How to Choose the Best Fiduciary

Two of the most frequently asked questions I hear are “How do I choose a trustee?” and “Am I choosing the right trustee?” Here are six criteria to help you choose the right fiduciary for you:

1) Do you TRUST him/her? Trust is crucial. You are trusting the fiduciary to care for you during periods of incapacity and to carry out your wishes when you pass.

2) Is he/she AVAILABLE? Ideally, the fiduciary will live near you or have immediate access to you when you need assistance.

3) Is he/she ABLE? Being a fiduciary can be stressful and require “running around” on your behalf. You will want to make sure your fiduciary is able to respect your values and beliefs so they are able to carry out your wishes.

4) Is he/she WILLING? Make sure he/she is willing to be your fiduciary.

5) Does he/she KNOW your beneficiaries? Having an existing relationship and understanding the needs of the beneficiaries is crucial to ensure the beneficiaries are taken care of.

6) Does he/she have any GHOST PLAYERS? Ghost players are people that may adversely influence the fiduciaries decision-making.

Your best choice will be a fiduciary who meets all these criteria. If no one suitable can act your fiduciary, hiring a professional third-party fiduciary to act on your behalf may be appropriate.

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