Selecting Your Successor Trustee

Selecting Your Successor Trustee


When thinking about their Estate Planning, most clients carefully think about who should be a beneficiary of their Estate, what percentages each beneficiary should receive, whether there should be any strings attached to such inheritance, and what should happen if a particular beneficiary is pre-deceased.  These are all issues that should be carefully considered.  However, most clients do not give much thought to who should serve as their Successor Trustee.  This is an important role that should be carefully considered.


Your Successor Trustee has the responsibility of managing and distributing your assets in accordance with your wishes when you are no longer able to do so, either due to incapacity or death.  First, you want to make sure that the person you are considering is trustworthy and responsible.  Will that person follow your instructions?  Will the person take the time to make sure that he/she is doing everything correctly? 


Second, you want to make sure that the person you selected is competent.  There are often many complex decisions that must be made.  While it is true that your Successor Trustee may seek the guidance of an attorney, tax professionals, and even financial advisers, every decision is ultimately in the best judgment of your Successor Trustee.


Third, make sure that the person you selected is willing to act.  There is no rule that requires a person to act as Successor Trustee simply because you designated that person as such in your Estate Planning documents.  Having a personal and candid conversation with that person will not only assure you that the person is willing to act, but will also affirm that you have made the right selection.


A qualified Estate Planning attorney can guide you through the very important process of selecting your Successor Trustee.


KRASA LAW is located at 704-D Forest Avenue, PG and Kyle can be reached at 831-621-7375.