Choosing a Trustee For a Trust – Family Members

Opting For Family Members

Some families create a private trust and name siblings or other family members as successor trustees. Aunts, uncles, siblings, and other close family members of the individual with a disability should all be considered as possible successor trustees. Close family members can be great options because they are closely acquainted with the disabled individual’s issues and needs.

Downside of Choosing Family Members

While family members can sometimes be great trustees, it’s not always the best idea for every situation and family. You must also consider potential conflicts of interest that can arise between siblings and family. Perhaps one sibling to the special needs brother/sister is the guardian while the other sibling is assigned the trustee. This setup can be fraught with problems and conflict. These issues can keep them from being a responsible trustee and making sound decisions.

Siblings may have their own personal conflicts or mistrust with each other. There may be other factors at play between them, such as motivation to receive more of the assets from the trust. Without someone holding them accountable for their actions with checks and balances, the dynamic can get complicated.

Selecting Other Trustees

Selecting family members or siblings is often the first choice in selecting successor trustees to a special needs trust. However, it’s not always the best choice given the possible lack of ability or unwillingness to take on such a big obligation. This, combined with potential ulterior motives or family issues can cause duties within the trust to be neglected. There are many responsibilities that come along with being a trustee, and without having the best intentions in mind, it can be difficult.

Other individuals aside from family members can be trustees, including another trusted individual such as a friend, a professional trustee, lawyer, advisor, or another capable individual over the age of 18.

These trusts can be rather complex, with many laws and regulations that are constantly changing. Trustees must therefore not only be completely sound and honest, but stay informed of all the changing Special Needs trust laws. Even family members with good intentions can make mistakes when managing a special needs trust.

Contact Our Team Today

The process of creating a trust, including appointing trustees and deciding if family members are a good choice, can be overwhelming. Our team is here to help you with exactly that – we can guide you through the entire process and help you make informed decisions.

Our staff is experienced and dedicated to the well-being and peace of mind of your family. If you’re looking for resourceful professionals who can set up a special disability trust with you, give our team a call. For assistance setting up a pooled trust in Dupage County, Life’s Plan is here to assist.