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  • Writer's pictureJacob DeHerrera

Living Trust: When Naming a Successor Trustee, Plan to Also Identify a Backup

Happily, this is the time of year when many people follow through on their New Year’s resolutions and come in to our offices to prepare Living Trusts. In a Living Trust you identify those to whom you want to leave your property as well as a “Successor Trustee”–the person who will carry out your wishes, much like the Executor of a will. This is an important decision; it can require a significant amount of time and concentration to manage someone else’s affairs.

People live long, productive lives and may outlive their Successor Trustee

Many people name one of their children as Successor Trustee, but something they may not think about is how important it is to also name a backup, or alternate Successor Trustee. It’s not unusual for people these days to live healthy, productive lives into their 80s and 90s, which means they may outlive their grown children. If a 72-year old son or daughter is the Successor Trustee, that son or daughter could die or become incapacitated before his/her parents. If there’s a backup, that person will become the Successor Trustee. If no backup has been identified, the court may consider other family members or third party, such as an attorney, fiduciary or organization that handles estates professionally, or even your bank. This, of course, means incurring additional costs.

Is creating a Living Trust one of your 2021 Resolutions?

We encourage you to come in to one of our J.DeHerrera, LDA office to get started. We help make this easy for you. Be thinking about who, among your family members, should be the Successor Trustee—and just as important–the backup Successor Trustee.

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