I did my estate planning a few years ago and I named my three kids as the Co-Trustees. They get along pretty well, but they are not buddies. I hear about fighting between siblings all the time. What are your thoughts on Co-Trustees?
– Team Player on Tayberry
Dear Team Player:
As with everything, there are pluses and minuses to having children serve as Co-Trustees. It can work if all Trustees are on the same page and work well together under pressure. (Imagine you have a chronic health condition and a $10,000 monthly nursing home bill. Will your kids agree on what to do then?)
A client of mine in Summerset was in the hospital last weekend and I visited her in the ICU. There were tasks that still were not done. This client has multiple children and she considered naming them all as Co-Trustees. For various reasons, I had previously counseled her to name just one child. She took my advice and I am glad she did.
When we met at the hospital, I was able to work with her daughter rather than all children. That child and I were able to make excellent decisions in a short time under stressful circumstances.
Most importantly – be HONEST about your kids! How well would a Co-Trusteeship work between them? If you have doubts, call me to strategize.