Ohio residents can use a trust as part of their estate plan to have their financial assets managed according to their wishes. However, choosing the right trustee is an important part of setting up a trust and can result in the mismanagement of trust assets if the wrong choice is made.

Grantors may find it convenient and preferable to select a person with whom the family is familiar and who would process requests for the distributions of trust assets while being mindful of the reasons why the grantor created the trust. While this may be ideal, the trustee should also be able to properly carry out all of the legal, administrative and fiduciary duties that comes with the role.

The duties of a trustee may include sending notices to creditors, managing investment assets in the trust accordance to the trust’s provisions and sending out periodic financial statements. If trustee fail to fulfill their responsibilities, they may be held legally liable. Designating a trustee without the necessary expertise is not fair to the trustee or the beneficiaries.

Some estate planning situations may be best served by grantors considering the use of a third party, like a bank or trust company, to be a corporate trustee, instead of the selection of an individual as trustee. A corporate trustee will have the knowledge and experience to handle administrative duties and will have the support to provide long-term distribution strategies and asset protection.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may assist clients with developing an estate plan that may protect their financial assets for future generations. Assistance may be provided for drafting trusts and other appropriate documents.