Legal Blog

Tips for Selecting a Trustee

Tips for Selecting a TrusteeIn life, we have many difficult questions to answer. Selecting a trustee should not be one of them. Yes, you have a lot of options. After all, a trustee can be anyone: a close friend, family member, professional – such as an attorney or accountant – or a financial institution – such as a bank or trust company. However, by following the below criteria, you should be able to easily choose the right trustee.

Tips for Selecting a Trustee

  1. What is the objective of the trust? Answering this question will determine the direction to take with your Trustee.
  2. Who can you trust? A Trustee wields a great deal of authority over the trust so he/she should be a person you can rely on.
  3. Who is knowledgeable?  A Trustee should have some working knowledge of investments.
  4. Can he/she separate their emotions? Sometimes the problem with selecting a family member as a trustee is their inability to separate their emotions from the equation. “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,” explains Offit Kurman estate planning attorney Steven Shane.
  5. Does a potential Trustee know the law? If you select a family member or friend as Trustee, it is important to ensure they are familiar with what is required or expected of them under the law. 
  6. Do I need a co-Trustee? If the trust owns interests in an operating business, or owns other complex assets, it may be appropriate to name an institutional Trustee either as a co-Trustee with a trusted family member or to serve as the sole Trustee. Corporate fiduciaries professionally manage trusts on a daily basis and typically have much more experience in this area than a family member. 

Tips for Selecting a TrusteeIf you have any questions about Selecting a Trustee, please contact Mr. Shane at 301.575.0313 or Mr. Shane offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while also employing tax planning techniques.

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

Here at Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law, estate planning is one of the most fundamental and important legal services we offer. The attorneys in our Estates, Trusts and Elder Law Practice Group are dedicated to the design, documentation, and implementation of high-quality estate plans that help you minimize the burden of gift and estate taxes and protect your assets from the threat of preexisting and potential creditors.

If you have any questions about Estate Planning, please fill out the contact form found on to access the sound legal guidance that our experienced estate planning team 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