Part of setting up a large estate often includes setting up a family trust or a series of trusts that will help you accomplish your different goals. These trusts can provide for a spouse during their lifetime and then have children and grandchildren as beneficiaries. You can also set up charitable trusts and foundations to help you accomplish philanthropic goals. In every case, you want to think carefully about who you appoint to be the trustee.
Appointing a Trustee
The trustee to your trust should be someone you trust, someone who understands the goals you have, and someone you believe has the education, training, and intelligence to accomplish those goals. Further, it should be someone you think is likely to outlive you. This could be a spouse or a child in some circumstances. It could also be a professional trained to handle these types of matters. For larger trusts, having a professional or even team of professionals serving as trustee can ensure the assets are managed well and your goals are met.
Appointing a Successor Trustee
If you appoint your spouse as the initial trustee or have a trust that will endure until your grandchildren are no longer minors, you may want to consider appointing a successor trustee who takes over with the initial trustee is no longer able or willing to serve. This could be a child or another professional who can step into the shoes of the person who was originally the trustee and continue to manage the assets until they can be disbursed.
Setting up a Process to Choose Further Trustees
For charitable trusts and foundations that will endure far beyond your lifetime, it may be wise to set up a board or another mechanism for choosing successor trustees who will continue your work long after you’re gone. Setting up a foundation can be a powerful way to make a positive impact and give a portion of your wealth back to the world and foundations can have missions from empowerment to compassion.
These organizations need a board that provides oversight as well as talented staff able to carry out your goals on a daily basis. They also need the structure to make sure they are focused on the right end goals while still being able to adapt and change with the times. You want to leave behind an organization that is able to always improve and is looking towards the long term, beyond even what you envisioned during your lifetime.
Reach out to an estate planning professional to discuss your options, update your plan, or make sure your trusts and trustees are clear about your future goals. At Dunn Law Firm, we take the time to get to know you and your specific situation in order to create a comprehensive estate plan that meets your goals. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 to set up a free consultation today.