Choosing Your Trustee—Should I Use Co-Trustees?
After your Last Will and Testament, a trust is one of the most common additions to an estate plan.
Trusts are popular because of the flexibility, continued control and both probate and tax avoidance that
they often offer. If you plan to create a trust, you must choose a trustee. People are often conflicted
when it comes time to appoint a trustee. Often, they consider an adult child first. If you have more than
one child though, you may be concerned that choosing one will create a rift in the family so maybe it’s
better to appoint two. You may also think that giving one person complete control over trust decisions is
a bad idea. Both of these may be true; however, appointing co-trustees can also create problems.
Naming more than one trustee can lead to conflict and confusion. While two heads may be better than
one, that only works if the two heads are able to reach an agreement between them. For that reasons, if
you feel the need to appoint co-trustees, consider three instead of one and allow a decision to be made
if two of three agree. Of course, this can still lead to problems and conflict among the trustees, but at
least decisions will be made.
You could also avoid conflict altogether by appointing a neutral trustee such as an attorney or a
corporate trustee. By doing this, not only do you avoid family conflict, but you also know that the person
making trust decisions is in no way emotionally invested in the outcome of those decisions. Be sure to
discuss your options with your estate planning attorney before you make a final decision.
Experienced estate planning attorneys St. Louis MO of the Purcell and Amen, Attorneys at Law – Your
Estate Matters, LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of St. Louis MO.
To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.yourestatematters.com today.