Being a trustee for family members

Being a trustee for family members

Most people in Maryland who are choosing a trustee feel more comfortable with a person they know well. Many even choose a close family member like a sibling. This makes sense because siblings grew up together and know each other’s good and bad qualities. What’s more, siblings often feel they can trust each other implicitly. However, picking a sibling isn’t always the best way to go.

What to know about choosing a sibling as a trustee

Sometimes, putting a single sibling in charge of a large sum of money is simply not the smartest decision. That’s particularly true if they don’t have a strong background in finance. There are professionals who can act as trustees, executors and fiduciaries, so choosing a neutral third party can avoid some squabbles. It’s also easier to fire someone you’re not related to if a relationship is not working out.

Consider a family where one sibling is placed in charge of a trust. This individual has to make a lot of a decisions that will affect all of their other siblings. The siblings who don’t get to make the choices may resent this. The sibling group may also have very different philosophies about how to manage the assets in a trust. Everyone has a different tolerance for risk and expectations about rewards.

Asking for referrals

One good way to find a trustee is to talk to professionals who can act in that capacity or refer you to a colleague. This is something that could be discussed with your attorney and insurance professionals when you’re doing estate planning. Remember, estate planning isn’t just writing a will and putting it in a drawer; it’s a process you’ll revisit throughout your lifetime.