Protecting Your Wealth One Piece At A Time

Choosing a trustee

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Estate Planning |

If you are like many Nevada residents, your estate plan includes a trust. Along with determining which trust is the appropriate trust and setting up your trust documents, you will need to decide who will be your trustee. This is a huge position of trust that you should not take lightly, especially if you cannot change the trustee in the trust documents.

My nephew can do it, right?

If your nephew is a trustee for a living, then yes, your nephew can do it. However, if not, a trustee position is not a job where one should learn on the job. And do not think otherwise, especially if your trust has a large amount in assets, it is a job that can last decades with fiduciary responsibilities and liabilities. This person may very well have your family financial life in their hands, so you want to make sure they have your best interests at heart, have the right experience and knowledge, trust and liability coverage.


When searching for a trustee, make sure you get the comprehensive fee, not just the trustee fee. Especially for independent trustees, who may need to contract with other providers, like brokerages, real estate agents, CPAs, etc. These separate contracts often have additional fees, and you want to factor that into your trust decision.


Being a trustee is complicated, and they must make difficult decisions and even withhold assets or money from your Las Vegas, Nevada, beneficiaries or help a beneficiary with a substance abuse problem. You need to know they have experience being a trustee and that you can trust them to make the tough and right decisions, when needed. This also may warrant only looking at potential trustees that have no relation with your family to ensure they can make reasoned and impartial decisions.

Legal knowledge

There are legal requirements for a trustee, which is why attorneys are often used. There are both federal and state requirements, including filing annual income tax returns (or throughout the year, depending on the assets in the trust), generating statements, recording trust activities, maintaining appropriate investments, etc. Make sure the trustee you choose is familiar with these rules and laws.


Finally, you need to make sure your assets are protected from litigation. This means that the trustee has the appropriate amount of insurance and resources, should they violate their legal standards or be sued by a beneficiary over their decisions.