When it comes to estate planning you may be under the impression that choosing a trustee is an easier task to determine than it actually is. This decision is NOT one to be taken lightly, choosing a trustee(s) can spell disastrous for some families.
Let’s take a look at a real life example of what can happen when trustees don’t get along.
One of the most egregious situations we have ever had to deal with was where a blended family decided to have an individual successor trustee from both sides of the family to be able to help administer the estate with intent or the hope that things would go smoothly. This trust was set up by another firm and by the time we were brought in, years had already gone by where nothing had been settled.
The intent of setting the trust up this way was meant to simplify the process, but unfortunately it was anything but simple. These two particular trustees budded heads so much that things were dragged out for 8 years. A lot of money was spent going back and forth with lawyers and even some of the estate money was sent to the state as unclaimed property that had to be collected later because it had been sitting with it’s financial institution for so long.
There is a huge monetary cost as well as an emotional cost associated with the selection of trustees, agents, and personal representatives. So while it may seem like a no-brainer kind of decision we encourage our clients to really think and consider all possible outcomes when it comes to the trustee selection process.
If you have any questions about how to best select a trustee please feel free to reach out to us. We would love to help you create your own empowered legacy and help you understand some of these probate and trust administration nightmares so that they can be avoided.