The role of a successor trustee

| Jan 24, 2020 | Estate Administration |

Texans who have been named as successor trustees might wonder what they will be expected to do once the grantors pass away or become incapacitated and unable to continue making decisions for themselves. Successor trustees need to understand what will be expected of them so that they can make certain to do everything correctly.

Successor trustee responsibilities

Successor trustees are people designated by the grantors to assume control of the trusts once the grantors are no longer able to manage the trusts or pass away. Many grantors serve as trustees of their living trusts while they are still alive but name people to step in once they die or become incapacitated.

Successor trustees will first need to prove that they have the legal authority to act. They might do so by showing the trust documents in which they are named as the successor trustees, a certificate of trust or an affidavit of trust. Once they have established that they have the power to act, they will be able to do what is needed to properly administer the trust according to its provisions. This includes liquidating assets, transferring assets and distributing the proceeds to the beneficiaries as called for by the trust. The successor trustees will be required to act for the benefit of the beneficiaries and maintain good communication with each of them.

Legal help for successor trustees

Texans who have been named as successor trustees might benefit from getting help from experienced estate planning and administration attorneys. The attorneys may help them to understand the duties that they will have and help them to avoid making mistakes. Estate planning and administration attorneys might advise their clients about the legal requirements and help them to resolve any disputes or issues that might arise during the trust administration. The attorneys may also help their clients understand the provisions of the trust. For people who want to create trusts, the attorneys might help them determine whom to name as successor trustees. It is important to choose people who are willing and able to fulfill the duties that they will have when they become successor trustees.