Choosing the Right Trustee to Manage Your Trust

Organizing your assets in the form of a legal trust can be a valid and helpful tool in estate planning. If you are establishing a trust, you are likely trying to decide who to appoint as your trustee, which can often be a tough decision. A trustee, by definition, is an individual with the power to administer the trust’s property in accordance with the desires of the trust’s owner. In thinking through who to choose as your trustee, there are several main considerations you should keep in mind.


The most important quality of a trustee is trustworthiness. When you establish a trust, you articulate your goals, priorities, and desires for how the trust property will be administered. The trustee is the person that ensures this process goes smoothly and is in accordance with the owner’s goals. If you do not trust the person you appoint, there is always a risk that he or she will not work with your best interests in mind. Appointing someone trustworthy can help ensure that the entire process goes as you plan when you establish the trust.

If you appoint a trustee that is also a close family member or friend, consider possible implications if a conflict arises out of issues around the trust. While trustworthiness can be inherent in close personal relationships, sometimes hiring a third party can be helpful to make sure things run smoothly without additional interpersonal conflicts.


Acting as a trustee can take time – among other obligations, trustees must keep track of the property, communicate with involved parties, file income and estate tax returns, and record all of the activity that takes place regarding the trust. Your trustee should be available and willing to devote time to put in the work necessary to make sure everything runs well.


Certain trustees cost money if they are associated with a corporation or a company. Other trustees, like family members or friends, might manage your trust for free. Either way, though, there can be hidden costs associated with managing a trust. If your trustee has to hire experts to help with the process, you will want the trustee to hire individuals that align with your desired price point.

Overall, when thinking through your desired trustee, think about who you would trust with your most precious assets. Is the trustee someone that you would let take over the management of your funds, property, and debt? Is he or she someone you think will represent your best interests? Is he or she going to be available for the long haul? Contemplating these questions can allow you to make a thoughtful, informed decision when deciding on who to appoint as your trustee.

Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?

At McCulloch & Miller, we walk you through every step of the estate planning process to make sure your interests are well protected. If you are looking for a Texas attorney to provide you with expert and thorough representation, look no further. For a consultation with a member of our team, call us today at 713-936-9073.


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