Welcome again to the Melling Law YouTube Channel, where we talk about different estate planning topics relevant to Utah. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about trustees. As we’ve talked about in previous videos, a trust is just simply a legal agreement between a beneficiary, a trustee, and a grantor. Those three roles are all filled by the same person with most living trusts, or persons, usually with a married couple. But then after they pass away or they become incapacitated, a new trustee or trustees step forward and take that responsibility of managing trust assets. There are a whole bunch of different ways to approach choosing a trustee, but it helps to know your options. A lot of people just aren’t aware that there is an option, especially here in Utah I think culturally, we just tend to assume that the oldest son or oldest child becomes the trustee, and that’s that. And sometimes, that does work. But there are a lot of family situations where that’s really not the best solution. One option, and this is for trusts that tend to have a little bit more money, we’re talking at least two million dollars in assets, is that you can have a bank or an institution serve as a professional trustee. The fees for management tend to run at least one to two percent of the trust value per year for maintenance. Now they are investing that, so supposedly, that should grow. But some managers are not as good as others. But they serve as a good intermediary and impartial third party if there’s a high chance of conflict within the family. Another option is a private professional trustee. There are a few different companies that work as private professional trustees. They’re much more flexible, and usually an hourly rate, but they are certified, either in accounting or in financial planning, and they can, with court supervision, manage trust assets, usually for an hourly fee, and this is also a great choice for third parties. And then finally, we just have a simple private trustee. And these are usually friends or family members or anyone who is trusted in your life who you want to have manage these assets. The difficulty there is choosing the right person. Is this person going to be paid, or is it a volunteer job? If they are being paid, how much do they get paid? These are all questions that you need to think about, as well as will their relationship with the beneficiaries create a weird family dynamic? Too often, if it’s a family member and they’re going to be managing assets for a long time for other family members, that does create some adverse incentive. So we want to kind of watch how that’s managed and maybe have a way to have a third party involved, rather than simply have it be an intra-family issue. Another option is co-trustees. You can have more than one trustee serve together, and you can allow them to either serve separately, or force them to work together, and maybe with some kind of tie-breaker or third party intermediary in case the trustees don’t get along. Another option is to have what is called a trust protector. So we’ll have, especially with these institutional trustees, if you have a professional that is involved, we’ll usually nominate someone who is a family member or close to the family as kind of an overseer. They receive the accounting, and they see how this trustee is managing the assets, and if at any time they decide that the assets are not being appropriately managed, then the trust protector can remove the trustee. So there are a lot of different options. When you’re choosing a trustee, you can have a bank or a professional company do it, you can have a private professional or any private individual, just keep in mind the family dynamics, you can have one trustee serve or multiple trustees, and then finally, if you have an institution as your trustee, you can use a trust protector to guarantee that someone close to the family is keeping an eye on things. So if you have questions about who you want to have serve as trustee, know that your options are not as limited as you might think. You have plenty of choices available to you, and it is your right to choose who you want to have manage the funds you have built during your lifetime for the benefit of your loved ones. Thanks for watching; if you ever have questions about how to choose a trustee, or anything else related to estate planning, you can always reach us at Melling Law at 435-572-0807.