If you're considering naming a Bank, Corporate Trustee, or Professional Trustee to manage your Trust or estate plan, here are sample questions to help you vet and select the right Trustee for your family.


  • How is your trust company arranged (e.g., one person, a staff, part-time help)?
  • If you have a staff, would I work with you or be assigned a case manager?
  • What would the beneficiary have to do to review the records?
  • How many of these trusts are special needs trusts?
  • What services do you provide as trustee (e.g., record keeping, accounting, investments, making distributions)?
  • Are you also willing to serve as executor or durable power of attorney?
  • (If applicable) Do you serve as a trustee for special needs trusts?

Investment Management & Decisions

  • How would you decide on appropriate investments for the trust?
  • Can the beneficiary or a trust committee assist in making the investment decisions?
  • What are the qualifications of the financial person who has been hired?
  • How often are the investment decisions reviewed?
  • If a beneficiary wants to review the records of his trust, can he do so?

Set-Up Procedure

  • If you were named Trustee (or successor trustee) of this trust, how would we begin the process (e.g., a meeting, a letter, a welcome packet)?
  • Do you set up a budget for distributions?
  • How often is the budget reviewed?

Requesting & Handling Distributions

  • How would a beneficiary contact you to request a distribution?
  • What kind of procedure do you go through in determining whether or not a distribution is warranted?
  • If there is an emergency after normal business hours, is there a way I can contact you?
  • If you are on vacation or otherwise unavailable, who would handle the management of your trust duties?
  • What would happen to your business if you became incapacitated or died? Do you have a succession plan?


  • How do you charge for your services? What is the fee?
  • What is included in that fee?
  • Is there an additional charge for investment services? How much?
  • Is there an additional charge for tax preparation?
  • Are there any additional charges?
Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning