The role of a Trustee can be extremely daunting for an untrained person and often decisions will be made which many be completely in the interest of the Beneficiary(ies). This may be simply because the Trustees do not have a clear understanding o the impact their decisions may have on the Beneficiary's Inheritance.
A Professional Trustees gives consideration to the Tax status, financial status and marital situation of the intended Beneficiary (i.e. if the Beneficiary were undergoing financial difficulties or entering into Divorce Proceedings). This ensures that the assets would not be lost to credits or future ex-spouses.
Professional advice can be crucial in preserving assets and ensuring as much as possible is received by the intended Beneficiary(ies) and is not lost to Tax, Divorce or in settlements to Creditors. Many people when creating Trusts appoint their children or other family members as Trustees.
The Trustees are often also the Beneficiaries of the Deceased's estate and this fact may pose some real problems after the death of the Settlor (the creator of the Trust). Once the Deceased's assets have entered the Trust, a Trustees' meeting must be held and any decisions regarding the distribution of these assets have to have the agreement of ALL the Trustees. As we are all aware, this can often prove to be an issue within some families.
Appointing a Professional Trustee will ensure that a totally unbiased approach is taken when dealing with the Deceased's assets and that the Settlor's wishes are completely upheld.
There can generally be any number of Trustees but for our own and most Trusts, the number ranges from 2-4. It is possible for an institution to act as a Trustee on their own or in conjunction with a layman you Trust and Trustees can also be named as Beneficiaries by the Settlor in the Trust document.