How to Choose Trustees

Trustees are in charge of managing a trust. An ideal trustee is someone who has: 

  • Attention to detail 
  • An understanding of his or her duties, and a commitment to taking those duties seriously 
  • An understanding of finances and perhaps investing, accounting, or law 
  • Good communication skills 
  • Morals and values that you agree with

When choosing trustees, it's important to think about the structure and goals of the trust and the specific requirements of the trustees of that trust. While some trusts may require trustees with extensive experience in investing or accounting, other trusts may benefit from trustees who have close personal relationships with the beneficiaries or the grantor. 

In some cases, the person best suited to be a trustee may not be your closest friend or family member, but instead may be a friend or colleague who you believe to be competent, honest, and intelligent. You may also appoint someone close to you to act as a trustee and specify to that person that you would like him or her to hire professionals to advise on certain aspects of the process.

For more information on the responsibilities of a trustee, see our article Duties of a Trustee.

Appointing a professional as a trustee

If you don’t feel like you have anyone in your personal life who you would like to entrust with the role of trustee, you may appoint a professional that you have a relationship with, such as an attorney or an accountant. These people may require a fee for their services as a trustee.

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