California residents who are looking into estate planning may be interested in an article discussing one vital aspect of creating a trust that is often overlooked. Determining who will administer the instrument can be an extremely important decision.
When a trust is created, the trustee has an ongoing duty to administer that trust, whether they are tasked with investing trust funds, distributing money or buying and selling trust property. There are several factors that should go into deciding who will be the trustee. When choosing a trustee, the person setting up the trust should consider the purpose of the trust in order to get a general overview of the aims that the trustee should be striving for. Also, the beneficiaries of the trust may require certain things, due to their age, income or any disabilities that must be taken care of by the trust.
Given those characteristics, the choosing of a trustee should reflect the goals of the trust. The expertise of the prospective trustee in financial and other matters related to the administration of the trust should be considered. Conflicts of interest should be investigated in case they will bar a trustee from performing their fiduciary duties. Additionally, age, location and income requirements of the trust administrator are also considerations that should be given the appropriate weight.
Furthering a person's estate planning goals and minimizing the tax implications on their beneficiaries often require the assistance of an attorney. The attorney may be able to analyze the person's financial situation and counsel them on the most efficient way to preserve assets for future generations.
Source: Wealth Management, "Tips From The Pros: The Most Disrespected Decision in Estate Planning", Charles A. Redd, June 24, 2014