Estate planning is a complex and complicated endeavor for many individuals. While the estate planning industry is constantly evolving, this process may be even more difficult for high-net-worth individuals. These individuals may have more considerations to take into account when planning their estate, including minimizing estate taxes, protecting their funds for heirs, and changing laws around estate law. Another important consideration for high-net-worth individuals is appointing the right person to manage their estate. Below are tips and answers to common questions to help Coloradans choose the right trustee or estate executor for them and their financial situation.
What Is a Trustee?
Many high net worth individuals have trusts in place—meant to financially benefit their loved ones in the future. By forming a trust, an individual, known as the trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the ability to hold assets for the benefit of another person, a beneficiary. Because the trustee holds and administers the assets in the trust, they are granted major responsibilities. This includes communicating with beneficiaries, paying taxes on the assets of the trust, and providing yearly financial statements.
In many cases, the trustor will write into the trust that the trustee is given leeway to make financial decisions regarding the trust, so long as it is in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries. This is a major obligation.
How Do I Choose the Right Trustee?
While some families may want to name a loved one to serve as the trustee, this is not always recommended. Appointing a loved one to serve as the trustee may lead to more complicated family dynamics where the beneficiaries resent the trustee for the decisions they make regarding the trust. Additionally, the trustee should be able to manage the financial aspects of the trust—not all loved ones are suited or capable of handling this task.
Being a trustee can be a time-consuming endeavor because of their obligations. And because of the way many trusts are created, being a trustee is not a quick job. Instead, it is a responsibility that may last years and years. So high net worth individuals looking for a trustee should, above all else, select someone who will lookout for the best interests of the beneficiaries. Finding this person often involves asking many questions. It is important to discuss the trustor’s goals and see if the trustee can work within these constraints and see what they think about the beneficiaries as well.
Because choosing the right trustee can often be critical for high-net-worth individuals, people going through this process should contact an experienced estate planning attorney to help.
Contact a Colorado Estate Planning Attorney
If you or your loved one needs guidance on picking a trustee or executor for your estate, contact the Colorado estate planning attorneys at the Braverman Law Group. We have decades of experience both advising clients about their estate plan, along with helping them to create an estate plan that matches their needs and financial situation. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys, call us today at (303) 800-1588.