Questions to ask a Professional Trustee

Before hiring a potential trustee, a client should determine whether he or she is personally and professionally compatible with the person who will be managing the trust. You should ask the following questions about their investment strategy, their background, their costs and fees, and their management style.

Investment Strategy Questions

  • Can the beneficiary assist in making the investment decisions? 
  • How do you decide on appropriate investments? 
  • Do you provide financial services, or do you outsource to assist in making those decisions?
  • If a person has been hired, what are their qualifications?  
  • How often are the investment decisions reviewed?
  • Can a beneficiary review the records of his trust if he/she desires?  


Background Questions

  • How did you get involved in serving as a private trustee?
  • For how many years have you been serving as a trustee?  
  • What work experience did you have before becoming a private trustee? 
  • What is your educational background?  
  • What kind of trusts do you typically handle or specialize in?


Costs and Fee Questions

  • How do you charge for your services? What are the standard costs and fees? 
  • What is included in that fee? 
  • Is there an additional charge for tax preparation? 
  • Is there an additional charge for investment services? If so, how much do you charge?
  • Are there any additional charges?  


Management Style Questions

  • How is your business run? Do you have a team? Will you personally handle my case or will another agent be given my case?
  • Have you filed court accountings with the court before?
  • How many trusts do you currently serve as trustee for? 
  • How many of these trusts are special needs trusts?  
  • Do you have any experience or training in serving as the trustee of a special needs trust? 
  • What services do you provide as trustee?