Professional Trustee

A Professional Trustee is a Trust Company or the Bank Trust Department who will manage your Trust for you.


Learn what a Professional Trustee is and whether or not you need one.

Anytime you set up a Trust, you need to appoint a Trustee to manage and administer all the assets inside the Trust. Sometimes, a Trustee can be a friend or relative whom you trust, but other times, you might want to consider using what’s known as a Professional Trustee.

Professional Trustees can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Before you name a Trustee, you should understand the difference between using someone close and personal to you and using a Professional Trustee.

Decide if a Professional Trustee is the route you should take, or if you should just use a family member, spouse or close friend as your Trustee.

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What a Professional Trustee Does

Professional Trustees do much of the same duties as any other Trustee would. Some of a Trustee’s common responsibilities could include:

  • Filing and paying all taxes

  • Keeping assets safe and distributing them

  • Overseeing various business interests

  • Managing investments

  • Resolving Beneficiary disputes

  • Keeping records 

  • Communicating status with Beneficiaries

  • And more

You Have Complicated Family Dynamics
You’re Concerned About Fiduciary Duty
You’re Concerned About Cost
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What to Look for in a Professional Trustee 

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While you can expect a Professional Trustee to be knowledgeable and an expert in their role, there are a few things to look for. Mostly, you want to find somebody you feel compatible with and who you believe you can trust. Understand the following before selecting your Professional Trustee:

  • You Want Competence and Expertise
    Look for a Professional Trustee or Trust Company with experience handling your size and type of estate.

  • Be Aware of the Cost
    Have the money conversation upfront. You should know if your state has a reasonable compensation law and what the average percentage or cost to act as Trustee tends to be. Ask about the location of the estate and the Professional Trustee. A Corporate Trustee might have an office in a location that could allow you to avoid certain fees and taxes. And remember, you’ll likely have to compensate any Trustee, even a close friend or family member. It’s a tough job, and they do deserve compensation for their time and work. 

  • Think about Liability
    There is a sense of liability that falls on a Trustee. Anything from the mishandling of assets (whether it be intentional or unintentional), to accounting mistakes, to bad investment decisions and more could result in legal action against your Trustee. Not only would a Professional Trustee understand all these liabilities, they would likely have insurance to protect them. But beyond that, they have the knowledge to avoid any potential issues in the first place.

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