If you are making plans for your future in Illinois, you will need to assign a trustee to your estate. It is important to understand what the role of a trustee is so you can choose the right person for the job. Doing so will ensure he or she meets your wishes and there is no dispute after your passing.

According to the SF Gate, you assign a trustee to manage the assets in your estate and follow your direction in terms of who gets what. While it may sound like a fairly simple job, the trustee carries a lot of responsibility and, after you pass, he or she has a lot of work to do. A trustee must

  • Take inventory of all assets and make sure they are safe
  • Appoint appraisal for assets that do not have a defined value
  • Buy or sell assets to make sure trust gets good investment return
  • Distribute property to appropriate beneficiaries
  • Files all necessary tax returns 

Due to the complexity of the role, Forbes recommends choosing a trustee that you trust completely. When considering who to choose, have honest and in-depth conversations with potential candidates to make sure they understand what the job entails, and they are willing to commit to the work. It also helps if the trustee lives close to the beneficiaries to cut down on travel expenses.

While a trustee does not need to have extensive knowledge in finances or taxes, it does help to have some know-how or be able to hire someone who does. If you want the trustee to be unemotional and unbiased, and you can afford it, you may want to hire a professional service to carry out the role instead.