Establishing a Trust—Who will be the Trustee?

Selecting a trustee is an extremely important part of a Trust, and may have tax consequences. Almost anyone can be named as your trustee. Unlike the appointment of a personal representative of a probate estate, a trustee is not required live in Florida or be related to you. You can name yourself or any other individual (subject to tax considerations), or even a corporate trustee, such as a bank, an accountant or trust company. The individual trustee can be a family member, friend or professional type. Many people setting up trusts, tend to appoint family members or friends as their successor trustee, who will take over responsibility for the trust management and distribution of assets after their death. If a family member or friend is selected, careful consideration should be given to the person’s background, the potential for problems with other beneficiaries, and the possible burden you are placing on that individual. The trust agreement should include provisions for your trustees to hire qualified professionals to assist them in their duties, such as attorneys, accountants and financial advisors.

Preparing a Trust is a complex matter and should include qualified legal representation. Contact our Tampa or Clearwater office to start your estate planning today.

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