Professional Trust Administrators
If you are planning your estate, chances are it will include at least one trust. In order to create a trust, a grantor must name a trustee. Trustees perform many functions, including the administration of trusts. However, in this article “trust administrator” and “trustee” are used interchangeably. Sometimes a grantor will want to name themselves as trustee, depending on the kind and purpose of the trust, and the grantor will therefore also need to name a successor trustee. Successor trustees will serve as the trustee of the trust after the grantor dies. Choosing a trustee or a successor trustee is an important decision and one you should make wisely. Trustees do not have to be individuals; they can also be professional trust administrators, which are often found at law firms or banks. There are many reasons why someone may want to name a professional trust administrator and there are both positives and negatives to using a law firm or bank for this role. If you are thinking about planning your estate and need a trust administrator, you should contact a skilled trust administration attorney for help.
Duties of Trustees
Trustees have many important responsibilities related to the trust, including a fiduciary responsibility to the trust and its beneficiaries meaning that they are required to act in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries. Trustees have certain responsibilities, such as managing the assets in the trust and investing the assets wisely, understanding the terms of the trust, distributing assets from the trust when warranted, and making sure that the trust complies with the conditions that were laid out by the grantor at the creation of the trust.
Reasons to Use Institutional Trustees
There are many great reasons to use an institutional trustee such as a bank or law firm. These reasons include:
- It is rare that you will need to worry about a backup trustee. If you name an individual as a trustee, you will also need to name a backup in case that person dies. However, banks and firms will rarely go out of business, and if they do then you can be assured that the trust will pass to another qualified professional.
- There is more oversight. Professional trustees not only have to answer to the trust beneficiaries, but they also have oversight from their supervisors, employer, and even the government.
- Professional trust administrators will have expertise. A big part of trust administration is often investing the assets in the trust and a knowledgeable trustee may be able to make better investments.
- Avoid unpleasant family dynamics. Sometimes family relationships are complicated and a family member or friend of the family acting as the trustee may be put in a difficult situation. With an institutional trustee all the relationship dynamics are irrelevant and the trustee can focus on the instructions in the trust creation document.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you are in need of a professional trust administrator, you should contact a knowledgeable trust administration attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced trust administration attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group in The Villages, Florida, can help you with all your trust administration needs.