The purpose of asking questions of a potential trustee of your trust is to determine whether you feel personally and philosophically compatible with the person who would actually be managing the trust, by asking questions about their background, their investment strategy, their fees, and their management style. Ultimately, you want to be assured of the skills and trustworthiness of the trustee.


  1. How did you get involved in serving as a private professional trustee?
  2. What is your educational background?
  3. What work experience did you have prior to becoming a corporate trustee?
  4. How many years have you been serving as a corporate trustee?
  5. What kind of trusts do you serve as trustee? (e.g., living trusts, special needs trusts, irrevocable trusts)


Current Administrative Practices

  1. How is your trust company arranged? (e.g., one person, a staff, part-time help)
  2. If you have a staff, would I work with you or be assigned a case worker or trust officer?
  3. How many trusts do you currently serve as trustee?
  4. Are any of these court-monitored trusts?
  5. Have you filed court accountings with the court before?
  6. What would the beneficiary have to do to review the records?
  7. How many of these trusts are special needs trusts?
  8. Have you had any special training in serving as a trustee of a special needs trust?
  9. What is your policy on buying a home for a beneficiary?
  10. What services do you provide as trustee? (e.g., record keeping, accounting, investments, making distributions)


Investment Decisions

  1. How would you determine what to invest the assets of the trust in?
  2. Can the beneficiary (or a Trust Committee) assist in making the investment decisions?
  3. Do you provide the financial services or do you hire someone else to assist in making these decisions?
  4. What are the qualifications of the financial person that has been hired?
  5. How often are the investment decisions reviewed?
  6. If a beneficiary wants to review the records of his trust, can he do so?


Start up Procedure

  1. If you were named trustee of this trust, how would we begin the process? (e.g., a meeting, a letter, a welcome packet)
  2. Do you set up a budget for distributions?
  3. How often is the budget reviewed?


Requesting Distributions

  1. How would a beneficiary contact you to request a distribution?
  2. What kind of procedure do you go through in determining whether or not a distribution is warranted?
  3. If there is an emergency after normal business hours, is there a way I can contact you?
  4. If you are on vacation or otherwise unavailable, who would handle the management of your trust duties?
  5. What happens to your business if you became incapacitated or died? Do you have a succession plan?



  1. How do you charge for your services? What is the fee?
  2. What is included for that fee?
  3. Is there an additional charge for investment services? How much?
  4. Is there an additional charge for tax preparation?
  5. Are there any additional charges?