Wills and Trusts:

Family Member

Many people elect family members to serve as trustees. Relatives don’t charge a fee and usually have an interest in the trust’s success. For small to medium sized trusts, using a family member is a good choice if that person is competent to handle financial matters, has the time and interest, and if family conflict will not arise by naming this person as the trustee.

There are also several potential downsides to choosing family members as trustees. Relatives usually lack the expertise of a professional trust officer. They may not be knowledgeable about all of the tax laws and estate planning laws that may affect the trust. In some cases, rivalry between siblings or family members can complicate arrangements and cause discord. Another potential complication can arise if the trustee passes away. Choosing an institutional trustee, such as a bank or trust company, will eliminate this issue.

Wills and Trusts: Choosing a Trustee