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Choosing a Trustee

When setting up any trust, one of your most important decisions is choosing a trustee. For an Revocable Living Trust (RLT), you generally will choose yourself as trustee so that you may keep control of the trust's assets. For an Irrevocable Living Trust (IRT), you should not be the trustee because the tax advantages of the ILT will be lost when the creator of the trust is the trustee. Of course, for both an RLT and an ILT you must choose someone to take over in the event of the trustee's death or incapacity.

To assure that a person of your choice will always be the trustee, you should consider the age and health of trustee candidates and possibly nominate more than one alternate trustee. Many people setting up trusts with a large principal amount prefer to use a professional trustee, such as a trust company. The institutional trustee can provide professional management and assurance of continuity without interruption. But, because the professional trustee may be detached from the special needs and circumstances of the grantor's family, it may be wise to select a qualified family member, friend, or advisor as a co-trustee.

For Additional Information:

What is Probate?
Why Most People Want to Avoid Probate
What is a Revocable Living Trust?

How Does a Revocable Trust Avoid Probate?
What About Irrevocable Living Trusts?
Avoiding Estate Taxes
Estate Planning Glossary