I've heard so many horror stories of family members who are trustees, either walking away with the family pot of gold, or being shackled by their siblings because they sold mom's old car that no longer ran off the driveway. Seriously though, I'm wondering for myself, which would be better, I'm thinking attorney. Yes there would be fees, but it might be worth not having the grief otherwise. How does a trust work beginning to end with an attorney as your trustee? How are complaints dealt with and resolved for family members by the trustee when it's an attorney? Opinions and experiences please. I'm in MO.

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Attorney! My mom setup a trust with three daughters listed in order of her preference on who would manage the funds. Why? To save attorney fees. HA! Twisted executor was determined to believe and find evidence of exploitation on my part. Even when told by conservator that there was no pilfering going on she did not believe the findings. All of that of course was influenced by twisted sis 1, narcissistic to the core.

When mom set it up she told us all. I was listed second, which was fine as at the time twisted exec was the one helping mom and familiar with her business. That was 25 years ago probably. The problem was I did not consider the level of influence that ts1 had on ts2. Sad.

They were so convinced I ended up in court with them. I paid my attorney fees. Mom paid theirs, the conservator and the guardian. To the tune of about 120k. Would an attorney as the trustee had saved money? Mom did not want to pay an attorney to manage the trust. She trusted ts2 to be fair. HAHAHA! Still in the works as she spends $550 a month for storage of fabrics that she has no idea what to do with.

My suggestion is choose someone you trust, but with oversight, quarterly reporting by trustee to a conservator or attorney. Never free reign, oversight will result in honesty and accountability.
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Reply to gladimhere

I wouldn't be able to say one is better than the other. untrustworthy people are everywhere. (?)  im the younger of 2 children. I think I was picked because I wasn't working and parents felt I would have more time to handle their affairs (?) I hate to say  - but they knew I was more money responsible - and made pretty good decisions. I have no desire to cheat my sister out of her share. I manage my moms money (dad died 2015) the best I can. the biggest expense there is, is her assisted living. and I am prepared knowing it can go up when she moves in care.  I have shared the account balances with my sister, since I have been vaguely accused that I could be taking. I don't know about how it works if an attorney is a trustee.
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Reply to wally003

I honestly think it depends on family dynamics and how much money the estate has. I don’t know anyone who had a lawyer as the trustee, my grandparents made my mother their trustee, my parents made me their trustee and my MIL made my husband their trustee. None of these trusts are very big either, my parents have a house that will be sold but I don’t believe there will be much cash, if any, to be dispersed. I’m the only responsible child who is competent enough to be trustee. My husband is the oldest of 3 and most responsible as well & he does not get emotionally involved in things. My MIL passed away in June and there was around $60k in her bank accounts, her retirement will be split 3 ways amongst her kids and the checks will be issued by her retirement plan. I don’t think it would have been worth the cost to appointment a lawyer as the trustee. We have had $800 in lawyer fees already and that’s just for some paper filing and notices that have to be sent to the beneficiaries of the trust. And we did have a major theft to deal with, money stolen by the back up trustee—my MILs boyfriend of 22-Ish years. (I call him him her partner). He took $14k around the same time the trust was created in March and another $20k hours after MIL died. Had my SIL been trustee, she would have been competent & able to act as trustee but as far as the stolen money, she would have let it go. To her money is not worth severing relationships over. MILs partner is the closest thing to a dad she’s ever had and he treated her better than he treated his own kids. Because of that she is willing to overlook the many lies he has told and the stolen money. My husband and BIL do not have the same relationship with him and were not willing to overlook the theft. My BIL would not have been competent enough to be trustee. My husband followed the trust and done everything according his mother’s wishes and he has kept his siblings informed and discussed everything with them. When the thefts were discovered he did call a family meeting and he told them what their options were and they all discussed the situation and their feelings. He did not take matters into his own hands even though he could have. There will be more lawyer fees because we have to remove MILs partner as backup trustee & designate my SIL as the new backup. Also MILs partner has a life estate and can stay in her house as long as he doesn’t marry & he pays all taxes, insurances and maintains the house. If he defaults anywhere or brings in non blood relatives or rents out the house, we have to evict him. MILs estate is not complicated at all and she had little assets so it really made no sense to have a lawyer as the trustee. Same with my parents. The estates aren’t big enough.
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Reply to worriedinCali

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