If you have created a trust, you have likely appointed yourself or someone close to you as your trustee. Many people do this, and there are advantages. However, there are situations in which it can be to your benefit to appoint a professional trustee in California to oversee your estate. At Keyes Law Group, our San Jose, CA, trust attorney will help you understand every matter in your trust, including what a professional trustee does and why you should have one.
What Is a Professional Trustee?
When it comes to managing a personal trust, a professional trustee can play a critical role. This trustee can be either an individual or an organization, commonly referred to as a “Fiduciary,” which is responsible for ensuring that the trust is managed effectively and that the interests of the beneficiaries are protected. It is important to note that the appointed professional trustee must not be a trust beneficiary, which ensures that they remain unbiased and impartial when making decisions regarding the trust.
When deciding how to find a professional trustee, you will want to look for a legal organization with experience in various areas. These include last wills and testaments, revocable trusts, power of attorney, and property transfers. A legal firm will have the experience, resources, and professional team to manage your trust effectively.
What Are the Duties of a Professional Trustee?
Professional trustees can have varying responsibilities, depending on the trust’s specifics and the beneficiaries’ needs. However, there are some fundamental duties that trustees are typically responsible for. The following are some general duties that a trustee is often required to perform in the course of their work:
- Managing Investment: Often, a professional trustee must make decisions regarding how to invest to make the most of a trust without taking unnecessary risks.
- Distribute Assets: A professional trustee is responsible for distributing among the beneficiaries all assets as outlined in the trust.
- Manage Taxes: A professional trustee may need to prepare taxes or keep records regarding the information that will need to be part of a tax return.
- Provide Stability: Family members and close friends might move, start a new job, or become preoccupied with a personal issue. A professional organization will make sure your trust is always carefully managed.
Further, a professional trustee’s responsibilities could include resolving beneficiary disputes, overseeing various business interest, and communicating status with beneficiaries.
When Should You Use a Professional Trustee?
Many people often choose a close friend or family member to act as their trustee. However, there are several reasons why it is in your best interest to hire a trustee. These include:
- Family Conflict: Selecting one friend or family member may be difficult. If there is any family friction or potential for family problems regarding finances, it is a good idea to select a professional trustee.
- Unreasonable Requests: A friend or family member may have a more difficult time saying no to unreasonable requests. A professional trustee will more easily be able to make objective decisions regarding your assets.
- Complex Finances: If you own several properties and have various investments to manage, you will want the experience of a professional trustee to handle your trust. If you want to create a generational trust with resources passed down to grandchildren, it is better to select an organization rather than an individual.
- Liability Concerns: Even if none of the previous reasons are concerns, it is important to note that a professional trustee is completely liable for all they do, as well as for anything important they might omit.
If you are looking for a professional trustee in California, you need someone or an organization with both experience and compassion to handle your trust.
Choose the Right San Jose Trust Attorney
Estate planning can be complex and overwhelming, but with over 10 years of experience, Keyes Law Group is well-equipped to help you navigate the process. Our team is dedicated to creating personalized estate plans that meet your needs.
We offer a range of services, including wealth planning, family transfers, dynasty trusts, and conservatorships. Additionally, we can assist with probate issues, special needs trusts, and elder law matters. With a San Jose trust attorney from Keyes Law Group on your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your best interests are always at the forefront. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you plan for the future.