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Options for naming the successor trustees of a living trust

Estate planning requires people in Colorado to consider their goals carefully. In some cases, a living trust, also known as a revocable trust, achieves the desired level of asset protection and distribution, but the document also require trustees to administer its terms. A trust for a married couple might name the spouses as the trustees, but the document must name successor trustees who take over after the original trustees have passed away or otherwise become unable to serve.

Children are a common choice in this situation. The creators of the trust can name one child or all siblings as co-trustees. Although children often assume this role, it can place excessive demands on their time. If a child lives far away or works full time, the time required to oversee a trust could be burdensome or even overwhelming while grieving for a deceased parent. Trusts holding multiple properties and complicated assets could create a full-time job for a trustee.

A settlor also has the freedom to select a friend as a trustee. In this situation, the trust should specify that the trustee receives fair compensation for administrative work. Alternatively, a trust might name a professional as a successor trustee. This person possesses training in trusts and will not be encumbered by emotional ties to the estate. Banks represent a fourth option although those institutions generally charge higher fees than a professional fiduciary.

When a person wants to know more about trust planning, the advice of an experienced attorney could be valuable. An attorney could suggest how to use trusts within an estate plan to achieve goals like protecting assets or transferring wealth without a public review by a probate court.

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Samuel J. Owen, P.C.
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