How Many Successor Trustees Can Be on a Living Trust?

By Teo Spengler

A living trust is a legal document that enables you to transfer property at your death without sending it through probate. If you create a living trust, you generally name yourself as the trustee, the person who manages the trust property. You appoint the person or persons to succeed to this position in the document.

A living trust is a legal document that enables you to transfer property at your death without sending it through probate. If you create a living trust, you generally name yourself as the trustee, the person who manages the trust property. You appoint the person or persons to succeed to this position in the document.

How Living Trusts Work

A revocable living trust accomplishes the same end as a will, allowing you to pass your assets to your chosen beneficiaries at your death. But if you opt for a living trust instead of a will, the property placed in the trust avoids probate. You can create a trust by filling in a form called Declaration of Trust, available from your attorney or through reliable online legal service providers. You then fund the trust by transferring title to your property to the name of the trust. If you name yourself both as trustee and beneficiary, you can continue to manage the property and have full use of it during your life. At your death, the trust property passes to successor beneficiaries.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

Successor Trustee Responsibilities

In your living trust document, you must name a successor trustee who will take over the management of the trust property when you die or become incapacitated. Selecting a successor trustee is an important decision since the person or persons chosen are charged with managing the assets, paying trust debts and distributing the property according to the trust instructions.

Selecting Successor Trustee

It is important to select a successor trustee or trustees in whom you have confidence, someone you trust to follow your directions and stay organized. The successor trustee should have the wherewithal to know when and how to bring in professional help, if necessary. You can select a family member or friend who is qualified to manage trust property. Alternatively, you can choose a financial institution or pay a professional to step into the role.

Multiple Trustees

You may be tempted to name all of your adult children or your siblings as successor trustees to avoid hard feelings. While there is no legal limit on the number of successor trustees you can name, it is simply impractical to name more than one or two persons. Since trustees must agree on all decisions and sign off on all financial matters, multiple trustees can slow the trust administration to a crawl.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
How to Create a Valid Living Trust in Illinois

References

Resources

Related articles

Inheritances and Family Trusts

Probate can be a difficult process even with the simplest of estates and few heirs. That process can quickly become much more difficult with larger estates, children by former spouses and heirs who are unprepared for the responsibility that comes with receiving an estate’s assets. As a result, trusts with family members as beneficiaries are becoming a popular tool in estate planning. These trusts can ensure that your heirs receive the assets you want them to but in a way that protects the overall value of the property.

How to Form a Revocable Trust

A revocable trust is an agreement that dictates how your assets will be distributed, both during your lifetime and after your death. The trust is called “revocable” because you retain the right to revoke the trust, or amend it, during your lifetime. A revocable trust may appeal to you if you want to avoid the expense and public nature of probate proceedings. However, revocable trusts can be costly to establish and administer, mainly because you — or your trustee — must be sure that assets are properly transferred to the trust.

The Pros & Cons of Making a Will

A will is a written legal document that describes how you would like to distribute your property after you die. However, there are both pros and cons to making a will and whether drafting a will is beneficial to you may depend on your particular circumstances. In addition, there are other estate planning tools that you can use to handle your property following your death, such as creating a living trust. If you do not have a will or other estate planning document in place upon death, your property will be distributed according to your state’s rules.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Facts on Living Trusts in Pennsylvania

A living trust allows you to place assets under the care of a trustee who then distributes them to your beneficiaries ...

Can You Transfer Debt Into a Living Trust?

A living trust is an agreement in which you transfer your assets into the ownership of the trust. You can retain ...

How to Choose an Administrator for My Living Trust

A living trust is a trust formed and funded during your lifetime, as opposed to a testamentary trust, which is created ...

Can an Executor of an Estate Distribute Gifts From a Trust?

An executor is to a trustee what a cat is to a dog -- they’re both animals but different species. Executors and ...

Browse by category