The estate planning process can be very emotional and is filled with lots of what-ifs and worst-case scenarios. One of the more important decisions in the process, and one that often does not get enough attention, is selecting a Trustee if your planning includes Trusts.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet answer to picking a Trustee but at a high level you have two options – an individual person or a corporate trustee.
The individual trustee could be a trusted friend, family member, or a professional that you work with, and often these are the first people that come to mind. When selecting an individual trustee, it’s important to find someone who is savvy enough to understand the investment, tax, and legal aspects of the Trustee as well as someone who is impartial and willing to uphold the terms of the Trust you laid out. This can sometimes be uncomfortable if a friend or family member has to say no to a request from a beneficiary.
Corporate Trustees can be especially helpful in the latter scenario, as denying a request has no impact on the family dynamic and avoids any emotional arguments. Corporate Trustees also have the experience, expertise, and resources to ensure that the terms of the Trust are abided by. One of the more difficult tasks of a Trustee is having to balance the needs of the current beneficiaries and future beneficiaries within the Trust, and a Corporate Trustee can approach this issue with complete objectivity.
Continuity is another major benefit of a Corporate Trustee. It is not unusual for a Trust to last multiple decades and it can be difficult to find an individual to act as Trustee over this period. Having a Corporate Trustee in place ensures continuity on both the administration and investment management of the Trust.
The good news is that you also have a third option – having both. A trusted individual and a Corporate Trustee can act together as Co-Trustees, allowing you to have the best of both worlds – an objective Corporate Trustee and an individual that understands the needs of your family.
If you have questions about selecting a Trustee or want to learn more about RegentAtlantic Private Trust, please contact your Wealth Advisor.
Additional Important Information
The decision to establish a trust and the selection of trustees is a complicated and sometimes irrevocable decision. It is critical that you consult with a legal and/or tax professional of your choosing prior to establishing a trust with RegentAtlantic Private Trust. RegentAtlantic does not provide, and this information should not be construed as, legal or tax advice and should not be solely relied upon to make this decision.
RegentAtlantic Private Trust is a Trust Representative Office of National Advisors Trust Company (NATC). RegentAtlantic and NATC are separate and unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s policies and services. Investment advisory services offered through RegentAtlantic, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Please note that registration with the SEC does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
Important disclosure information
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, including the loss of money invested. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including the investments or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by RegentAtlantic Capital, LLC (“RegentAtlantic”) will be profitable.
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This article is not a substitute for personalized advice from RegentAtlantic. This article is current only as of the date on which it was sent. The statements and opinions expressed are, however, subject to change without notice based on market and other conditions and may differ from opinions expressed in other businesses and activities of RegentAtlantic. Descriptions of RegentAtlantic’s process and strategies are based on general practice and we may make exceptions in specific cases.
RegentAtlantic does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult with a legal and or tax professional of your choosing prior to implementing any of the strategies discussed in this article.