When my husband I decided to start a business, we didn't think about the legal aspects of doing so. We didn't realize that purchasing business insurance, getting building permits and making investments all required some type of legal advice. But after speaking to a close friend, who also happens to own a small business, we contacted a business attorney. Now, we have the legal smarts to make the best decisions for our business, as well as the legal representation in case something happens to our company. I hope that you find my blog helpful and informative for your own business. It's a great resource for finding the legal advice, resources and guidance you need to get your company up and running.
During the estate planning process, one of the most important things you need to do is name a trustee. If you fail to name a trustee, you won't have control over who makes decisions on your behalf. There are several warning signs that someone should not be your trustee.
1. Not Objective and Impartial
The job of the trustee is to work with all of the beneficiaries in an objective and impartial manner. A common problem is when you have friends or family members who disagree with regards to how your assets should be divided. You will want someone who will manage your affairs in a manner that is guided by your living will.
2. Not Knowledgeable of Tax and Trust Law
An individual should not be your trustee if he or she doesn't seem to understand tax and trust law. For this reason, you may want to turn to an institution that will provide you with a trustee who has the expertise or a history of learning by trial and error.
3. Poor Bookkeeping Skills
An individual who will become your trustee must have great bookkeeping skills. The trustee will be responsible for maintaining books and records for the trust for a long time. The trustee is responsible for making sure that the payments that are made from the trust's principle are carried out and recorded properly. All of this can be very legally complex. There are some beneficiaries who receive payments from the trust only, while there are others who receive payments only from the principle.
4. Dishonest and Not Trustworthy
You must choose someone who you believe is honest. In most cases, the individual selected to be a trustee is a close friend or family member. A son or daughter is the most common choice for a trustee. This is a way to avoid some of the fees associated with an institutional trustee. However, being a trustee requires time, energy, and some knowledge.
If you're not sure about who you should name your trustee, it's important to speak with an estate planning attorney. In some cases, you might want to consider more than one trustee and should bring this up with your estate planning attorney. While it's more common to have just one trustee, if you have several children, you might not want to cause conflict that would result from one of them not being named. You can learn more about the process by visiting resources like https://www.linskylaw.com.