Who Should Be My Trustee?

With a revocable living trust, you, as the settlor, are the initial trustee. If you become unable to serve as trustee, then your trust will set forth successors to act after you. Sometimes, the successor will not take any action until you are deceased, unless you become incapacitated during your lifetime.

As such, in selecting a trustee, it is important to ensure that you trust this person and that you are comfortable with this person handling your affairs should you become incapacitated. Preferably, your successor trustee should be someone within the same county as you. It is often difficult for a distant trustee to properly assist you in the administration.

Many people will appoint their spouse or children as a successor trustee, however, if there is a possibility of conflict, it is best to appoint a more neutral person to this role to minimize the risk of litigation and disputes. If you do not have any person available for this role, there are people licensed by the State of California to assist people in your situation and they are called Professional Fiduciaries. Separately, there are trust companies which are available to serve as your successor trustee, but this option is typically only available if your assets exceed certain dollar amounts, depending on the institution.

If you would like to discuss potential options for naming a successor trustee, you can schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney at our office to discuss the options in more detail.

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