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Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

Who Can Be a Successor Trustee?

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as the initial trustee so you can continue to manage your financial affairs. Eventually someone else will need to step in when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death.

Your successor trustee plays an important role in the effective implementation of your estate plan. Some of their responsibilities will include making financial decisions, selling or refinancing property, paying bills, filing taxes, and distributing your accounts according to the instructions in your trust.

Who Can Be a Successor Trustee?

A successor trustee can be an adult child, family member, trusted friend, or professional or corporate trustee. If you choose an individual, you should name multiple back-ups in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to act.

What You Need to Know

  • Your successor trustee should be someone you know and trust, whose judgment you respect, and who will also respect your wishes.

    Consider the qualifications of your candidates, including personalities, financial or business experience, and time available. Being a trustee can take a substantial amount of time and requires a certain amount of business sense.

  • Be sure to ask the people you are considering if they would want this responsibility. Do not just assume they want to take on this role.
  • Trustees should be paid for their work – your trust document should provide for fair and reasonable compensation.

Rest assured, we can help you select, educate, and advise your successor trustees. You are not alone.