3 Ways to Include a Corporate Trustee in Your Existing Estate Plan

As time goes on, life continues to change. What worked well for your estate plan in the past, may no longer be the best setup under today’s circumstances. Regardless of your reasons for doing so, you may now find that adding a corporate or professional trustee to your living trust is a desirable choice. Corporate trustees offer many benefits as they are typically experienced, capable, and prudent when performing the work necessary to administer a trust.

Incorporating a Professional Trustee Into Your Estate Plan

Once you have decided to modify your living trust to add a corporate trustee, you have additional options to consider. There are many different ways to incorporate a professional trustee into your estate plan. The following are three of the most common scenarios:

  1. Appoint the corporate trustee as the sole successor trustee of the trust. When the corporate trustee is the sole trustee, they are responsible for all of the investment, fiduciary, and administrative responsibilities of managing the trust. They are bound by the terms of the trust document, however.
  2. Appoint the corporate trustee as a co-trustee alongside someone else, such as a friend, family member, or trusted advisor. A corporate co-trustee shares all of the same responsibilities as a solo co-trustee; however, discretionary decision making responsibilities are shared with the other co-trustee in accordance with whatever terms are contained in the trust itself.
  3. Appoint the corporate trustee as a second successor trustee. In this case, the corporate trustee serves as a backup to a trusted individual who you wish to be your initial successor. If something happens to that individual or if he or she is no longer willing to serve in the role, the corporate trustee steps in. The corporate trustee’s responsibilities are thereafter the same as those outlined above.

We hope that you found this information helpful as you consider an update to your estate plan. If you are interested in learning more about the latest news, tips, and techniques for estate planning in Anaheim, we encourage you to sign up for our free newsletter today!

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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