Want to prevent disaster in your Orange County Trust plan? It starts with whom you put in charge after you’re gone. It sounds obvious that you need to choose a good Trustee for your Trust to manage your financial affairs, and yet so often that does not occur. I know, I know, you want to name your oldest child first, and then you next oldest and so on, but is that really a good idea?
The problem with naming a child as Trustee is that he can either lack the expertise needed to carry out the duties of a Trustee, or he can be perceived as lacking those qualities by the other children. Either way, a lawsuit can follow quickly when a child-Trustee is acting.
And naming two or more children to act together does not solve the problem. In fact, it can make matters worse because if they disagree then nothing gets done…ever.
What’s the solution? Think about using either a professional Trustee, a corporate Trustee, or a trusted advisor who you think can carry out the duties of Trustee to the best of their abilities. Or maybe name a professional to act together with a child so the child will have guidance and expertise to turn to in administering the Trust estate.
I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to talk to a client about naming someone other than a child as Trustee, unless the children are minors of course. It can be difficult to see (or admit) that a child is not your best choice as Trustee. And there are plenty of examples where a child does a fine job as Trustee, but don’t just assume that will happen for your family.
At the very least take a moment to think it over and consider other possibilities. You may avoid a lot of pain and sorrow by giving your Trusteeship a bit more thought.
For more information, please visit: http://www.aldavlawoc.com/practice-areas/trustee-surcharge-litigation/