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WHAT IS A SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE?

By January 10, 2014Estate Planning, Other

There are there main positions within a Revocable Living Trust – Trustor, Trustee and Beneficiary. The Trustor is the person that created the Trust; the Trustee is the person that will manage the assets titled to the Trust; and the Beneficiary is the person that benefits from the assets titled to the Trust. Typically, in a Revocable Living Trust, the Trustor is also the Trustee and Beneficiary while they are alive and have capacity.

In the Trust, the Trustor nominates a ‘Successor Trustee’ to be able to step in and act as Trustee if the Initial Trustee (typically the Trustor) is unable to do so due to incapacity or death. The decision of nominating a Successor Trustee is one of the most important decisions you will to   make when creating/amending a Trust.

I explain to my clients that when you select a Successor Trustee, you are putting this person on the ‘back burner’ of a stove. This person is waiting to step in and help you manage your trust assets should you be unable to do so because of incapacity or death. While you are alive, but lack capacity, the Successor Trustee will spring into action and handle all of your financial decisions, such as, paying bills and making sure your assets are productive. Upon death your Successor Trustee will administer your trust according the terms of your trust, such as paying debts/expenses and distributing your estate to your beneficiaries.

The decision of who to nominate as a Successor Trustee shouldn’t be taken lightly, but rather with great care because this person will eventually have the authority over all of your trust assets just like you have. It’s critical that you trust the individual selected, hence, trustee!

Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

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.

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