If choosing one person to serve as your successor trustee is not desirable for your estate plan, you can consider appointing co-trustees during the creation of your plan. There are both advantages and disadvantages to utilizing co-trustees when creating an estate plan. Your experienced Orange County estate planning lawyer can help you decide whether a co-trustee appointment is the right move for your particular plan.
The following is a general overview of how co-trustees work with living trusts in California:
- Co-trustees may have equal powers, or their powers may be divided in accordance with the trust instrument.
- Co-trustees can be required to obtain the consent of the other trustees before taking certain actions, or you can authorize one co-trustee to act alone.
- Co-trustees are responsible for disclosing trust information to the beneficiaries. They do not need the permission of the other trustees to do so.
- All of the co-trustees will have certain fiduciary duties.
- A breach of one co-trustee could create a legal liability for the trust.
- In some cases, a co-trustee can be liable for the breaches of another trustee.
- Co-trustees can demand full disclosure from each other.
- Co-trustees are required to report any suspected breaches immediately.
- Co-trustees can sue each other if they reasonably believe a breach has occurred.
- Co-trustees can resign from their position or can decline to accept the appointment.
Looking for more information about appointing co-trustees when creating an estate plan for your living trust? View here for more from an estate planning attorney. Fortunately, the experienced Orange County estate planning attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC can help you decide whether to appoint one trustee or several co-trustees to work together. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.