Do I Need Multiple Successor Trustees?

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trusts and trustees

How Many Successor Trustees Should I have?

When planning a revocable living trust many people name a family member as their successor trustee. The successor trustee is the person who will take over all the administration of your trust if you become incapacitated or die. A common candidate is their spouse or oldest child. Is it possible I need more successor trustees?

Is One Successor Trustee Enough?

The question of the day is “Is one successor trustee enough?” Common sense suggests probably not. Since you are already in planning mode, why not risk redundancy to have your legacy mapped out. There are a variety of circumstances that could cause the first trustee to be unable to perform the duties.

It is possible that you and your spouse could both be injured or die in a common accident. If your spouse is your only choice for your successor trustee, you risk chaos if something should happen to you both. Without a secondary successor trustee to step in to administer the trust, your family could be in for a lengthy and expensive court process to get a new trustee in place.

What if My Successor Trustee is No Longer Able to Serve?

Another concern would be that your chosen successor may not be able to serve. Even if you choose your successor trustee with as much care as possible, life gets messy. What if your successor trustee develops health issues of their own and precedes you in death? What if they’re too ill when you pass away to take on the responsibility? What if they’ve developed a drug habit, a gambling addiction or financial problems that make them untrustworthy or incapable of serving?

Consider having an additional successor trustee named. It can save everybody a lot of grief. In turn, it ensures that your trust accomplishes your goals. Keep in mind that developing a comprehensive estate plan takes a lot of experience and foresight. Work with someone who knows how to look ahead at the potential problems and plan for them. Contact us to learn more.