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Is your trustee upholding the responsibilities of the position?

For many individuals, a trust or collection of trusts are the foundation of an estate plan. Unfortunately, they may spend considerable time and resources creating excellent terms to the trust and carefully funding it with resources aligned to fully take advantage of a trust's benefits, only to find their work undone by an untrustworthy or unqualified trustee.

Even if you have not yet suffered too great a loss from a trustee's behavior, it is always wise to take time and consider whether the person you've appointed to handle the affairs of the trust is truly qualified. If you find that a trustee is not properly meeting your needs, it may be time to consider other options.

A good trustee is not only capable of handling trustee's responsibilities, but is also of trustworthy character. Sometimes, the personal weaknesses of an otherwise excellent person make him or he a poor choice for trustee, even if he or she seems perfect for the job. While it is sometimes difficult to consider removing a person from the position, especially if he or she is a close friend or family member, you don't want your beneficiaries to suffer because you avoided an uncomfortable task.

Of course, you don't have to face this task alone. Whether you need guidance removing a trustee and appointing a new person to the position, or simply need some guidance evaluating the performance of a current trustee, an experienced estate planning attorney can help. Professional legal counsel encourages wise financial planning, especially when complicated relationship issues may threaten the strength of your asset protection.

Source: Findlaw, "5 Reasons to Remove a Trustee From Your Trust," accessed Dec. 07, 2017

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