When it comes time to establish your Revocable Living Trust, you’re faced with all kinds of decisions. One of the most important decisions is who to name as your Successor Trustee. After all, when you pass away, the property in your trust isn’t going to distribute itself. Here’s how to choose the right person for the job:
- Pick Someone You Trust: This is the most important concern – you won’t be around to oversee the distribution of your property and, while the disadvantages of the probate process far outweigh the advantages, you won’t have the benefit of court oversight of your Successor Trustee’s actions. So, you need to be confident that your Successor Trustee will follow the instructions in the trust agreement and act in the interests of your beneficiaries.
- Choose Someone Who’s Fair-Minded: Things don’t always go as planned, and your Successor Trustee might have to make some independent decisions. You’ll want someone who can be fair to all of your beneficiaries, and not play favorites.
- Pick Someone With Good Judgment: Because there will be some independent decision-making involved, you need a Successor Trustee with common-sense, good judgment, and solid decision making skills. You want to be able to trust him or her to make the right call, no matter what problem or dilemma presents itself.
- Select Someone Who’s Organized: Your Successor Trustee will be responsible for a good deal of record keeping, bill-paying, and accounting. He or she will also need to be accountable to your beneficiaries, so you’ll want to choose someone who can stay organized and be on top of things at all times.
- Choose Someone With Financial Experience: You’ll want to choose someone with the necessary experience to responsibly manage your property and investments on behalf of your beneficiaries.
- Pick Someone Who’s Emotionally Prepared: Your Successor Trustee will need to take action very soon after your death. This means embarking on a potentially demanding task during what might be a time of intense grief. It’s important to make sure the person you choose will be up to the job.