Who has power in trust, Creating Trustee powers, Trustee powers, Powers of trust control
 BACK;   Who has power in trust, Creating Trustee powers, Trustee powers, Powers of trust control


Individuals or Shared Power?

Without a trust, the government has all powers. Government usually allows the married spouse to continue with many powers, but with limits.

If you have a will, the same is true, except the court often takes control and makes decisions, especially on estates larger than a base amount. This usually results in relatives receiving whatever may remain after all attorney fees, court costs, losses from time wasted, and disputes. The distributions and remaining benefits can be very different than the provisions in the will. This may also happen in the case of a trust that is created at death by provisions of the will.

Normally, the creator or the person that owns the asset would be the creator and often is in power. Certainly, the creator is a decision maker to select the person that assumes power.

However, a relative, a friend, or a company could easily be in power as a single individual or co-powered with any number of people. Usually, the creator or their married spouse are the trustee(s), therefore in power. Usually, two or more are empowered, but only one is necessary, especially if successor trustee(s) are appointed.

The potential problem is that there might be disagreement between trustees at some point as to a trust management decision. This could happen even if you name an odd number to assume power. Provisions should be made to avoid this problems and resolve problems. Without resolution, a court resolution might be required.

The more people that share power, the more difficult it becomes to make decisions. If there is only one person required, you can still name more than one person capable to use the power.

The most important issue is that a responsible, honest, knowledgeable person is name to each position of power. Someone that is not too conservative to make money decisions and understands contracts and documents. Someone that respects your values and intent to protect and provide for the correct beneficiaries. Someone that will not incur huge expenses for management and squander the value owned by the trust.

This could result in one trustee that is experienced in real estate as the trustee for the home, and a different trustee that manages the business and vehicles. Of course keeping each isolated in separate trusts that own separate assets makes the documents and management easiest.

 Who has power in trust, Creating Trustee powers, Trustee powers, Powers of trust control, J Jay Lashlee