Backup For Your Backup: Understanding What Successor Trustees Do

Posted on: 26 July 2019

Trusts come in two varieties: revocable and irrevocable. With a revocable trust, you act as the trustee over your own trust. You establish the trust, and you dictate how it will be managed. With a lawyer's help, you establish documents that will help protect your trust and facilitate its distribution and care in the event of your death. As such, it is important to select a successor trustee who can act in your stead, should you meet an untimely death. Most people only select one successor trustee, but you should consider having at least two and preferably two who do not live in the same house together. In this way, you have "backup for your backup." Here is what successor trustee services have to say about this and why it is a very wise idea. 

If Your Successor Dies in the Same Accident as You, Someone Has to Step Up

It is good advice to select more than one successor for your trust. If you are in the same vehicle that involved in any sort of accident with your successor trustee at your side, and both of you die, there is no one else to take care of your trust. Selecting a backup successor ensures that you have more than one person waiting in the wings to manage your affairs in the event you pass away, and/or you and your first successor both pass away in the same accident. 

The Trustee Successors Do Not Have to Do Anything Unless You Pass Away

Your family members may be hesitant to help you with this legal responsibility. However, you can inform them that they will have no responsibilities to attend to unless you pass away. It is more comforting to them to know that they are just agreeing to be your "just in case" helpers. It is also good to have family members who know exactly what you want and expect done with your trust after you are gone. 

You Can Select Two Family Members, but Select Two That Do Not Live Together

When you choose your successor trustees, choose two or more people that do not live in the same house together. Here is why: events can take place that can take the lives of two trustees that share living space. One example is a house fire, while another example is a home invasion where both your trustees perish at the hands of the intruders. There are many more such examples, which is why trust advisors recommend that you choose at least two people that do not share living space. 

Contact a successor trustee service like Pendleton Square Trust for more information.