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COVID-19 Update: We are working and here to help. The probate courts are open and we are continuing to file cases. Please email Attorney Nicole Morris at [email protected] if you have questions. Stay safe, we will get through this stronger together.

What is the role of a successor trustee?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Trust And Probate Administration

Creating a trust can be of great benefit to your family or a cause you are passionate about, provided that there is a trustee to manage the trust assets until the time comes to distribute them. Even if your trustee is young and in good health, an unforeseen event such as a car accident could make it impossible for the trustee to continue on in the position.

A trust could become the subject of court litigation if it loses its trustee to death or disability. However, Smart Asset explains that if you name a successor trustee, you have somebody who can take over the administration of the trust.

Successor trustees for revocable trusts

Creating a revocable trust allows you to serve as trustee. While you may abolish your trust whenever you wish, you may want your trust to last for a long time, possibly beyond your lifetime. If so, selecting someone to be your successor trustee will help ensure your trust operates as you intend.

Following your death or incapacitation, your successor trustee will take over your trust. This may involve valuating your trust assets and paying taxes on the trust. Your trustee will probably need documents you have kept in your possession such as insurance policies if you held them in your trust. You may also leave instructions for your trustee to invest trust assets.

Successor trustees for irrevocable trusts

Making an irrevocable trust involves giving up ownership of assets you place into the trust and selecting someone other than yourself to be the trustee. Fortunately, you may still name a successor trustee when creating the trust. Whoever acts as successor trustee will simply take up the duties of your original trustee in the event your initial pick cannot continue in the position.

It is also possible to designate co-trustees to manage a trust. Having multiple family members, friends or trusted professionals handle your trust may further decrease the chance that your trust will fall into the hands of someone who does not have your family’s best interests at heart.

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