If you are considering leaving property or other assets to heirs by means of a trust, one of the most important decisions to be made is who will run the trust once you are gone.
That person — your fiduciary — will be responsible for managing the assets in the trust and making distributions to your loved ones in accordance with your desires.
The trustee you pick must be willing to do what you want no matter his or her personal feelings about them.
In many cases, people choose a family member, close friend or business associate to do the job, which can require a good amount of time to do properly. Others prefer to hire a professional, such as a bank or trust company.
The decision on who to pick as a trustee hinges on several factors, including the amount of money being managed in the trust, says an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Trustees usually get paid a fee, and professionals may have minimum fees they charge no matter the size of the trust. If the amount of money in the trust is small, say, under $50,000, it may be best to choose an individual to do it, since the fee charged by a company would likely be too large for the size of the trust.
But even large trusts don’t necessarily need professional management.
If the trust is straightforward without a lot of complicated provisions, it may be best to have a family member or close friend run it. Still, the person you choose must have the skill to do it right.
If there is friction among family members named in the trust, it may be prudent to hire a professional because the work load can turn out to be very heavy if the beneficiaries do not get along.