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Naming trustees is a vital decision for some estate plans

In our previous blog post, we discussed how the children and widow of Robin Williams are still fighting over certain aspects of his estate. If you recall, Williams left trustees whom he trusted in charge of making certain decisions. The decisions of those trustees were supposed to be the final word about how the affected assets were distributed. That brings up the point regarding how important it is to name appropriate trustees over your estate plan.

The trustees you name over your estate should be people who can handle the tension that might occur during the administration of your estate. They shouldn’t be people who are going to show preference for one beneficiary over another or who will be swayed by the demands or desires of the beneficiaries.

When you name someone as a trustee, you should make sure that they have the legal capacity to serve as a trustee. This is important because having someone listed as a trustee who isn’t legally able to do the duties wouldn’t serve your purpose.

Ideally, the people you name as trustees will have business skills. These skills can help them to handle the duties they will have to perform. It also helps if the trustees you name know you personally so that they can make decisions on your behalf based on the instructions you left them.

When you are creating an estate plan, you have to ensure that all aspects of the estate plan meet the legal requirements. This helps to ensure that your estate is handled in the manner that you intended.

Source: American Bar Association, “Twenty-five Things You Have to Know About Appointing Trustees,” Steve R. Akers, accessed Sep. 10, 2015