Evaluating an Individual as Successor Trustee
Establishing a trust is a great way to manage and transfer your assets. It’s important that you name a trustee who is able and willing to execute your wishes now and in the future. If you are considering naming an individual as successor trustee, answer the following questions to determine whether the person you are considering is the right fit. Does this person understand all the responsibilities of a trustee and recognize that a trustee is held to a very high legal standard and could be personally held liable to the extent of his or her own assets? Is this person willing and able to invest the time to see that your wishes are carried out? Does he or she live in your area or out-of-town? Will the successor trustee grant beneficiaries access to the trust funds only for the purposes intended by the wording of the trust and in accordance with any limitations imposed by law? Will this person make impartial and objective decisions? Are there any conflicts of interest? Is the individual knowledgeable about tax, legal and accounting requirements? Can he or she make appropriate decisions for the trust based on this knowledge? Is this person knowledgeable about investing? Does he or she have reliable and timely sources of investment research and market information? Does he or she have a proven track record in managing investment portfolios? Will the individual seek, and pay for, professional advice from an accountant, investment advisor or real estate professional if he or she lacks the competency or time to do a good job? Does this person understand the complexities and nuances related to the preparation of tax returns? Can he or she ensure that all tax returns are filed on time to avoid penalties or lose valuable exemptions and deductions? Is there a way to maintain continuity if this person resigns as trustee, relocates, becomes ill or dies? Who is the backup trustee? Does this person have the time to devote to selecting and monitoring investments and to creating and providing timely reports of the assets and investment performance? Will this person execute his or her duties without compensation for the time spent? If you cannot affirmatively answer the preceding questions about an individual as successor trustee, consider appointing a corporate trustee – either as a sole trustee or as a co-trustee with an individual.
Contact Commerce Trust to learn how we can help ensure your wishes are carried out. 1-855-295-7821 | commercetrustcompany.com
Wealth | Investments | Planning Commerce Trust Company
Commerce Trust Company is a division of Commerce Bank. PC1321
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