Thursday, June 11, 2009


The Selection of a Successor Trustee is perhaps the most important decision in the creation of a Living Trust.

It is not by mistake that Living Trusts are called "TRUSTS", because the Successor Trustee manages your Trust Estate and distributes your estate without court supervision. Thus, the person you select to be your Successor Trustee must be above everything else, TRUSTWORTHY.

Another important quality is the ability to act as Trustee and carry out your directions. Does your Successor Trustee have the ability to handle money, open and close bank accounts, review bills and pay them, hire a realtor to sell real estate, keep an accounting of your Estate, deal with lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, insurance companies, etc.?

Ideally, your Successor Trustee should be someone who is younger than you and therefore likely to survive you. This is more important as you get older. When you are 35 years old, your 40 year old brother would be a good nominee as the Successor Trustee. However, when you are 75 years old, having your 80 year old brother may not be such a good choice.

Finally, is the Successor Trustee living close to you and your Estate? Of course, trustworthiness and ability are the most important factors, but it is easier for a Successor Trustee to handle your affairs if he or she is local. But, with emails, faxes, wire transfers, overnight delivery, and so forth, someone can act as Successor Trustee from a great distance in today's world.

Always ask the questions, do I trust my Successor Trustee to carry out my wishes? And is my Successor Trustee capable to handle financial and legal matters?


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This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction.

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