Creating a trust as part of their estate plan is often beneficial for Georgia residents looking for more control and protection over their assets. The extent to which a trust can achieve these goals, however, relies heavily on the actions of the person managing the trust. This manager is known as the trustee, and choosing the right person, or entity, for the role is crucial to getting the most out of this planning tool.
One of the first matters individuals may want to consider is whether they want a person or entity to act as the trustee. Some people are more comfortable with a person they know, such as a relative or close friend, but choosing a family member or friend could open the door to family squabbles if one relative felt that he or she should have been chosen over someone else. There is also the chance for a conflict of interest when choosing a loved one. An entity, such as a bank that offers trustee services or a similar institution, could limit these risks, but this choice does remove the personal understanding of the surviving family’s situation.
When trying to decide, it may be worthwhile to consider the duties of the trustee, which include
- handling administrative duties for the trust
- maintaining and managing the property and assets held in the trust
- distributing the assets to the beneficiaries as dictated by the terms of the trust
Choosing a trustee is a very personal decision, and it is not one that Georgia residents should take lightly. Often, making a list of candidates and thinking about the pros and cons of each could help during the decision-making process. If individuals are still uncertain about who to choose, they may want to ask for professional advice on the topic.