Trust administration services are available through our affiliate Integrated Trust Services.
Selection of a trustee or successor trustee requires thoughtful consideration. Of primary concern to the individual or couple is that their trust is administered as they intended it to be. But no matter how well-drafted a trust might be, this might not happen. In some cases, a surviving spouse’s or child’s health might prevent them from acting as trustee. In other cases, a surviving spouse or child might not have the legal and business acumen to properly and effectively administer a trust. In these cases, a professional trustee is essential. More problematic, however, is when family dynamics come into play. When parents include spendthrift and asset protection features into their trust, a professional trustee is often a necessity. If parents foresee children being at odds with each other, a professional trustee is often a solution. In the case of blended families – subsequent spouse and children from a prior marriage – a professional trustee is again often a solution. Using a professional trustee places your trust in the hands of skilled and independent management and lessens the likelihood that family dynamics will change how your assets will be managed and distributed.
It is not uncommon to name the donor or the non-profit beneficiary of a charitable trust as trustee. Different from other trusts, however, charitable trusts must conform to certain tax laws and regulations to preserve their tax status. The accounting for charitable trusts can be daunting. Moreover, as the trust is administered and decisions made, a person or an organization in the dual role of trustee and beneficiary can raise conflicts of interest. Using a professional trustee removes the burdens of tax compliance, removes the potential for conflicts of interest, and places the charitable trust in the hands of skilled and independent management.
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