Hi, my name’s Tom Olofsson. I’m an estate planning attorney and I serve clients in the Oak Lawn area. Thank you for coming to my website. I have something very special that I’d like to give you, but first I’d like to tell you a little bit about my practice.
Should I use a Professional Trustee?
Now I suppose you’re wondering why I’m wearing a Hawaiian shirt. This is actually one of my favorite Hawaiian shirts, I have a couple. The reason I’m wearing this is to answer a question that people often ask me which is: should I use a professional trustee? And my answer is every trust that I write has a professional trustee at the end of the line of people that you name so if you and your spouse are going to be the first trustees and your oldest son or daughter is going to be the next trustee, the successor. And then your next child after that, at the end of the line however many you have, we’re going to put a professional trustee and I’m going to tell you why.
My parents have eight children and I’m the oldest of eight kids. Since I am the only lawyer in the family I’m the trustee for everybody trust if they get sick or die, I’m the one that gets to step in and take over. My parents then named me and my sister that is right below me in the family and then on down the list, all eight kids are listed. At the end of the eight there is a professional trustee listed and this is why we did it.
My brother Hal got married to his lovely wife Stacy in Hawaii outside of Honolulu, very beautiful place, very wonderful, it was a gorgeous weekend. On the morning of the day they were getting married they had an earthquake in Hawaii, knocked out the power for the entire state of Hawaii. The wedding was on the beach and the headline for the newspaper, the Honolulu newspapers said, “Islands shake” and a couple of pictures of buildings that were crumbling and damaged. The subheading next thing under it was “Tsunami seen as low”. Now, being from Chicago I’m not accustomed to seeing any Tsunami risk, I don’t like seeing that in the newspaper on a day I’m going to be standing on a beach.
So on that beach that evening we’re looking out at the beautiful Pacific Ocean and everyone is enjoying the evening, a lovely wedding and a great time was had by all and all I could think of was I got to get back to Chicago and re-write a whole bunch of trusts and put professional trustees. My entire family if there was a Tsunami, my entire family could have been wiped out, all eight kids, my parents, all the grandchildren. There was one little grandchild who was two years old and couldn’t take the eight hour flight to Hawaii who was left at home with the babysitter in Tucson Arizona and there would have been no one to manage assets for us because everyone would have been wiped out.
So although that’s an unusual situation, it is something that can happen even in a large family particularly if you have a smaller family you really want to have a professional in there somewhere. They don’t have to be the first person and that professional trustee does not get paid until they actually start working. So in the case of my parents they probably would never have gotten paid, but it’s always good to have them in there somewhere as a backup.
Now what I’d like you to do is go to my website and find out how you can get a free review of your existing trust documents to see if they come up to our standards. I can also arrange for you to get free access to twenty videos that answer your most often asked questions. They give you some guidance as to what you should be looking for. Now if you don’t have existing trust documents or you have a particular question that has been bothering you, you’re welcome to call my phone number which is 773-905-1193 and we’ll set up a complimentary consultation.