Being a successor trustee is a weighty responsibility. You want to be sure that person you select will do what is best for the trust and ensure a good financial future for your beneficiaries. However, there are some common pitfalls that a successor trustee could fall into. Here are a few ways to provide help that may prevent the most common pitfalls.
- Bookkeeping errors – Is your trustee level-headed but not the best with numbers? An accountant can help ensure that no mistakes are made. Plus, a second set of eyes keeps everyone on the straight and narrow.
- Crossing the line – A successor trustee can fall into think that he or she plays a larger role in how the assets are preserved than you intended. Leaving precise instructions will help your trustee to remember what his or her proper function is.
- Envy – Your trustee sees what you are leaving to your beneficiaries and is the one doing all the work. In order to avoid feelings of envy or jealousy from clouding the trustee’s judgment, it is a good idea to provide adequate compensation.
It is also important to be objective when selecting your successor trustee. The best way to avoid problems is to select the best person for the job rather than allowing sentiment to get in the way.
California Estate Planning Experts
For more assistance with trusts, contact the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm by calling 619-344-0360. We are happy to help California residents plan for the future with confidence.Read More
One of the things that we love to help our estate planning clients with is setting up a living trust. This gives you some great options. For example, while you are alive, you can serve as your own trustee and take care of the trust as you wish. You can also leave instructions for a successor trustee. What does the successor trustee do after you pass?
The Role of a Successor Trustee
A trust does not go through probate, so the executor of your will won’t have anything to do with the trust (unless it is the same person you select as your successor trustee). The successor trustee administers the trust after the grantor has died. Usually, the grantor will leave written terms to guide the decisions of the trustee.
A trustee is an appropriate name because you are trusting this individual to put aside his or her own personal interests on behalf of the trust and those who are designated as beneficiaries. Thus, even when it is necessary for the trustee to handle matters that call for decisions not outlined by the grantor, the trustee should be guided by what the grantor would have wanted as well as what is in the best interests of the trust itself and of the beneficiaries.
Selection of a Successor Trustee Is Serious Business
Because of these facts, you want to give serious thought to who you will assign as a successor trustee. You also want to leave detailed instructions, so your trustee has a firm basis for knowing your wishes. This will ensure that your beneficiaries get the maximum yield from the trust.
To set up a living trust and to put other estate planning measures in motion, call 619-344-0360 and speak to the attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. We are experienced estate planning attorneys serving San Diego and the surrounding areas in southern California.Read More