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Can I avoid some probate issues with the right trustee?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Estate Planning |

It is likely that at some point in the estate planning process, you relied on a family member or trusted friend to play some part. Perhaps, they are the executor of your estate or a guardian to your children. However, unless that person is a Cincinnati, Ohio, professional trustee, it is likely not a good choice to use that same person as your trustee. After all, choosing the right trustee can avoid some probate issues.

Avoiding some probate issues

Depending on the size and scope of your trust instruments, litigation may be unavoidable, at some point. However, avoiding using a family member as a trustee can prevent probate issues of undue influence or misappropriation. It can also prevent conflicts of interest among family members and reduce familial strife after your death that leads to probate disputes.

Liability protection

In that same line of thinking is liability protection. You need to ensure that whomever you select as your trustee, whether a person or entity, they have sufficient safeguards and liability protect in place to protect the trust. Arguments and disagreements will naturally occur, and your beneficiaries may not agree with everything your trustee does. This will, naturally, lead to litigation. The trustee needs to be prepared for this, have insurance to cover it and have the knowledge to do what is legally required.

Costs

Your trust will pay the trustee, so you need to ensure that the trustee’s fees are reasonable and proportionate to the assets and income in trust. You do not want the trustee’s fees to drain the trust. Accordingly, make sure that when you research trustees, you get the trustee’s comprehensive fee, not just their individual fee. A trustee’s responsibilities can require the help of other professionals, and you need to make sure that the fee includes everything.

Takeaways

The key here is that your trustee is, essentially, your employee. You should treat them as such and do your research to find the right trustee for your trust goals. Of course, your Cincinnati, Ohio, estate planning attorney can help you with your search.