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Choosing the Right Trustee

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Trusts can be an excellent way to provide for your heirs or for causes that matter to you while also protecting the beneficiaries from onerous taxes or potentially controlling how the funds are distributed and spent. One important step in creating the trust that best serves the needs of your loved ones is choosing the person you wish to serve as trustee. Depending on the type of trust you create, a trustee will make important decisions about how to invest the trust’s assets and how best to distribute them, so choosing the right person is critical. Read on to learn about how to choose a trustee, and speak with one of our skilled Louisville, Kentucky estate planning attorneys about how creating a trust might benefit you.

Choose someone whose judgment you trust

The person you choose as trustee doesn’t need to be a financial expert to be capable. It’s more important to find someone who understands the basics of sound investing strategies, but who also knows when to call in an expert in law or accounting for support when they find themselves out of their depth. And most importantly, choose someone who is very trustworthy. 

Choose someone who will be available

If you’re creating a trust that you want to live on after you do, be sure that you choose someone who will likely be alive and capable after you die. Additionally, be sure to choose someone who will have the time to dedicate to looking after the trust’s assets personally, and who won’t be forced to hand the task off to someone else who is not of your choosing.

Choosing family members may bring conflict

Your first instinct may be to select a child or younger sibling to serve as your trustee, since you know and trust them. While this might work for some trusts and families, you should know about the risks involved in such a choice. Relatives may not be able to look at a decision objectively, due to their proximity to the family. Likewise, the relatives who weren’t chosen to serve as trustee may feel hurt and resentful that they weren’t selected, and may be more likely to second-guess the decisions of the person chosen than they would those of an outsider. Consider someone who is familiar with your family and its needs, but who can remain objective in making difficult decisions.

If you are in need of guidance in creating an estate plan that best serves the needs of you and your heirs, contact the experienced and knowledgeable Louisville estate planning attorneys at John H. Ruby & Associates for a consultation, at 502-895-2626.