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What is a successor trustee?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When setting up a revocable living trust, you may need to review vital details, including the other parties essential to the arrangement. These appointments can vary depending on the trust’s features and your preferences. Sometimes, it is easy to decide who to assign based on the situation. Other times, you need to consider various factors for roles with specific functions, such as a successor trustee.

This position is often present when establishing revocable living trusts. With this trust type, you can become the settlor and trustee, so you can have more control of the assets within the trust while still living. It also gives you flexibility when making decisions regarding the trust, such as changing beneficiary details and other information. Unfortunately, the situation can be complex if you pass on and have no one to serve as a trustee. The role of a successor trustee becomes active when this happens.

Essentially, they will receive the authority and duties you had as a trustee, including the following responsibilities:

  • Making investments using assets in the trust
  • Transferring the trust’s assets if needed
  • Settling tax requirements and organizing assets
  • Managing assets while prioritizing the beneficiaries
  • Ensuring the enforcement of the trust’s terms and conditions

A successor trustee can have other duties, depending on the circumstances.

Creating an appropriate estate plan

Trusts often attract people because of their benefits, but it might not always be appropriate. When creating an estate plan, it can be more beneficial to set objectives and seek legal counsel to determine what tools are more advantageous over time. Adequate preparation and careful consideration can help you craft an estate plan that fits your unique needs and circumstances.