Ten characteristics of a good trustee

When I go through the estate planning questionnaire with a client I suggest they think long and hard before selecting their trustee. In fact, if they hesitate for a split second when naming someone I ask about it. For example, they might say, “well our son is probably our first choice… well… ahhh….”  The second I heard the word “probably” I was wondering what that was about. I know it does not mean their son is dishonest but maybe he has an overbearing wife? Or maybe he and his brother don’t get along. Or who knows!? The point is there is a reason they said “probably.” I thus bring you 10 characteristics to look for in your chosen trustees in no particular order:

– Trustworthy

– General competence

– Financial experience

– Life experience

– Ability to see things from the beneficiaries point of view

– Geographic location

– Above reproach

– Wants to do it

– Understand’s your desires

– Understands your future beneficiaries needs

I could go on but this is a good starting point. Let’s talk about your trustees!


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