Navigating Trustee Selection

Trustees influence the success of your legacy and the well-being of future generations.

The importance of a well-conceived wealth transfer plan cannot be underestimated. However, its ultimate success in fulfilling your legacy and meeting the needs of the next generation – as well as future generations – depends on whom you select to perform the required duties. This makes your selection one of the most critical aspects of an already complex wealth transfer planning process.

On Choosing Well

When determining whom to appoint as your trustee – or team of trustees – your options are extensive. Potential candidates may be family members, close friends, business associates, professionals, trust institutions or some combination of all of the above. In some states, you may even be able to assign responsibilities requiring some level of expertise – such as that involving investment management – to a specific trustee. Regardless, the responsibilities trustees assume are extensive, often carry a time commitment that can be indefinite and may require a diverse set of specialized expertise.

Whomever you name and however you structure their duties, they are required to act in the best interest of your beneficiaries at all times as they carry out the terms of your trust(s) and implement your vision for the next and future generations. Having a framework to evaluate trustee candidates, therefore, and knowing what questions you will want answered before making your final selection is critical.

To help you begin the process of trustee selection, we have created a downloadable guide, Navigating Trustee Selection. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this, or any other aspect of your wealth transfer plan, in coordination with your other advisors.

Navigating Trustee Selection is the second phase in a three-part series we have developed to help clients ensure their estate plans reflect the goals and intentions of their unique families. For more information on the first part of the series, please read Transfer Wealth Purposefully with a Statement of Intent.

Dive Deeper

How to Evaluate Trustee Options

Create a framework for choosing the right trustee.

Multigenerational Families

Navigating Trustee Selection

Your wealth transfer plan’s success depends on its trustee.

The Northern Trust Institute

Proven Advice for Moments that Matter


This information is not intended to be and should not be treated as legal, investment, accounting or tax advice and is for informational purposes only. Readers, including professionals, should under no circumstances rely upon this information as a substitute for their own research or for obtaining specific legal, accounting or tax advice from their own counsel. All information discussed herein is current only as of the date appearing in this material and is subject to change at any time without notice.

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