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Choosing your fiduciaries can be one of the most difficult parts of creating your estate plan, especially choosing trustees for your trust, which, depending on the circumstances, you may hope will be in existence for quite a long time. Most people’s first instinct is to choose a family member, someone they know and trust, perhaps even the most responsible of their children; but this article from Elder Law Answers explains why that might not be the best course of action.

Many people, when choosing their trustees, don’t consider the whole picture. They are inclined to choose their trustees based on fear of being taken advantage of, which is why many people choose a trusted family member. But it’s also important to consider knowledge and expertise. A situation in which a fiduciary acts dishonestly and takes advantage of your beneficiaries is far less likely a scenario than one in which a fiduciary does your beneficiary a disservice out of ignorance and inexperience.

Choosing your fiduciaries is a critical step; it requires thought and consideration, and depending on your ultimate goal for your estate plan, it requires the advice or recommendation of an expert. When you go to visit your estate planning attorney bring with you a list of potential fiduciary candidates… but also an open mind.