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 Who should be the trustee of my living trust?

 Who should be the trustee of my living trust?

Many people serve as trustees of their own living trusts until they become incompetent or die. Others decide they need assistance simply because they are too busy or too inexperienced or do not want to manage their day-to-day financial affairs.

Choosing the right trustee to act on your behalf is very important. Your trustee will have considerable authority and responsibility and will not be under direct court supervision.

You may choose a spouse, adult child, domestic partner, other relative, family friend, business associate, or professional fiduciary to be your trustee. The professional fiduciary could be a licensed, registered individual, or a bank or trust company licensed by the State of California. You may also name co-trustees.

Discuss your choice with an estate planning lawyer. There are many issues to consider. For example, would the appointment of one of your grown children cause a problem with his or her siblings? What conflicts of interest would be created if you name a spouse, child, business associate, or partner as your trustee? Will the person named as your successor trustee have the time, organizational ability?