Most people who are thinking about naming a trustee for their estate will consider choosing a family member. That makes sense to them because it’s someone they’re close to. They feel they can trust that person to have their best interests at heart. In some cases that’s entirely true. But there are also times when choosing a family member as a trustee can be a poor choice. It can cause a rift among family members and create additional problems for loved ones.
When you choose a family member as your trustee, one of the biggest issues for other family members will be why they weren’t chosen. They may feel that you don’t trust them or don’t like them as well as another person in the family. There are also frequent arguments between family members regarding who is receiving which parts of the estate, and how much each person is getting. With that in mind, there can be long-term family problems created from this action.
Instead of choosing a family member as a trustee, it may be better to appoint someone who is unbiased and unrelated. That way it’s easier for that person to distribute the estate fairly, based on what you requested in your Will. There may still be arguing among family members, especially if they feel something is unfair. But there won’t be a family member who is also the trustee, and who finds themselves caught in the middle of everything.
You can certainly appoint whoever you want as trustee, as long as they agree to serve in that capacity. However, it may be better for family harmony and dynamics if you select someone who isn’t part of the family unit. That will greatly reduce the chances of problems with the division of your estate.
The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center helps people who want to avoid costly, time-consuming, public estate administration. To learn more, contact us today!