When creating a trust to protect and support your loved ones, there are many steps you’ll need to take, from deciding what type you would like to set up to naming a trustee. However, you shouldn’t select the first person that comes to mind to assume this role. Trustees have a significant amount of responsibility, so you’ll need to understand the full extent of the obligations and consider this choice carefully before selecting someone for the role. Continue reading to learn more about the responsibilities and how a Washtenaw County trusts attorney to help you begin the process of creating a trust.
What Are the Responsibilities of Trustees?
A trustee is the title of someone who has been appointed by the creator of the trust, also called a grantor, to assume legal ownership of the assets in the trust to manage and distribute them according to the outlined terms. Generally, they are responsible for managing the assets, such as paying property taxes or maintaining a home, until they are distributed to the intended beneficiaries. They must also keep records and files of the trust’s assets, in order to ensure everything is legally valid.
Who Can I Appoint to the Role?
In general, anyone can assume the role of a trustee, with a few minor exceptions. If the person is a minor, non-U.S. citizen, or not of sound mind, they cannot be named a trustee. However, those who are not exempt can serve if you wish to appoint them.
There are three common choices when choosing trustees. The first is friends and family, as many people feel like their adult children, siblings, spouse, or close family friends are loyal and responsible enough to fulfill the role and carry out the responsibilities.
However, appointing a family member or friend can pose a conflict of interest or tension within a family, so others choose to name a bank or financial institution as their trustee. This is an ideal option for many, as they pose an unbiased perspective, guaranteeing the terms of your trust are followed precisely. On a similar note, many hire their attorney to serve as a trustee, as they likely understand the terms of the trust better than anyone, including the grantor. However, choosing an outside service can be more expensive than appointing a friend or family member.
Do I Need an Attorney for This Process?
When creating a trust, ensuring you reach out to a competent attorney to guide you through the process is recommended. There are many nuances when creating a trust, and an experienced attorney can help guide you through the process to make it as simple as possible.
When you need an attorney to help you create your trust, Collis, Griffor & Hendra are here to help. Our experienced law firm can help you through the process of placing your assets in the trust fund that best matches your needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help.