After creating a Colorado estate plan that contains a trust, there is one final step: choosing the trustee to oversee the trust after the creator of the estate has passed away. The trustee manages the assets in the trust and distributes the assets according to the creator’s wishes. A lot of people have misconceptions about who to pick as their trustee, assuming that picking a family member will be more cost-effective and no one knows them better than a loved one. However, there are benefits to picking a professional trustee instead—and all the knowledge and experience that comes with one. Below are common misconceptions people have about choosing a professional trustee and why they are ultimately incorrect in holding these assumptions.
A Professional Trustee Does Not Understand Me or My Family’s Dynamics
Many individuals worry that if they hire a professional trustee, they are choosing someone who does not know them and their family—as compared to picking a loved one to serve as trustee. However, professional trustees not only strive to get to know their clients but also come with the experience to navigate the complicated nature of estate planning. A major part of a trustee’s job is to fulfill the creator’s written wishes. To do so, they build strong relationships with families by learning more about them and treat beneficiaries as partners during the administrative process.
Most lawyers will also recommend including the power to remove and appoint a new trustee within the estate plan. So, if an individual is unhappy with their trustee, they have the opportunity to change this without legal woes. Additionally, a person can name co-trustees like a professional trustee and a loved one, so the estate plan creator gets the expertise of the estate plan along with someone who deeply knows the individual.
Professional Trustees Are Too Expensive
Many people worry that they cannot afford a professional trustee. However, if a family member serving as trustee makes critical errors—because they are inexperienced—it can be even more costly. A trustee’s duties include record-keeping, managing beneficiaries, and investing the assets in the estate plan. While professional trustees have experience in these matters, most others do not. If the trustee does not properly perform his duties, the beneficiary can sue them. This can often be very expensive and cause a non-professional more stress than they were anticipating.
Deciding if a professional trustee is the right person to manage a person’s estate is a critical—and often overwhelming—choice. Because of this, individuals working through the estate planning process should contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible, as they can advise them about their options.
Contact a Colorado Estate Planning Attorney
If you or a loved one needs help deciding whether or not to hire a professional trustee, contact the experienced Colorado estate planning attorneys at the Braverman Law Group. Our attorneys not only have experience advising clients about their existing estate plans, but they also can assist individuals in the beginning stages with crafting their estate plans. We understand that estate planning can often be overwhelming, so we are here to help. To schedule a free consultation and to speak with one of our attorneys today, give us a call at 303-800-1588.