Who should I choose as a trustee?

When creating a trust, there are a number of important considerations and decisions to be made. “Who do I put in charge as trustee?” is certainly one of them.  During your lifetime, you would typically serve as the trustee of your own trust—so this question really focuses on who would serve as trustee when you are gone.  In order to select the right person, it is important to understand the role of a trustee—which can best be summarized under two main heads.  First, the trustee will make investment-type decisions relating to trust assets. For any period in which money or property is being held in the trust, someone has to decide how it is to be held or invested. This important responsibility belongs to the trustee. Second, the trustee will be responsible for making decisions relating to the actual distribution of trust assets. The trust agreement should provide clear directions, parameters and instructions relating to distribution but the trustee will still be the one actually holding authority to carry out those directions—and many times, there is some degree of discretion as well. Undoubtedly, selection of a capable trustee is a central consideration to an effective estate plan.