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Choosing the right trustee for your estate

Estate planning is difficult but necessary.

To make sure your estate gets the treatment it deserves after your passing, you should record in detail your final wishes and appoint a trustee to carry out your last will.

Your trustee should be healthy

The person you appoint to handle affairs on your behalf after your death should be someone you can reasonably expect to outlive you. Therefore, you should not choose your elderly parent or older sibling to serve as your trustee. Pick someone younger than you who does not have any major health concerns.

Your trustee must be willing

You should not designate a trustee without speaking to him or her first. You want to make sure he or she is willing and able to carry out the necessary duties. Because life is unpredictable and circumstances change, you can also name a successor trustee just in case.

Your trustee must be responsible

The tasks of a trustee can be wide-ranging and time-consuming. Your trustee must be able to gather your records, pay your debts and manage the remaining money for your beneficiaries. He or she should be someone who recognizes the need for assistance and reaches out for advice before making important decisions.

Your trustee must be trustworthy

Trustees can be family members, friends or financial professionals, but regardless of qualifications, they should be trustworthy. Especially if you plan to leave behind valuable assets or a large sum of money, your trustee needs to be honest and loyal to your wishes.

To ensure your assets end up in the right hands during the probate process, you should make informed decisions about your estate only after careful consideration and research.