The 3 Ways A Successor Trustee Comes Up to Bat
All creators of a revocable living trust have the ability to amend their trust at any time in order to appoint another trustee, currently, or as successor. At Premier Trust, where we have been named as successor trustee, we have stepped in to act while the creator is alive, due to their resignation. We have seen an increase of these resignations as the client is getting older and does not want the burden of handling their finances any longer. Typically it is to assume the fiduciary role for paying bills, filing their tax returns, or bookkeeping, to name a few issues. This is a simple process where we work with the creator’s financial advisor to assist in the retitling of their assets into our name as successor trustee.
A successor trustee named in the trust document has the ability to step in when the creator of the trust becomes incapacitated to no longer handle their financial affairs. Sometimes the creator recognizes this situation and will resign as mentioned in previous item #1, but many times they do not. In these situations, most trust documents require two physicians to state in writing that the creator is no longer capable in handling their financial affairs. This can be a saving procedure to protect the client with the increase of elder abuse or disputing families.
3. At Death
When the creator of a revocable living trust dies, the trust typically becomes irrevocable and the named successor trustee affirms their intent to accept this capacity usually by an affidavit. Once formally accepting the position, the successor trustee begins their administration to follow the terms of the trust.
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