One of the most vital decisions when establishing a living trust is who to assign as a trustee. This position holds significant duties involving you, your estate and your beneficiaries. Typically, you could give this role to someone you can depend on. They should be able to make decisions on your behalf and manage your assets within the trust.
However, appointing trustees can vary based on your estate. Sometimes, its size and asset types affect your arrangement’s appropriateness. You can choose to adopt the following trustee appointments, depending on your estate and circumstances:
- Sole trustee – You assign the role to one person or entity, giving them the authority to perform duties as the trustee.
- Multiple trustees – You can assign more than one party as the trustee. This arrangement distributes the load of responsibilities and authority based on how many trustees you appoint.
- Successor trustee – This party is a substitute if the initial trustee cannot perform their duties for any reason. You give this position to someone if you foresee any potential scenarios where your trustee can no longer fulfill the role.
If you intend to create a trust, it is best to consider your estate’s size and details before making trustee appointments. It can also be beneficial to appoint a financial institution or organization if complications exist, warranting a professional’s expertise.
Making an effective trust agreement
In some cases, seeking legal counsel can be helpful before finalizing your trust’s arrangement. Depending on your needs, you might require custom terms and conditions affecting your trustee’s authority or obligations. Taking these measures can help you have more control over your trust before and after your death.