How to choose a trustee

In most cases, Minnesota residents will use the family members who live closest to them as trustees. This person is typically an adult child or other family members who a person has a positive relationship. However, there are scenarios in which a person doesn't have family members who are able or willing to take on this role. Adult children may not be willing to take on this role because it is too stressful.

Naming multiple children as co-successor trustees may not work because they don't get along. When an individual cannot rely on family to act as a trustee to portions of an estate plan, it may be necessary to hire a professional to do so. It may still be possible to place the names of adult child or other family members on health care or other directives.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to name a friend and a professional as co-trustees. In this scenario, the professional can work directly with family members while the friend can take care of tasks such as drafting estate plan documents. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a good idea to work with an estate plan attorney to increase communication between individuals and their potentially had to deal with family members.

It may be beneficial to start the estate planning process as soon as possible. This may allow a person time to consider the person or entity that may act as a trustee or fulfill other plan roles. Talking with an attorney may make it easier to create plan documents or to increase the odds that they say what an individual intends them to say. It may also be possible to look over beneficiary designations or create new ones if none currently exist.

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