Legal Blog

Selecting a Trustee

Selecting a TrusteeTrusts are useful for many reasons, including investing assets, minimizing the impact of estate taxes, protecting an inheritance, benefiting charity and keeping assets out of the reach of creditors. Trusts can do many things, so it is important to select a trustee who is up to the challenge. A trustee manages property held in the trust for the benefit of a third party, called the beneficiary. The Trustee distributes assets, invests money, and, at times, prepares accountings and tax returns for the trust. Depending on what assets the trust holds, Trustee duties can be rather complicated.

Who should you trust? A good Trustee needs to be honest, financially responsible, and trustworthy. You have a number of options. A trustee can be a close friend, family member, a professional – like an attorney or accountant – or a financial institution.

“The big difference that I see between a corporate fiduciary and an individual family member is that some family members are prone to making decisions on an emotional basis,” says Offit Kurman estate  attorney Steven Shane. “Since family members are not used to acting as Trustees they may not always know what is required or expected of them under the law.”

Selecting a TrusteeIf you have any questions about Estate Planning or Selecting a Trustee, please contact Steven Shane at 301.575.0313 or As an estate attorney, Mr. Shane’s knowledge of business and estate planning, combined with his tax background and good communication skills, provides a unique ability to relate to clients and communicate with them effectively about their concerns and objectives.

“One of the things I do as an advisor to the trust is to educate Trustees before or during such time as they are called upon to serve in the role of Trustee,” added Mr. Shane.

Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law: Estates, Trusts and Elder Law Practice Group

At Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law, estate planning is one of the most fundamental and important legal services we offer. Our estate planning attorneys are dedicated to the design, documentation, and implementation of high-quality estate plans for individuals and families. We design personalized estate plans to help you minimize the burden of gift and estate taxes while protecting assets from the threat of potential creditors.

If you have any questions about Estate Planning or our blog, “Selecting a Trustee,” please fill out the contact form found on to access the knowledgeable legal guidance that our experienced estate planning team of attorneys has to offer. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.


The Weekly Scenario from Steve Shane 7-8-13