WHEN DO YOU NEED BACKUP MANAGERS AND SUCCESSOR TRUSTEES?
Trustees, Control, and Backup Management
A trust is managed by a trustee or trustees. If one or more of the trustees are unable to serve, a successor trustee should already be standing by to take instant control. Most trusts provide for this when they are originally created, but additions or modifications can be made at any time.
Most of the time, a spouse is also empowered as a trustee. Any relative, any friend, a selected professional, or a company could be a trustee, or just share management with related (or unrelated) trustees.
Be aware that naming people as trustees that always spend all of their time together may not be sufficient. Togetherness runs the risk of losing all trustees in an accident, or simply their unavailability due to travel.
Please realize, it's important to name capable trustees. Empowered trustees should understand your intent, your mix of assets, language of contracts, and be prepared to make decisions. Each trustee must be trustworthy enough to handle cash and valuables, in a similar fashion as you would do for yourself.
Naming someone that has extensive ability is not all that important, as long as they are smart enough to seek competent assistance. Maintaining the intent of the trust with decisions similar to your goals in an honest fashion is more important.
If you do not name an available trustee, the County Administrator, or the court, will take control. They may not protect your assets, your pets, or pay your bills, but government is always there to take control if you fail to plan ahead.