How Do I Choose a Trustee?
When you set up a trust, you must name someone as the “manager” of the trust—also known as the trustee.  The trustee’s responsibilities are essentially to pay bills and taxes, invest assets wisely, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records, and maintain your finances in good order.  These responsibilities are probably what you are already doing. As a result, you may want to appoint yourself as the trustee of your own living trust. If you are married, your spouse can serve as a co-trustee.  This is a good idea since it will provide much needed protection if either of you become incapacitated.  

Naming yourself or your spouse as trustee is not required.  Often people will choose an adult child, or a trusted friend or relative.   

Being a trustee is a big job with a lot of responsibility.  Trustees are under strict fiduciary responsibilities and can even be held personally liable for breaking those responsibilities.  As a result, your trustee should be someone who understands the demands of the job and is agreeable to taking on the responsibility.   Your trustee should also be someone you trust implicitly.

Some people overlook the option of choosing a professional or corporate trustee (like a bank or trust company).  Sometimes people think these entities would be too expensive or cost prohibitive.  In reality, because of their expertise and the resources that are available to them, they are often able to manage a trust much more efficiently and effectively than a lay trustee would be able to.  

You can also appoint multiple people or entities to act as co-trustees.  This has the advantage of providing a sort of “checks and balances” mechanism for your trust.  However, if the trustees have different opinions about how to manage your assets, it could result in deadlock, which would have to be resolved by a court order—costing your estate money.   

If you do choose to name someone other than yourself as trustee, that doesn’t mean you have no control over your trust.  Remember, as the creator of the trust, you make the rules.  The trustee is required to follow those rules.  You can even opt to replace your trustee if you so desire.