Often in estate planning or when qualifying someone for Medicaid or VA Pension benefits, it is necessary to form a trust. A trust is an agreement, usually between two people, where money is given with a set of instruction on how to manage the money. The trustee is the party that is given the money and required to manage it based on the instructions. In many cases, the trust is irrevocable and cannot be changed, so the selection of trustee is of critical importance.
There are many things that must be considered when selecting a trustee, as this person will manage the funds of the trust, often a considerable sum of money. The selection of trustee often overemphasizes the selection of a person who has a job managing money. The settlor, creating the trust, often remarks that their selection of a trustee is a CPA, financial planner, VP of finance, or other similar position managing money. While it is important for the trustee to know the basics of managing money, it is also critical for the trustee to have the best interests of the beneficiaries in mind in administering the trust.
The position of trustee in family trusts is often a volunteer job, so picking someone who has a vested interest in the beneficiaries is important.
A trustee who is honest and committed to doing the right thing will almost always administer the trust well. The trustee does not need to be an expert in finance, law, or accounting, as the trustee can hire such expertise if needed. In short, when choosing the trustee of a trust look for someone who will always do the right thing