In selecting a Trustee, your first reaction may be to choose a friend, business associate, or family member to serve as Trustee. However, the duties and responsibilities of the Trustee may be overwhelming. Serving as a Trustee is a big job and not necessarily an honor. The individuals must be capable, as well as willing to serve.
Consideration should be given to naming a professional Trustee, to serve alone or as co-Trustee with the individual Trustee. A professional Trustee can provide guidance and liability protection for the non-professional Trustee.
A well-drafted trust will include a provision that will allow the beneficiaries to change Trustees. This may be a “remove and replace” provision that requires that a professional Trustee may be removed so long as a successor professional Trustee is appointed in place of the former professional Trustee. This provides flexibility without creating adverse tax consequences for the beneficiaries.
The Trust may impose time limitations on the frequency of removal of Trustees. For instance, the Trust may provide that professional Trustees can be changed only once every two years to prevent Trustee shopping..