Click Here to Learn How Morris-Hall PLLC is helping clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is a Special Co-Trustee?

Many revocable living trusts have provisions for a special co-trustee, but not many people know what a special co-trustee is or what purpose it serves. In general, the special co-trustee is an independent party that can play a critical role in trust administration. For example, if there is a dispute between a successor trustee and a beneficiary, a special co-trustee may settle the dispute unilaterally or submit the dispute to mediation, arbitration or the court. The special co-trustee may also make important decisions to protect the trust, such as amending the trust to take advantage of a tax law change.

To be clear, the special co-trustee is not the trustee of your trust. The special co-trustee is best viewed as a protector of your trust and an intermediary between trustees and beneficiaries. The special co-trustee is limited to protecting the trust and does not have any authority over the routine administration of your trust. Unfortunately, needs and circumstances change over time and it’s impossible to foresee every situation. By having a special co-trustee, your trust has much more flexibility when these instances occur. You may name a special co-trustee in your trust; typically, however, a special co-trustee is selected by a majority of the successor trustees appointed under your trust.

The special co-trustee should be an independent party whom you feel can work well with your successor trustees and your beneficiaries, and who is knowledgeable about estate planning laws and regulations; and/or, who is capable of seeking professional help when needed.  To that end, the special co-trustee should not be related to any of your family members or the family of any beneficiary.

Please contact the law offices of Morris Hall if you have any questions about the role of a special co-trustee.

Phoenix, AZ Estate and Trust Lawyer Darren RichardsonContributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney Darren L. Richardson.

Morris Hall Can Protect You in Today’s Litigious Society:
We live in a litigious society, where over 1 million lawsuits are filed every year in America alone.  Financial predators are looking for ways to take funds from others and often use litigation as their means to do so.  At Morris Hall we provide your assets and your loved ones with important protections that can prevent financial predators from taking advantage of you.  We do this through proper and current estate planning techniques.  With an MH living trust, we can also protect your property, assets and loved ones from probate, estate taxes, gift taxes, creditors, Medicaid spend-down, conservatorship or guardianship proceedings, ex-spouses and more.  A living trust also keeps your asset and beneficiary information private and secure to avoid giving financial predators information to use against you and your family.  Without a living trust, this information will be made public.  For those living in Arizona, we serve the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, Tucson, Sonoita, Arrowhead, Avondale, Goodyear and Tempe.  In New Mexico we serve the areas of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, White Rock, Alamogordo, Truth or Consequences and more.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment with an attorney in your area!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Leave a Reply