Choosing a trustee is one of the most important decisions people make when they decide to create a trust. Who they select depends on a variety of factors, including the purpose and complexity of the trust, how long it’s designed to last and the powers they plan to give to the trustee. The best trustees have the fiduciary experience, investment knowledge, and diplomatic skills to negotiate complex family dynamics. Above all, they should have practical judgment and time to give the trust as much attention as it requires. For most, the threshold question is whether to appoint an institutional trustee, individual trustee or both. Whether an institutional trustee has a national or state trust charter is no longer a material consideration in choosing an institutional trustee. Many are not aware that state-chartered trust companies may offer trustee services to beneficiaries that reside in all 50 states as long as the principal place of administration of its trust activities occurs within its home state’s borders.
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