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Choosing a trustee for an irrevocable or revocable trust

Many Massachusetts residents create trusts. Whether it is an irrevocable or revocable trust, one of the most important decisions the creator of a trust can make is choosing a trustee. People are often advised to review their trusts periodically to be sure the trust complies with current law and still meets the creator’s goals. However, it is also important to review whether the trustee is still the best person to administer the trust.

The trustee will need to take care of several issues regarding the trust such as accounting, investments and taxes. He or she will also need to be able to deal with the beneficiaries’ diverse personalities. There could be times when beneficiaries are not going to be happy with the decisions the trustee makes, and the trustee needs to be okay with that since it is his or her responsibility to administer the trust as the creator wishes.

Because a trustee seems right for the job when the trust is created does not mean that the trustee chosen will stay the best choice. When periodically reviewing the trust, the actions of the trustee should be considered as well. In order to be sure a trustee can be removed, a provision and process need to be included in the trust, along with an alternate trustee.

Massachusetts residents who have either an irrevocable or revocable trust understand their benefits. However, the trust can only reach its maximum potential when the right trustee is at the helm. The only way to identify that the trustee is not right for the job is to conduct periodic reviews of the trust and the actions taken by the trustee.

Source: timesdispatch.com, “Estate planning: A checklist for reviewing your trust”, Pamela Yip, May 10, 2014

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