People create trusts for lots of different reasons. A few reasons include putting assets in a living trust to avoid probate, providing that assets after death remain in trust to be doled out to children or grandchildren over time as opposed to in a lump sum, or leaving assets to a trust for a 2nd spouse and having those assets revert back to your children after the death of your surviving 2nd spouse.
Often, people who create trusts designate an individual to be the trustee, Successor trustee, or co-trustee. These individuals are often family members. But sometimes, people who set up trusts are more comfortable naming a corporate trustee because naming an individual or family member as trustee is simply not appropriate.
Perhaps you do not want to show bias toward one of your children by naming them as a trustee. Or perhaps because of the potential conflict between children and a 2nd spouse, you don't want to name one of them as a trustee.
Some of the reasons that people have designated a corporate trustee are as follows:
(1) Experience. Corporate trustees often better understand trust provisions and trust law - more so than an individual that has never served as a trustee.
(2) Unbiased. An individual who is also a beneficiary of a trust may find it difficult to be biased in the administration of their duties as trustee. Corporate trustees can act with more bias.
(3) Accounting. Corporate trustees are capable of preparing and providing the necessary trust accounting, and, if necessary, the trust tax return preparation.
Note that corporate trustees typically require that the trust assets must meet or exceed certain values. If the trust assets are minimal, then an individual trustee who is willing to serve with little or no compensation may be your best or only option.
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Louisiana Estate Planning Attorney
Phone: (225) 329-2450