Many District of Columbia residents choose to create a trust in order to provide for their loved ones. They take a considerable amount of time to draft the provisions of the trust in a way that will give each beneficiary as much benefit from its assets as possible. However, all of that work can be for naught if the trustee is not the right person to administer it.
Whom an individual chooses as trustee is in some ways the most important decision a person can make. First, the chosen person must be willing and able to act in such a capacity. It should be someone the trust's creator is confident will take his or her duties seriously and whose thinking is in line with the creator of the trust.
Even if a person is satisfied with his or her choice, the best-laid plans can still go awry. The trust needs to include not only an alternate trustee, but also a way for the beneficiaries to remove him or her if he or she does not fulfill the obligations to the trust's creator. Without these safeguards, beneficiaries may end up in a time-consuming and expensive legal battle to remove the trustee and appoint a new one.
In the end, a well-written trust is only as good as the person who administers it. It is possible that there could initially be some hurt feelings for someone who is not chosen as trustee, but it is the beneficiaries who matter the most. A District of Columbia resident who chooses the right trustee can have peace of mind that his or her wishes will be carried out and the beneficiaries will be taken care of in the matter in which he or she desires.
Source: Forbes, "7 Common Estate-Planning Blunders Not To Make", Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sept. 15, 2014