“We see a lot of problems caused by a poor choice in executor or trustee of an estate,” said Kevin L. Von Tungeln, managing partner. “With careful selection, expert advice in the planning and by following these three guidelines, you can avoid problems altogether.”
High Integrity – Von Tungeln says you want someone you can trust. If the person isn't trustworthy, you open yourself up to outright theft of your estate, depriving your heirs of their rightful inheritance or depriving you of the care you need if you become incapacitated.
Financial Competence – As time moves forward and conditions change, the trustee or executor will have to make a lot of hard financial decisions. Von Tungeln adds that the trustee or executor in California is also bound by the Uniform Prudent Investors Act (UPIA). In brief, this act stipulates that not only must the executor make prudent financial decisions but he or she must carefully document all of them. Since meeting this standard takes someone with a financial planning background, you need to make sure that your executor or trustee understands the complexity of the task and is willing to work with the certified financial planner or estate attorney whom you designate.
Financially-stable. Since your executor or trustee will be managing hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, you need to select someone who is financially stable, who will not be tempted to make “loans” to him or herself, says Von Tungeln. These loans are virtually never repaid.