Keeping the Peace after You Pass – How a Corporate Trustee Can Help
Rarely do siblings always get along. Even in adulthood, childhood spats, jealousy, and resentment can rear their ugly heads. Sadly, the death of a parent can trigger these feelings, especially if one or more siblings is unhappy with the outcome of their parent’s estate plan. Sometimes, a parent intentionally leaves one child a larger inheritance than another, but in most cases, any perception of unfairness or imbalance is unintentional. So, how can you help keep the peace among your children after you pass? One way is by utilizing a corporate trustee to manage your assets. Read on to learn more about what the role of a corporate trustee is and how they can help manage your estate trust.
What is a corporate trustee?
Determining how your children should inherit your assets after you pass is one of the most difficult processes parents will undertake. Having significant assets, children from more than one marriage, and/or children spanning a wide age range will make the process even more complex. With complex estate planning, however, it’s too often the case that more time is spent creating trusts than ensuring there is trust among siblings. And when parent-child and sibling-sibling relationships aren’t strong, transparent, and predictable, hurt feelings and disagreements can quickly mar estate planning decisions made with good intentions.
For example, when creating the legal documents that establish trusts, parents frequently name siblings as trustees of other siblings’ trusts. While this may seem like a natural thing to do, for the sibling who doesn’t have control of his or her inheritance, while his or her sibling does, this can feel demeaning. Also, giving someone the huge responsibility of managing a trust can be a heavy burden. Trustees have very specific legal and financial responsibilities, and they risk legal action if they fail to act accordingly.
A corporate trustee is a bank trust department or trust company and may be the solution when you need someone to manage your children’s trusts. You’ll gain the advantage of years of combined experience managing trusts, and the potential of even greater investment returns. Plus, corporate trustees are regulated by both state and federal agencies, and they’re objective and dispassionate regarding issues that can trigger sibling rivalries. You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you have selected someone with knowledge and integrity to manage your child(ren)’s assets.
Speak with an experienced Houston estate planning attorney
For more information about corporate trustees and setting up trusts for your children, please contact Leigh B. Meineke Law Firm in Houston, TX. Our estate planning attorneys are sensitive to all the issues that can make or break an estate plan, and we’ll make sure yours is as strong and effective as it can be.