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Choosing the Right Successor Trustee

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Choosing the Right Successor Trustee

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Creating a trust can be an important component of a comprehensive estate plan. There are different steps you must take to create a trust, including drafting the trust document and transferring ownership of your property to the trust. One particularly important step is to choose a successor trustee.

While you are living and have the necessary mental capacity, you can serve as the trustee of your own revocable trust, managing your trust property as you please. However, when you become incapacitated or pass away, someone else will need to serve as your successor trustee. A successor trustee often must complete many tasks including:

  • Managing invested trust property
  • Keep accounting records
  • Inventory and valuation of the trust property
  • Filing tax returns
  • Distributing trust property in accordance with the trust document

The successor trustee owes all the beneficiaries a fiduciary duty, which is the highest legal duty. The trustee must be unbiased, must not take any action that is self-serving or favors certain beneficiaries, must use prudent and reasonable care when managing the trust property, and keep beneficiaries informed of the state of the trust property.

When selecting someone to take over as trustee, you want to ensure you choose someone you can trust to do what they are supposed to and not waste any trust property. While you may believe you should choose your oldest adult child or another close relative, they may not have the time or willingness to complete their duties. You should always discuss this decision with an experienced trust attorney who can help you weigh your options.

Consult with an Experienced Florida Civil Litigation Attorney

The civil litigation attorneys at Harnage Law, PLLC can help you design and implement an effective estate plan that passes on your assets and property to your beneficiaries in the most efficient manner possible. Call 321.549.7886 or contact us online to discuss how we can help you.