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Do you need help choosing a trustee in Florida?

Deciding on a trustee is an essential part of the estate planning process in Florida, one you may need assistance with to reach a sound decision.

Maybe you do not have much trouble getting your affairs in order for when you pass and leave your assets to loved ones in Florida. Perhaps you run into a wall when it comes to deciding who will satisfactorily carry out your estate planning wishes in your absence. Should this person be a friend or family member? Here are a few tips to give yourself some much-needed peace of mind.

Considerations to keep in mind

As you create a list of potential trustees, keep in mind that this person's opinions, biases or feelings should not interfere with tending to your trust. Additionally, it can be of immense help if your chosen trustee has a good relationship with your chosen beneficiaries. The person you select should also have a life that allows her or him to tend to your affairs without feeling overwhelmed by other obligations, such as family or work.

Intelligence trumps experience

Your trustee does not have to be a legal expert. Opting for someone of emotional, financial and mental intelligence is your best bet. Think of a person in your life who makes an effort to make rational and well-informed decisions, someone who knows when it is time to involve experts. That is the type of person you want handling your assets.

Think about conflict of interest

It makes perfect sense that your attorney or accountant be at the top of your list for potential trustees. That said, there could be a conflict of interest involved with this selection. Make your attorney or accountant aware of your considerations so she or he can research potential barriers to acting as your trustee. On your end, look into how much it is likely to cost to select a professional trustee.

Consider co-trustees

Rather than a single trustee, you may be more comfortable with a team of trustees. Co-trustees are common when substantial assets are on the table. That said, you may not want to select your adult children as your team of co-trustees. Sometimes, this sets the stage for potential conflict, even if your children tell you otherwise. Focus on creating a team of co-trustees who work efficiently and fairly.

Changes could become necessary later on

Once you decide on your trustee or team of trustees, check back on your selection every couple of years. You could change your mind, or the person you choose could prove to be a poor fit later on down the line. If you do ever change your mind, let your attorney know ASAP to get your wishes in writing and ensure you make all changes legally.

Make things easier on your future self and your trust beneficiaries by giving careful consideration to your trustee here in Florida. Do not forget that a legal professional could prove instrumental in helping you make a final decision.

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