Selection and Training of
Trustees and Trust Protectors
As one of the presenters puts it, there are three main questions
an estate plan must answer: "Who gets
what?” "How and when do they get it?” and "Who’s In Charge?” That
final question is as important as the others, because making a good choice can
help ensure the trust is administered as it was meant to be, while enhancing the lives of the beneficiaries. In contrast, making a poor choice of
fiduciaries could mean that beneficiaries don’t receive what they were supposed
to, when and how they were supposed to.
A poor choice can also aggravate seething family dynamics or contribute
to the dreaded trust-baby syndrome.
Choosing the right trustees can be a challenge for an individual
or couple, even when they are assisted by able advisors. Possible candidates for serving as fiduciary
include institutional fiduciaries (banks and trust companies), individual
professionals (attorneys, accountants, professional trustees), and individual
non-professionals (often friends or family).
For those individual non-professional trustees, some basic training on
duties, responsibilities, tools, and techniques may be necessary or at least
helpful, but the principals who name them often have nowhere to turn for that
education and training.
The presenters will offer their perspectives on selection and training of trustees and trust protectors (with some
discussion of other fiduciary roles as well), including a review of a recent
survey on how planners and their clients typically select and train
Daniel P. Felix,
P. Felix is an attorney who practices as The Professional Trustee. Dan coaches and advises families and trust
fiduciaries and also serves as fiduciary for family trusts – including as
trustee or trust protector. Dan is the
founder and president of the Chicago Trustee Collaboratory, a study group
organized with the goal of helping families flourish in the trustscape.
Michael D. Whitty
D. Whitty concentrates his practice in estate planning, taxation, and estate
and trust administration. Mike
represents business owners, principals of venture capital and private equity
funds, key executives, investors, and other high-net-worth individuals in
planning for the preservation and transfer of their wealth. Mike is a fellow with the Family Firm
Institute and has received its certifications
in Family Wealth Advising and Family Business Advising.