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How to Choose a Trustee in New York

If you are in the midst of the estate planning process in New York, choosing the right trustee is an important step. These individuals must shoulder an enormous amount of responsibility, and you must trust them to carry out your wishes. While you can establish a living trust and benefit from it while you are still alive, the trustee plays a much more active role in its operation after your passing. Many individuals think long and hard about whom to appoint as their trustee.

If you want to approach the estate planning process in an efficient, calculated manner, it is best to enlist the help of a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Not only can your attorney give you advice on who to choose as your trustee, but they can also help you with virtually every other aspect of the estate planning process.

What is a Trustee?

A trustee is responsible for overseeing your trust in the most beneficial way possible for your beneficiaries. They must follow the terms of your trust agreement. If you want your trust to be handled in a specific way after you pass away, you must rely on your trustee to closely follow these directions. For example, you may want your beneficiaries to receive intermittent payments instead of a lump sum. Perhaps you want certain beneficiaries (such as a son) to receive assets only after they have fulfilled certain obligations (like quitting smoking). Your trustee is in charge of enforcing these rules.

Can I Name Myself as a Trustee?

You can name yourself as the trustee of your trust, and this is a common choice for anyone who wants to set up a living trust in New York. However, you must also name a successor trustee. The successor trustee becomes the new trustee after your passing.

Choosing a Trustee

There are a number of different potential choices when it comes to choosing your trustee in New York:

  • An Individual: Many individuals choose to name an individual as their trustee. These may be close friends, family members, or their own children. You may trust certain family members more than other people, making them well-suited to the role of a trustee. However, these individuals may not be required to follow any government regulations.

  • Corporate Trustee: A corporate trustee is a smart choice for a number of reasons. These financial organizations may be better-suited to deal with the demanding financial tasks involved with managing a trust. On the other hand, they may approach your trust in a rather impersonal and inflexible manner.

Your Attorney Will Play a Role

Regardless of who you choose as your trustee, your attorney will likely play a role in the estate planning process after your passing. These attorneys are more likely to act in a fair and impartial manner compared to an individual trustee, such as a sibling or a daughter.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Lawyer Today

At the end of the day, it is best to choose someone that you trust as your trustee. The last thing you want is to create needless arguments and confusion after your passing. Reach out to the Glassman Law Group today, and we can make the estate planning process as smooth as possible.


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