Creating an Ideal Chain of Command for Your Living Trust

As you work towards creating a living trust as part of your overall estate plan, an important consideration is who should be appointed successor trustee of your trust. The individual serving in this role will have significant responsibilities and will be in charge of overseeing the administration of your trust. However, simply naming a successor trustee is not sufficient to ensure that the chain of command transitions smoothly within the trust. Fortunately, there are various provisions that can be included in your living trust that will help the trust continue to run smoothly even during times of transition.

Trust Provisions That Can Smooth the Way

What types of provisions can be utilized within a living trust to help create a solid chain of command following your incapacity or death? Following are seven examples:

  1. Provisions that appoint a successor trustee
  2. Provisions that name a backup trustee in the event that the initial successor is unavailable or unwilling to serve in the role
  3. Provisions that outline what should happen if co-trustees disagree or do not get along
  4. Provisions that direct how a new trustee should be appointed if there is no one named in the trust that is able or willing to serve in the role
  5. Provisions that address the options available to the beneficiaries if they do not get along with the trustees
  6. Provisions that dictate whether a trustee is permitted to choose his or her successor
  7. Provisions that give instructions for how a trustee is deemed incapacitated, and what should happen once he is

Since difficulties with the administration of a trust can cost the trust time and money, it is important to create an instrument that adequately addresses the change in chain of command after your death. For more information about creating the living trust that is right for you, call our office today.