Contact David Toback With Questions About Avoiding Drama With Your Revocable Trust
A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you if you are sure that setting up a revocable trust is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress and expense, but you need help choosing a trustee. Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.