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Can I Be the Trustee of My Own Living Trust?

. In general, you can serve as the trustee of your own living trust. However, there are alternatives which can be rather useful -- unless you have a strong desire to micromanage the most detailed aspects of the monthly bill-paying process, while also handling all important investment decisions.

            Here are some important reasons to consider hiring someone else to manage your living trust.

Reasons to Obtain Ongoing Help with Managing Your Trust

  • It’s important to receive timely investment advice. While everyone appreciates receiving a good “hot tip” concerning an investment opportunity – it’s far wiser to consider having an investment advisor work closely with you each month -- so you can make the best possible decisions on a daily basis, even if you choose to formally remain as trustee;
  • Having a co-trustee to rely upon can lessen your personal burdens. If you have any doubts about your investment skills or would simply like to delegate the more tedious aspects of maintaining your estate to someone else, naming a co-trustee can provide you with great options – and allow you to maintain close oversight regarding all activities;
  • Having a co-trustee provides extra protection when emergencies arise. When you're the only person who's fully understands how your trust should be managed, you may find yourself in a lurch one day when a crisis hits. Anyone can suddenly become too ill to properly manage his or her financial affairs. When you have a co-trustee, that person can step in and begin handling everything for you just as soon as you request such help – or as soon as conditions named in the trust document itself indicate that such help is needed. (Always be sure to designate at least one secondary/backup trustee who will be prepared to step in should both you and your primary and/or co-trustee be unable to serve);
  • You may need help with the complex tax issues involved with some trusts. One of the best reasons to at least hire a co-trustee is that you’ll have the option of hiring someone with expert tax knowledge to guide you as you make all of your most important financial decisions – without having to worry about running afoul of the IRS;
  • Naming a family member as a co-trustee can prove especially useful if you run a business together. Whether you run a family business or not, it's often very useful to name your spouse or a fully responsible sibling to help you manage your living trust – especially if this family member has some professional expertise that he or she can readily share on a regular basis.

To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia