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Estate planning in your 30s: Choosing a trustee

A growing number of younger individuals, such as those in their 30s, are beginning to take advantage of the many types of estate planning trusts.

In the past, most of these people turned their attention to a simple will. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it's important to learn more about trusts before making a final decision on how to move forward.

There is a lot that goes into creating a trust, including decisions with regard to the assets to distribute upon your death. Along with this, there's something else of great importance: choosing the right trustee.

A trustee is staffed with many responsibilities, which is why you need to make an informed and confident decision that will give you peace of mind. Some of the questions to address include:

  • Will the trustee act in the best interests of the beneficiaries?
  • Does the trustee have the knowledge necessary to make the right decisions at the right time?
  • Does the person have enough time to serve as trustee?
  • Will the person run into a conflict of interest along the way?
  • Is the person located in close proximity to the beneficiaries?

As you move through these questions, you'll find it easier to choose the right trustee. For example, some candidates may move up your list while others are eliminated altogether.

It goes without saying that you're hoping to choose the "best" trustee without any delay. To help your cause, here are three groups of people to consider:

  • Family member: This is where most people begin their search, as they consider a spouse or child the best option.
  • Friends: A close friend may have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your trust. Also, since this person is not a family member, it's likely that they don't expect to receive anything from your estate. This helps eliminate any potential conflict of interest.
  • Attorney: If you have great trust in your attorney, if you don't have a family member or friend to take on this task, you may want to turn to this legal professional to be your trustee.

In the end, what matters most is that you choose the right trustee at the right time. You may only be in your 30s, but that doesn't mean you want to make the wrong decision with regard to choosing a trustee.

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