When you initially met with your estate planning attorney and discussed creating a trust, you may have named someone as a successor trustee—who at the time was an obvious choice. As the years go by, that choice may no longer make as much sense. Circumstances may change, leading you to consider an amendment to your trust to add a corporate trustee as your successor.
Should You Modify Your Trust to Add a Corporate Trustee?
Determining whether or not to modify your trust to add a corporate trustee is an important decision that is unique to every trust and every family. The following are four common scenarios under which you may wish to consider a modification to your trust to add a corporate trustee:
- If your trust requires oversight by someone with trust administration experience. If your estate has grown and you suddenly face estate tax issues, you are the owner of a business, you have a child with special needs, or another complex matter, it may be best to have a trustee who is familiar with these issues. Experienced trustees may be better able to handle such matters as investment decisions, fulfilling the legal obligations of a trustee, and making certain tax elections.
- If your trust can benefit from an objective, impartial party serving as the decision maker. Even if your current trustee and your beneficiaries get along well, when decision making and money get involved, issues can arise. A corporate trustee has the advantage of being able to make decisions without bias or the pressure of family dynamics.
- If the initial successor trustees are aging or enduring an illness. Over time, your initial chosen trustee may be getting to a point where he or she can no longer carry out the duties of a trustee. By naming a professional trustee, you ensure that this role will be filled regardless of the health or age of your loved one.
- If the circumstances surrounding your trust require prudence. Privacy is a big concern for many people with regard to the administration of a trust. Corporate trustees are typically very careful to act in a private and respectful manner with regard to your trust and your assets.
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