PART 3 – Due to their age, maturity, propensity for not getting along with siblings, you may want to consider an alternative.
Under these circumstances, we recommend naming a disinterested third party who has no skin in the game. This would be someone who has no close personal relationships with any one child and will not be inheriting anything from you. It can be a parent, your own siblings, a family friend, your accountant or estate planning attorney, or even a professional fiduciary.
Bear in mind that you will need someone who everyone trusts and gets along with. Also, it may be important to choose someone who is at the point in life that they are retired or semi-retired. This is due to the fact that, although you are bestowing them with this honor, you are also piling a significant job on them. Consider if that person already has a full time job, will they have the time to act as a trustee? And, yes, dealing with an estate can take a load of time to do everything properly.
If family, close friends or professional advisors do not fit the bill, then perhaps you should think about individual professionals who can accept this responsibility. They are often referred to as professional fiduciaries who are in the business of serving as successor trustees for living trusts. The Professional Fiduciary Association of California is one resource for such persons. It has members in just about every community in California. To consider professional fiduciaries, you must interview the candidates and ask serious questions about experience, capacity and fees they will charge you.
In the final analysis you will need to have a high level of comfort in such a person.
Stay tuned for our upcoming article which addresses the subject of what to do if I have a large or complicated estate or am not comfortable with my children or friends serving as the successor trustee?
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