Questionnaire Tips Series: Who should I put down as my Trustee?

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What is a trustee? 
A trustee is a fiduciary, which means he or she holds a position of trust and confidence and is subject to strict responsibilities and very high standards. For example, the trustee cannot use your trust’s assets for his or her own personal use or benefit without your explicit permission. Instead, the trustee must hold and use trust assets solely for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries.
During your lifetime you and your spouse will be the Grantor’s and the Trustees. Once something happens to both of you the next trustees will start serving. Both spouses can have the same trustees or completely different trustees.

Requirements:

  • Trustee must be age 18 or older
  • Trustee can be located outside of the country but, they would have to be a co-trustee with someone within the United States. Ideally, the Trustee should be located in the US.

Examples of Common Trustee Appointed by clients:

  • Adult children
  • Close friends  
  • Brother/Brother-In-Law, Sister/Sister-in-Law, Cousin  
  • Professional Fiduciaries
  • Trust Department

Advisory:

  • Some clients do put their parents as trustees but it is not recommended.
  • It is recommended to always include one backup trustee in case the 1st trustee can not serve or refuses to serve for any reason.  
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