(somber music) – What is an independent
trustee, and what’s it for? An independent trustee
is a type of trustee defined under Federal Law. To determine whether a trustee
is an independent trustee, you look to the relationship
between the trustee and the beneficiary. The beneficiary is the one
who inherits trust property. As long as the trustee is not
related to the beneficiary or an employee of the beneficiary, the trustee is considered
an independent trustee. Ancestors and descendants
of the beneficiary are interested trustees, as are siblings, so parents, grandparents,
children, grandchildren, and brothers and sisters of a beneficiary are interested trustees. Nieces and nephews and all
other extended relatives are considered independent trustees, provided that they are not
employed or subordinate to the beneficiary. The basic idea is that if
you have a related party who is a trustee, they will not be exercising
independent discretion and will be doing what you ask them to do. Independent trustees can help
in protecting an inheritance from creditors, predators, and divorce, and that’s an independent trustee. (somber music)